Manage common side effects of multiple myeloma treatments with exercise. Decrease treatment side effects with a combination of home- based exercises, lifestyle changes, and your oncology team.

Multiple myeloma treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can cause a wide range of physical side effects. The types and severity can vary depending on your treatment plan, but the side effects can include:

  1. Fatigue (#1 treatment side effect)

  2. Weight loss

  3. Nausea and vomiting

  4. Fever

  5. Numbness or pain in hands and feet

  6. Diarrhea

Be sure to tell your oncologist if you are experiencing side effects from your treatment plan. They can prescribe medication to help ease some of the side effects. You also might find some of the following exercises and recommendations helpful:

Exercises (check out CERx website for additional exercise instruction):

  • Chair Squats: stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lower buttocks toward the chair without actually sitting down. Keep the knees over ankles and place weight in heels throughout the full range of motion. Placing arms out in front of you may help balance. Straighten body upright and repeat 3 sets of 12 reps.

  • Chair Push-up: Place hands on top of chair secured against a wall. Lean forward with elbows close to the body. Bend at elbows and lower chest to the chair. Push away from the chair until arms are extended with elbows slightly bent, repeat 3 sets of 12 reps. Be sure to keep a neutral spine and head facing forward.

  • Marching in place: standing upright, bring knee to the chest or as high as you can, and repeat, marching in place for 1-2 minute, repeat 3 sets.

Lifestyle changes:

  • Drink more H2O: Water will help with nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Plus you will need to replace the fluids lost during exercise. Of course avoid beverages high in caffeine and alcohol. Drinking water is especially important when performing physical activity. Start out with 12 oz. first thing in the morning.

  • Exercise: Physical activity will boost your energy level. Remember, exercise releases feel-good endorphins, better than drugs. There are too many benefits for exercise to list, bottom line it will make you feel better and decrease fatigue! A few exercises are listed above, check out our training plans if you need help.

  • Get plenty of rest: Rest and relaxation give your body a chance to recover. Take a short nap, around 10-12 min so you can still sleep well at night.

Be sure to talk with your nurse or doctor before starting any physical activity or training plan, to be sure you are ready.

Everyone is an individual and goes through their own individual journey. Make sure to talk to your nurse or doctor about your individual treatment plan. They may have other recommendations to potentially help with your treatment-related side effects. Let CERx know if we can help build your path to recovery through exercise.