POST MASTECTOMY STRETCHING GUIDE

With drains

 

These stretches are for after a mastectomy and are safe to perform while you still have drains in place. Complete each 3 x per day. All moves should be executed until you feel a gentle stretch, with no pain.

HAND PUMPS
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Bring hands slightly above heart level. Open and close your hands alternating between a tightly closed fist and an open palm with fingers spread wide. Aim for 15-25 pumps.

Shoulder Shrugs
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Stand or sit tall and raise both shoulders up towards your ears. Pause briefly and then push shoulders back down. Lightly squeeze your shoulder blades together throughout the movement. 15-20 shrugs.

EXTERNAL ARM ROTATION
External Arm Rotation 1.HEIC
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Stand or sit tall with shoulders down and back, elbows bent 90 degrees. Move hands out to the side while keeping your elbows against your sides. Hold for 3 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze
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Stand or sit up straight with arms bent 90 degrees. Press your shoulders down and back as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and bring your elbows back behind you. Do not let your shoulders raise toward your ears. Repeat 10-15 times. 

Shoulder Circles
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Stand or sit tall and bring both shoulders forward, then up, back and down in a slow circular motion. 10 circles each direction 

Pendulum Arm Circles
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Lean forward at the hips and lightly support yourself with one arm. Let the other arm hang towards the ground. Slowly swing the arm in a circular motion. Do 10 circles each direction. 

 

AFTER DRAINS

These stretches are for after a mastectomy once your drains have been removed. Complete each 3 x per day. All should be executed until you feel a gentle stretch, with no pain.

External Arm Rotation

Stand or sit tall with shoulders down and back, elbows bent 90 degrees. Move hands out to the side while keeping your elbows against your sides. Hold for 3 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.

External Arm Rotation 1.HEIC
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Wall Climbs
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Stand facing a wall and place fingers on wall at eye level. Slowly walk fingers up the wall until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold that position for 10 seconds. Repeat.

Wall Climbs Side
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Stand with one shoulder towards the wall and place your fingertips on the wall at eye level. Slowly walk up the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold position for 10 seconds.

Pec Minor Stretch
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Lie on your back with knees bent and arms at your sides. Place your hands beneath your hips and slowly move hands up towards your hips keeping your elbows pressed to the ground. Start with elbows nearly straight and continue to move your hands up your sides until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 30-60 seconds. 

Elbow Wings
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Lie on your back with knees bent and fingertips at your ears. Start with your elbows pointed to the ceiling. Move your elbows apart until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 5-10 seconds and then slowly return to the start position. Repeat 5-10 times. 

Stick Rainbows
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Use a lightweight stick (broomstick, pvc tube). Lie on your back and hold the stick above your chest with straight arms. Slowly lower the stick above your head towards the ground. Keep your arms straight and lower back pushed to the ground throughout the movement. Only lower the stick until you feel a gentle stretch. Pause for 1-2 seconds, return to start position. Repeat 10-15 times.

Stick Holds
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Similar to stick rainbows, except you will hold the stretch position for 10 seconds at a time 

Goal Post Doorway - Single Arm
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Stand in an open doorway and raise one arm so your hand, forearm and elbow are in contact with the edge. Start with arm lower on the wall and work to eventually get your elbow to shoulder height. Slowly push your body forward until you feel a gentle stretch through your chest and shoulder. Hold position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side. 

Goal Post Corner 
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Stand facing a corner and raise your arms into a goal post position. With your hands, forearms and elbows touching the walls, gently press your face and chest towards the corner. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. 

Shoulder Flexion
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Lie on your back, bend your knees and keep your lower back pushed to the ground throughout the movement. Keep arms straight and lower one at a time as low as you can without arching your back or bending your elbows. Return to start and repeat with other arm. Make it a slow and controlled movement. 

Clasped Hands Extension
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Stand tall and clasp your hands behind your back. Slowly reach your hands down towards the ground and work to straighten your arms. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.