Oesophageal Patients Association
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Have many of us had long term physiotherapy post op?

I'm nearly a year post op and my muscles are slowly improving. As discussed before, it has been my upper body and arms which have been very weak. I remember having physio before I was discharged from hospital ( being guided along the corridors and up short flights of stairs.....oh the memories!!). I keep forgetting to ask the medics if they provide any long term physio and wondered what the experiences of others on the site has been?

4 Replies

I was very weak around my shoulders and had to have physiotherapy to regain full movement. I think prolonged inactivity does cause the muscles to shrink (including the backside, felt especially in the bath!). Gentle progressive exercise does help, but there are some areas where it does need physiotherapy. It is not easy to get prompt physiotherapy on the NHS after you have been discharged though.



I had a frozen shoulder after the op, my surgeon thinks due to me having to lay on it for so long during the surgery. I was referred to physio straight away and also had acupuncture with the physio. I can just call my physio department for an appointment and they see me straight away. Worth asking your doctor for a referral

Best wishes



I lost one and half stone and it took me a year to get it back and not all. The only answer is to try to get back to normal asap by exercising as much as possible which will help your appetite to return although in my case I never actually feel hungry anymore. Muscle loss is a major factor post op and the older you are the harder and longer it takes. Keep working as hard as you can and dont let it beat you..

As I was very fit before my op, I was not offered any long term physio as I think they new I would not stop walking and sailing and working on my car. The best physio is to carry on as before. The only physio post op in hospital was deep breathing to unpeel a lung after deflation.

Basically it takes time to recover as all the various ops are big..Dont give in!


You can get long term physio - some GPs have referral schemes (6 weeks) with local physios. I would strongly recommend it. As others have mentioned, long term inactivity tends to shrink the muscles and causes general aches and pains as well as the need one has to get the cut muscles back into full operation. Start slowly and build up.

Can I also recommend massage. A great way to get feeling back into those muscles esp upper body. Some places offer this service for free otherwise its private I'm afraid.

After physio, try the local gym. They are often sympathetic to our predicament and will put you on an easy regime. Gentle exercise does help the body repair.

Good luck


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