Massage technique for cording?

I had MX and recon in October and ANC 10 days ago but have now developed cording. I know stretching exercises will help, but can anyone describe a massage technique that would help too please? My partner had a go last night but then we both got a bit worried that it might lead to lymphoedema if done incorrectly. Thanks. xx

Hello Aroha

Whilst waiting for replies maybe you would like to give our helpline a call on 0808 800 6000 or use our ‘Ask the Nurse’ service 

for advice on cording.

best wishes

June, moderator



I used to massage my arm also but didn’t have a parcular technique. I also used a wheat bag and hot water bottle as I had read previously they could reduce cording. 3 years post chemo, I can only see my cording in certain lights.


Good luck





I developed cording within a week of mx and snb in September. I was doing stretching exercises 3times a day, which improved the cording, but have since been referred to a physio. I go once a fortnight and she massages my whole arm towards the heart, spending more time on the cording area which is mainly in my armpit running down the underneath of my arm towards my elbow. I am still doing the exercises and it is improving slowly. The physio uses quite a lot of pressure but always works up my arm towards my heart.
Hope this helps.

Hi, I had quite a lot of cording after auxillary node clearance. The cords ran right down to my wrist. I had physio weekly for about 12 sessions. The physio massaged my arm and sometimes the cords cracked and disappeared,(it didn’t hurt!). I am now 10 months on and all cords have gone. I highly recommend you buy some Bio oil and massage with that and get your Dr to refer you to a Physio who has experience with treating cording. (I took the Bio oil for the physio to use also). I hope this helps!


I was told not to apply heat to my bad arm because of lymphodema risk. Applying pressure to the cording helps.