Cancer Rehab Programme

Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehab

The Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehab is a personalised programme that is offered to women and men recovering from cancer surgery and related treatment. Vicky Hill is our qualified cancer rehab physio for Central Lakes Physio and is the only provider in the Wanaka area.

Being physically active after a cancer diagnosis can reduce cancer related death by up to 50%.  Exercise can also reduce the chance of recurrence by up to 35% and is the most effective treatment for the most common and debilitating side effects

(Ref: Cormie P, Zopf EM, Zhang X, Schmitz KH. The Impact of Exercise on Cancer Mortality, Recurrence, and Treatment-Related Adverse Effects, Epidemiol Rev. 2017 Jan 1;39(1):71-92)

The Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehab Programme is suitable after any type of cancer treatment and accommodates all fitness levels. The programme addresses the physical effects of chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. It can also help reduce the risks of treatment-related side effects such as lymphoedema, shoulder problems, scar tissue formation, fatigue, and weight gain.

What does the programme involve?

The programme consists of one on one sessions with a physiotherapist. Each session is designed to suit the needs of each participant on that day. The first session is one hour and will include a thorough assessment by Vicky. The following sessions will be half an hour. The programme is flexible so the therapist is able to provide the patient with a combination of treatments, including:

  • Manual physiotherapy release to tight tissues and joints
  • Pilates exercises to stretch, strengthen and improve range of motion in the body
  • Massage to relieve stiffness in the neck, back and shoulders and promote healthy scar tissue
  • Breathing techniques to help with relaxation and reduce stress levels
  • Personalised home exercise programmes to promote overall conditioning and to increase stamina for faster recovery

The Pinc and Steel Cancer Programme is formatted into 3 phases.   Clients can attend at any phase:

steel cancer rehab logo
  • Post-op Phase

    – Designed to assist in the healing process of clients who are recently post surgery or under-going treatments. To restore strength and flexibility to particular joints and muscle groups that have become weak and stiff as a result of surgery. It includes breathing techniques and gentle exercises modified to maximise recovery from surgery.

  • Recovery Phase

    – Designed to help improve energy levels and general well being during cancer treatments. It aims to help clients manage fatigue, restore post op flexibility and strength. In addition to focusing on stretching and strengthening exercises for the upper body, it also contains workouts for the lower limbs, abdominal strengthening and spinal stability.

  • Fitness Phase

    – Designed for overall conditioning and to increase stamina. Aims to improve fitness, strength and flexibility in order to increase endurance, elevate the metabolism andimprove muscle tone. It contains workouts for the upper and lower limbs, abdominal strengthening and spinal stability. Designed to motivate and encourage good exercise habits for life.

There is funding available on a means tested basis.   If funding is approved by the Pinc and Steel Trust treatment is free, otherwise private charges apply.

Please follow this link to find out more or apply for funding:

Pinc & Steel Website

cancer rehab wanaka


To be able to start a program of pro-actively healing my body with Vicky and her Steel Cancer Rehab program at Central Lakes Physiotherapy was the first step in regaining control over my life and health. 

Vicky was fantastic right from the start. She listened to what was important for me and what we needed to do to start on my pathway to regaining my fitness, health and general feeling of well-being.  The program was a combination of physio sessions and ‘home-work exercises and treatment’ that would help heal the scar tissue, nerve damage and mobility and use of my left shoulder.

The results and the process where fantastic.  My doctors and surgeons could not believe the softening of the scar tissue around my wound site.  The nerve pains and cording I was suffering earlier are now hardly recognisable with only a slight numbing sensation.  My shoulder mobility is quite astounding really with nearly full range of motion regained and I am now back kayaking!

What I liked about working with Vicky is that she listened and worked with me at my pace.  I am quite a driven person and Vicky enabled me to use this drive to positively work on the rehab process even when we chucked obstacles such as a broken arm in the way!

Patrick Harvey, Wanaka

“After having a shock diagnosis and told I had to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy for breast cancer I was introduced to Pinc Cancer Rehab by my GP.  I hadn’t quite completed all my treatment and was given a one on one  exercise program for several weeks  to help me with fatigue and  after surgery rehabilitation.  This amazing service was provided free from NZ Breast Cancer Foundation and was certainly a great part in the healing process….  It really helped me on the road to recovery and I really appreciated the opportunity and care given.  Thank-you for your amazing treatment Vicky.”

Lani Patterson, Wanaka


“Thank you for your help in reducing the pain that I experienced after breast surgery.  And for providing a program through my recovery stage to help me back into my normal fitness plan.  I will always be very grateful for the PINC  Program (giving Women with Cancer strength).  Your informed rehabilitation program individualised the right pathway for me to be able to function at much better levels.  This has allowed me to move forward, understanding the pain and working with you has been so positive.   I am feeling much stronger.”

Karen Black, Alexandra