Physical Therapy Challenges in Head and Neck Cancer

  • Dwight Baldoman
  • Ron Vandenbrink
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 174)


Treatment sequelae such as trismus, shoulder dysfunction syndrome resulting from spinal accessory nerve palsy, and radiotherapy-induced neck fibrosis are often overlooked when in the management of head and neck cancer patients. This chapter examines these underappreciated issues and their corresponding physical therapy intervention based on current evidence. Head and neck cancer survivors must contend with these disabilities for years after treatment has been concluded. A few quit their jobs which puts a tremendous burden on them and their families with a diminished quality of life. The physical rehabilitative needs of head and neck cancer patients and useful interventions to help meet them are addressed.


Radiotherapy-induced trismus CNXI/Spinal accessory nerve palsy Radiotherapy-induced fibrosis Physical therapy Prehabilitation Survivorship Shoulder dysfunction syndrome Jaw-mobilizing device Neck stiffness Rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cedar Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.City of Hope Cancer CenterDuarteUSA

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