Nerve pain

I had my lumpectomy 5 and a half weeks ago. I was fine and getting back to everything when I developed some pain a little below my SNB wound. It started spreading under my arm and along the back of my shoulder blade. After talking to a breast care nurse I was advised it was nerve pain. 

I have managed to get some pain killers specific for the pain from my GP. 

But what no-one can tell me is how long it will take for the nerves to settle and the pain to go away.

I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this and how long it took for the pain to stop. 


I’m afraid it’s like the proverbial length of string. We’re all different. We respond to pain differently but also no one (?) can tell what nerves have been severed and which will heal. I have Pregabalin for neuropathic pain along the breast muscle but that was exacerbated by chemo and radiotherapy, in 2019. The pain depends on how conscientious I am about doing my exercises. It’s essential to keep the breast muscles flexible by continuing with the breast exercises, despite the pain, and moisturising the scar daily (the massage may help the muscle too). Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but remember, you may be someone whose nerves heal. I’m not. Better than cancer though?

Fingers crossed xx

I got more of a tingling sensation when my nerves `came back to life’!  Lasted on and off about 6 months and still get the odd twinge after 2 years.  Hopefully the sensation and pain won’t last too long.  Good luck with your recovery.

I had lumpectomy 38 days ago. I have a scar below the armpit, so that will be a node biopsy I guess. The cut for the lumpectomy is on the upper areola. The lump was tiny apparently and picked up on a regular mammogram.

The pain I experience is on the outer side of my breast mostly. The lowest pain is a burning-type pain, which I would gauge at a 3 and is continuous. The stabbing-type pain is at a 7-8 for me I would say. For this pain I am taking 2x paracetamol 4x daily and codeine at night so I can sleep. 

I have read some research and it seems it is neuropathic pain and is more likely in people who already have nerve pain, which I do as diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
Of course it is better than cancer, but daily pain is something that effects life and how we live it (work, activities, family, wellbeing etc).  So I intend to speak about my pain to the GP if it is still there once the radiotherapy is over and I feel I should be on the mend. I have read a physio can help, so perhaps look into that.

Of use be this leaflet about chronic pain after breast cancer by PainConcern UK