Brain Tumors Side Effects Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is an important facet of brain tumor recovery after brain surgery or another brain tumor treatment. Patients have many options for rehabilitation therapy, including:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy.

Brain Tumor Treatment

Brain tumor treatment can be relatively minimal or extremely invasive. Radiation therapy, for example, is non-invasive, but may have significant side effects. Surgery is often a very effective invasive treatment, but can be life-altering or have major complications. Rehabilitation options will vary depending on the damage caused by the tumor and the type of treatment a patient receives. Some patients may lose the use of appendages, hearing, speech or vision, while others may only experience nausea and vomiting as a result of their treatment.

Brain Tumor Recovery

Many factors affect the brain tumor recovery process, such as the patient’s age and health before treatment. Patients can greatly increase their rate and quality of recovery and rehabilitation by taking care of themselves and staying healthy. Specifically, staying healthy during the recovery process includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet, full of complex carbohydrates, is important for long-term energy.
  • Exercising moderately may help with fatigue and depression, and may improve sleep.
  • Sleeping for several uninterrupted hours each night helps combat fatigue and aids in physical and emotional recovery.

Of course, patients should check with a doctor before embarking on any brain tumor recovery plan.

Rehabilitation Therapy

After brain tumor treatment, patients may need varying amounts of rehabilitation therapy, depending on how the tumor and treatment have affected their health. Brain tumor rehabilitation involves many types of therapy, including:

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapists aim to improve a patient’s physical skills after treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can make the patient tired, nauseous and affect balance, strength and coordination. A physical therapist works to slowly bring the person back to health and can instruct the patient on how to safely perform different exercises.
  • Speech therapy: Speech therapists work with patients to improve speech and help them to verbalize thoughts. Speech therapy is necessary for patients whose brain tumors have affected the speech sections of the brain. Speech therapists can also help with swallowing problems associated with certain brain tumors.
  • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists help patients relearn tasks related to everyday chores, such as bathing, dressing and eating. A goal of occupational therapy is to help the patient become more independent and productive, both at home and in work environments.

Resources

MedicineNet Staff. (n.d.). Brain tumor. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from the MedicineNet.com website: http://www.medicinenet.com/brain_tumor/page9.htm.

Car-Blanchard, M. (2007). Helping people live better with the diagnosis of brain tumor: Physical therapy. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from the American Brain Tumor Association website: http://www.abta.org/siteFiles/SitePages/65C26DB8E37E2B1F42791318D426BEDB.pdf.

American Brain Tumor Association Staff. (n.d.). Managing fatigue. Retrieved May 4, 2010, from the American Brain Tumor Association website: http://www.abta.org/index.cfm?contentid=200.