Quite often after surgery and treatment for breast cancer, patients complain of head aches, neck pain, shoulder pain or low back pain.  Along with poor posture and a more sedentary lifestyle, muscles can become tight and out of balance leading to increased pain and achiness.

Below are a few of my favorite stretches and exercises, which gently promote proper posture and build endurance and strength.  These exercises are simple, and easy to perform pretty much anywhere! Please make sure your surgeon has released you for exercise before attempting.

Chin Tuck

  1. With shoulders relaxed and eyes looking forward, slowly begin to tuck chin
  2. Perform tuck by visualizing  mouth moving backward towards spine
  3. Hold stretch for seconds, perform times

Standing Flexor Compartment Stretch

  1. Stand with hand on the wall, forearm pointing up and fingers pointing down.
  2. Straighten your elbow and then slowly take a step away with your    opposite leg.  Turn your neck and body away from your arm.
  3. Stretch can be felt from your fingers to your armpit and chest.
  4. If there is considerable stretch and pulling felt at surgical site and/or implant, you can block the stretch with your hand.  Stretch will be felt in hand and arm.
  5. Perform stretch 5 times, with 5 sec. hold.
  6. 2 times/day

Shoulder Blade Squeezes

  1. Sitting or standing upright, gently squeeze your shoulder blades together
  2. Shoulders should remain relaxed and down from your ears
  3. Hold this position for seconds, repeat times

Low Rows

  1. Wrap your theraband around the opposite side of the door handle and then close the door.
  2. Grab hold of both ends of the theraband.  Stand with legs apart, knees bent and facing the door
  3. Pull bands back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Remember to keep shoulders down.
  4. Perform exercise ______reps,  ________sets
  5. _______ times/day

Shoulder External Rotation

  1. Stand perpendicular to the door.  Holding the band with outer arm (elbow bent to 90 degrees), place a towel under elbow to keep arm at side.
  2. With shoulders back, slowly pull the band away from body- rotating at the shoulder
  3. Then slowly control the band and your hand back to the starting position.
  4. Perform _____ sets, _______ times.
  5.  ______ times/ day


  1. Kneel down on  ______ knee, with  ______ leg bent.
  2. your pelvis by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  3. Contract your ______ gluteus muscle.
  4. Hold stretch 5 sec, 5 times.
  5. Perform 2 times/day
  6. To increase the stretch, raise the arm of the kneeling leg overhead.