Frozen shoulder worry about lymphoedema

Hi - I was diagnosed today as having a frozen shoulder and given physio exercises (I am 5 months post mastectomy and 4 lymph nodes which were all clear). My question is will the frozen shoulder increase my risk of lymphoedema which I am trying my best to avoid!

Many thanks

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Hi. I’m sorry to hear about your shoulder. I don’t know the answer but I know that lack of movement can increase risk of lymphodema. Try to exercise the affected side as best you can, keep it moisturised and avoid infections of the skin on that arm. If you’ve got this far post surgery, hopefully you will be ok. I developed lymphodema within weeks and i have no frozen shoulder. Good luck x

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I had a frozen shoulder before my mastectomy and node removal as I broke my wrist in January and due to all this stress I completely neglected my physio so ended up with stiffness all down my side. My operation is on the same side so it feels the same pre and post op!!

I don’t think it means anything… lack of movement is the key problem. So just move it all … I’m doing the suggested exercises but also rolling my shoulders and raising my sore arm whilst out with the dog etc… also just picking up cups of tea etc to generally just use it as normally as I can. Psychologically this also helps me feel more normal so I’m going with that.

It takes a while to heal so tait easy but slow movement works. Also, consider a physio at some point who can help if it persists x

Thank you for replying bluesatsuma :heart:

Thanks Donna; Ive had one physio session and got another end of may and exercises to do 5 times a day along with pain killers. xxx

Hi joyousjen, I had surgery in August and September 2022; I have continued exercising since. I have developed a frozen shoulder as a result of an previous shoulder surgery and now tendons and ligaments have the potential of tightening up. My physio has given and continues to give me a variety of exercises to keep the joint supple, and prevent the tendons and ligaments from seizing up. I have not developed any lymphodemia. I also include Tteam - tellington touch exercises, developed by Moshe Feldenkrais - best if you google - circular movements around a clock face is a guide. Reiki and Magnotherapy. But have to be wary of NOT sleeping on that arm, only because the numbness scares me, but soon comes round.
I guess its like a lottery some develop it others dont, i wish you well, love and hugs Moonsox xxx

Thanks moondog that’s really helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to reply xxxxx

You have my sympathy. I’ve had trapped nerves on both shoulders / neck in the past and a rotator cuff injury on the opposite side to my surgery . I was worried because the rotator cuff injury was caused by a fall and though the worst of the injury was on the left I was jarred and sore and bruised all over which meant swelling on the right as well. I was initially helped by an Osteopath - if not for her I wouldn’t have been able to get my arms above my head for radiotherapy . Physio was helpful as well and I kept on with the post - surgery exercises as much as I could and took Ibuprofen for the pain and to help with swelling etc. and used heat patches as it was cold weather and I didn’t want it to seize up further. I bought a pregnancy pillow to help support my arms whilst sleeping which was difficult for a while . I’ve not had any problems with lymphoedema though my surgery was lumpectomy SNLB .

Just keep it moving as best / much as you can have your arm supported when you are sitting . Keep doing backwards shoulder rolls . A trick I was taught is to breathe out when you are doing the exercises as it makes the movement easier . You could speak to your BCN but my feeling is you will be ok. Xx

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Thanks Joanne! :heart: I meant to say I had mastectomy and snlb 4 nodes removed and 1 attached to breast tissue (all clear) so hoping lymphoedema will not raise it head!

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Hi Jen
My sympathies - frozen shoulder is awful. So I was having radiotherapy when I had mine. They considered morphine for the pain of lifting my arm. In the end I would freeze shoulder with ice before the sessions (25).
So once it was diagnosed. They offered surgery. I said no. Then I was given steroid injections ( bit painful but worth it). I did get oodemma in my breast.
Around the year and a half mark it suddenly disappeared. Still have some limitation of mobility. And you need to be careful with the other shoulder. As they said when one goes - often so does the other.
I did have pregablin - for nerve spasms - and that’s a weird drug. Wouldn’t recommend - if you can help it.
Really hope it goes sooner than mine!
Good luck Jen

I will body swerve pregabalin!! The exercises seem to be easing it a little so onwards and upwards! :+1::smiling_face_with_three_hearts: