Is this cording?

Who should I tell?
I’ve had a bruised feeling under my left boob for the past 2 or 3 days but put it down to wearing more normal bras as I’m out and about more as I’m feeling better.
This morning in the shower I reached up to scrub under my arm as you do and felt a dreadful stabbing pain I could feel what I can only describe as a tendon UNDER my boob stretching right down to below my ribs. With my arm up it was tight and obvious, with my arm down it just felt like a bruise.
Keeping my arm up and lifting my boob gently I massaged it with body lotion which seemed to ease it. As I was doing it I felt a twang, like an elastic band going and the thing disappeared along with the pain. Weird or what?
I broke a cardinal sin and Googled and it sounds like cording. Anyone got any experience?



You may find the information about cording in our ‘Your operation and recovery’ publication useful to read:

Best wishes


Does sound like cording MMM, but check with your BCN if you are worried. Try to do the exercises gently. It does resolve eventually but hurts like crazy, doesn’t it?

hi mmm
yes it sounds like it, mine is more down my arm though, like a guitar string kind of feeling, ive also had the pain under breast area of mastectomy scar. not nice but i believe gentle stretching eases it.
angie xx

I agree sounds like cording, again mine is mainly down my arm but when I do my exercises I can feel it pulling under my breast around the scar, which I presume is all part of it! Blinking uncomfortable is what it is and sore so let’s hope the exercises work xx

Yep. Sounds like cording.
If you read the literature medics appear to think it is self limiting, although that may be because it is under-reported and women simply stop complaining about it after a while!

I discussed mine, by phone, with the physio at our lymphoedema clinic, and she advised stretching and gentle massage and mine does seem to have largely resolved now. It was starting to form down below my mastectomy as well as in my arm from the AND. She actually advised against strong massage that an over-enthusiastic physio might give, as she felt it can cause more pain, but there is anecdotal evidence that “snapping” the cords can bring relief too.

As a physio myself, my advice is stretch yourself into any direction that feels tight, and hold for at least 20 seconds, adding massage to the tight areas as you so. I usually stretch in the shower and massage with my body wash. Lying on the floor is a good place. I will sometimes lie on an exercise roll placed vertically up my spine and/or add trunk rotation for extra stretch. Or you can lie on the edge of your bed, so your arm can extend over the side …

When you stretch, any pain you have should not be increased by more than 2-3 pounts on the 10 point pain scale, I was instructed, or you risk causing more irritation and exacerbating the problem. If in doubt or needing help, try to see a physio who is experienced with lymphoedema/cording issues if possible!

Hi, I phoned my BCN yesterday about cording and she told me massage the area in my armpit quite forcefully until I had the " twang" and then the pain would go. Its sounds like you managed it first time! xxx

Thank you all for such helpful replies. Am at clinic later in the week so will get it confirmed. So many weird things happening to my poor old body in recent months.
Good luck to you all.