Cancer Rehabilitation Christchurch

Physiotherapy

With today’s diagnostic equipment and treatment methods, more and more people are surviving cancer.

However, along with cancer treatments, comes a range of debilitating side effects that can affect a person’s quality of life. Physiotherapy plays an important role in assessing and addressing physical and functional limitations in cancer patients, to help you return to those activities important to you, whether they are home, work, social or exercise related.

There is ongoing research demonstrating a wide range of benefits of attending physiotherapy and exercising at all stages of cancer treatment. Some of the proven benefits are reduced fatigue, improved motion, improved mood, improved quality of life, and reduced rates of lymphoedema. Exercise/rehabilitation has also shown to significantly reduce cancer recurrence, along with improving survival rates.

Cancer rehabilitation physiotherapists evaluate each patient individually, explore your current situation and goals, and design a program specifically for you. The physiotherapy program will then involve a series of sessions including hands-on therapeutic methods and exercises designed to address your restrictions and help you reach your goals. It is never too late to address side effects from cancer treatments. We successfully help patients at any stage from immediately after, to years following their treatments.

Lymphoedema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the chest, trunk, legs or arms that may occur as a side effect of cancer treatment, particularly surgery or radiation therapy. Lymphoedema can be effectively managed through complex decongestive therapy (CDT) consisting of manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercise and education/self-care. At Active Health we have the facilities to see Stage 1 and 2 lymphoedema patients for manual lymphatic drainage, and all stages of lymphoedema for exercise therapy. We do not measure or prescribe compression garments.

Susan is a Certified Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist as well as a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. She is a certified provider of the PINC (for women) and STEEL (for men) cancer rehabilitation programs and the Next Steps cancer group exercise class. Susan is a Certified Lymphoedema Therapist through Klose Training in Colorado, USA.

 

Conditions Successfully Treated with Physiotherapy Include:

    • Cording/Axillary Web Syndrome
    • Depression and Anxiety
    • Fatigue
    • Fibrosis
    • Limited Motion
    • Low Endurance
    • Lymphoedema
    • Neuropathy
    • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
    • Bladder or Bowel Concerns
    • Pain
    • Sexual Dysfunction
    • Poor Balance
    • Scar Tissue
    • Weakness
    • Vaginal stenosis 
    Active Health are proud to be a provider of the PINC and STEEL rehab programs for women and men with cancer, and the Next Steps cancer group exercise class. We offer PINC and STEEL programs in Christchurch and Rangiora, and the Next Steps class in Rangiora.

    Individual PINC and STEEL physio sessions may be covered by health insurance physiotherapy or post-surgical benefits, self payment, or funding may be applied for through the Breast Cancer Foundation for those affected by breast cancer https://www.breastcancerfoundation.org.nz/support/cancer-rehab/physio-application, or the PINC and STEEL Trust for other types of cancer https://www.pincandsteel.com/apply-for-funding/.

    Anyone who has been affected by cancer either recently or previously, and has completed their medical treatments (such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) is eligible for one term (10 classes) of funded Next Steps classes. To register please complete the form at https://www.pincandsteel.com/next-steps-enrolment/ and select Active Health Rangiora as the clinic if this is where you would like to attend classes.

    For more information about the PINC and STEEL and Next Steps programs please visit https://www.pincandsteel.com/programs. You may also contact Susan directly at susan@activehealth.co.nz.

    next steps
    Susan Larson

    Susan Larson

    Pelvic Health and Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist

    Susan has been a physiotherapist for over 20 years and has studied and worked in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. She spent the early part of her career working in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and developed strong manual therapy skills. On moving to America, Susan studied for and gained a Certificate of Advanced Study in Physical Therapy (Orthopaedics) and a Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston.

    Working largely with back and pelvic pain diagnoses, Susan felt there was a missing link in providing complete care for these patients, which lead to the development of a special interest in pelvic floor physiotherapy. Over the last few years Susan has completed extensive advanced training in Women’s and Men’s Pelvic Health, including obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health and Continence from Curtin University in Perth, completing Functional Dry Needling Certification (Level 1, 2 and advanced) from KinetaCore in Colorado, and numerous continuing education courses. Utilizing these skills, she now proudly offers a truly comprehensive successful physiotherapy approach to pelvic health issues and pre and postnatal care.

    Susan also has a passion for cancer rehabilitation and works with patients before, during and after medical cancer treatments, addressing treatment side effects like pain, fatigue, weakness and lymphoedema that may have affect patient’s physical and functional abilities. While she was based in Colorado, Susan completed training in the Pink Ribbon Program, the Strength After Breast Cancer Program and became a Certified Lymphoedema Therapist. She was part of the cancer rehabilitation team at Boulder Community Hospital, working in close association with the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centre. Since returning to New Zealand she has become a certified provider of the PINC and STEEL cancer rehabilitation programs, which are internationally known physiotherapy and exercise programs for women and men with cancer. In addition to providing individualized cancer rehabilitation, Susan runs a Next Steps cancer group exercise class at the Rangiora Fitness Centre.

    Susan has returned to her hometown of Christchurch with her husband Keith, a Sommelier and is delighted to bring her unique skills and treatments to Active Health. Susan and Keith enjoy a well-balanced lifestyle including appreciation of good food and wine, travel, and many outdoor activities including hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing.

    We are delighted to have Susan back on the Active Health team, after working with us back in 2012. Susan sees patients in our St Albans clinic and in Rangiora at both the Durham Health and the Rangiora Fitness Centre Active Health clinics.