Just a quickie - save me searching other categories! Over the last few days (maybe a week or two) I am having some real pain when I stretch my left arm (surgery side two years ago). It feels like there is a tight cord running down from my elbow - is this cording? If yes - what causes it, why two years post surgery, and what can I do about it? If no - do you have any ideas what it could be?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Hi Geraldine
It does sound like cording - mine was the same and even looked like and felt like a cord under the skin. Mine eased with physio - but I was also going through my radio at that time too so it could have been affected by that. Not sure how long after BC it can affect you - try contacting your BC for help and info

i had this two - few years after surgery and I did freqent and gentle strtching of the affected arm - over a couple og weeks and it worked - good luck! hope it gets better soon jayne

I think what Jayne says is probably the thing to do and also I have heard overarm swimming motions may help, but best ask your lymphodema nurse. Hope it eases soon.

HI Geraldine
i had terrible cording after my mast i did all the exercises given to me religiously but ended up in a lot of pain! i used to hang off door frames and get my partner to pull my arm to stretch it, this was before i found out about the risk of lymphodeama!!! which soon put a stop to that!!
in the end i mentioned it to my surgeon at one of my checkups and he said he could pop one for me, he said it would be very painful but would feel relief instantly, i stretched my arm up and he pressed really hard under my arm pit and i felt it go! it didnt hurt ( mind you had no feeling there anyway after lymph node clearance) and the feeling of release was brill! sounds a bit drastic i know! but i just carried on with all the stretching exercises and eventually the others i had developed eventually went as well
hope this is of some help??
lov Caz

Hi Geraldine,

I too am having the same problem, had my surgery nearly 4 years ago, I do suffer with mild lymphondemia, so am wearing my sleeve at moment to try and ease, I think mine has happened because I lifted something really heavy, which you should do, and also I normally swim 2/3 times a week but have got a new puppy and havent been for 6 weeks, so am going to go this afternoon. Have you had your arm checked for lymphodemia?



Thanks everyone. I’m at the hospital on Tuesday so I will ask for their advice - I will gently stretch between now and then.


Hi Gerry

Would certainly get your arm checked out. Have a physio at my oncology centre who is very keen on connective tissue stretching for cording and says it can be worse if there is a previous history of connective tissue injury. She also says it can recur if you have another injury (not necessarily the same area) If you google Willie Fowrie and tensegrity you should see a u tube video about this (i believe that there is also something on the chartered physios website).

Hope this is some help