Shoulder pain

Has anyone suffered with what I can only describe as something like a frozen shoulder. I am  6months post rads and never had this problem  before. My GP told me to take paracetamol  and ibuprofen  and gave me excersises to do for arthritis!  I can’t  lift my arm above my head and its the side i had my treatment  on. Is this normal? 

Hello Dollywood,
From my own experience, I do not think it is normal when you start to have problems raising your arm after BC treatment. I developed problems a month after completing my rads treatment. Severe pain in my shoulder joint when moving/raising my left arm (left breast BC). Rotation problems too. Couldn’t fasten my bra behind my back because of impaired rotation in left shoulder joint. Like you, I had never had anything like it before. The movement in my shoulder/arm deteriorated quite rapidly after rads and my breast surgeon diagnosed shoulder impingement. She referred me to a Physiotherapist via BCN. Subsequently confirmed as a frozen shoulder by physiotherapist.
GP gave me a steroid injection in my shoulder joint to relieve severe pain before starting physio. It took 18 weeks of physio and daily arm exercises to get ‘as near as’ normal movement back.
I live alone and have no family or close friends for support so it was a very difficult time for me having limited use of my left arm. Even getting dressed was a challenge.
To be honest, I wouldn’t wish a frozen shoulder on my worst enemy! It’s a long process getting it fixed.
If you are still concerned after seeing your GP, you might find it beneficial to contact your BCN to discuss the possibility of seeing a physiotherapist. Fixing a frozen shoulder with a qualified physiotherapist is the best solution.
Good luck!
M x
PS. I did the recommended exercises post rads but still ended up with a frozen shoulder!

I fininshed rads end of October last year and about a month ago developed stiffness and pain along collar bone and shoulder. Not quite the same as you as I had a frozen shoulder a few years ago and know how painful etc that is. I also had physio and steroid injectioon for that which took a long time but it did get better. I had my years surgical check yesterday and had my shoulder/neck area checked as I was worried about this. I was told that it was all ok and side effects from rads can take a long time to develop and that after pain is quite common in the breast, shoulder etc. Hope this helps.

Hi all,
Major shoulder pain currently. Just spoke to the Oncologist about yesterday. Talked about a shot and arthritis! I don’t know but painful!!! My radiation was the left side and this is on my right side. I stopped taking ibuprofen after it being in the news of increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Ugh!

Hi there, so glad I saw this link.

I am 7 months since FEC-T.

I am in so much pain in my shoulder, as you girls I cant fasten my bra or raise arm above my head, in fact I was trying to put a duvet cover on and tried shaking it on, forgetting about my shoulder, I nearly passed out, the pain was so bad. I am doing exersizes to get it going again.

I think I caused the problem when I had docataxel my joints hurt so much, when I was getting in and out of the chair or going up stairs I used my arms alot, I literally pulled myself around.

I just want to be me again, I look at people running or dancing and feel so envious, how long does it take to feel normal again.

Some one recommended swimming, what do you think.

Hope you are all well.


Hi ladies

just thought I would let you know my experience Im about a month post end of treatment had surgery chemo and rads I had pain in my surgery side shoulder and arm for a while whilst on chemo someone suggested swimming to me so I started towards the end of my chemo slowly at first just a leisurely swim 20mins then built it up to 3 times a week and after a few weeks the pain had dissappeard ive since carried on swimming and added in other exercise but nothing to strenuous for my arms I hadn’t thought anything of it until I went away for 10 days and didnt do any swimming and the pain started coming back so back from holiday and back to swimming the pain has gone again so I DEFINITELY would recommend it if you have issues with shoulder etc obviously check with gp but my consultant couldn’t agree more that it helps so much

hope that helps a bit
nat xx

Hi, I am currently having physiotherapy for my shoulder. Got a bit lazy with the hospital exercises and thought I was ok. Then because they couldn’t contact me from the hospital without leaving a message, I got an appt through for physio. How glad I am. If I’d have spoke to them on the phone, I would have said I was fine. I’m having extra exercises and massage. Will be on my third appointment next week and it has made a lot of difference. I’m told that the whole shoulder becomes unstable when muscles not used properly, so can cause lots of problems, so it needs to be addressed. Get as much help as you can. Xxx

Hi Girls I dont expect anyone to pick up this post as it’s been a few weeks since someone has posted but just wanted to give a bit of light at the end of the tunnel moment . I’m into my sixth year now and it has at times felt as though it would never end - you know , one thing after another. This shoulder pain is a real nightmare , painful , exhausting and deeply depressing. However please hang in there - well lets be honest we dont have much choice do we :slight_smile: Finally this pain has gone , yes I can now do up my bra and stretch to get stuff of top shelves and the secret is keep stretching , but dont overdo it , keep taking the painkillers when you need to and dont stay in one position for too long. It will go eventually, not tomorrow or next week - its a bit of a long haul but lets face it thats what we do best . I get it a bit in bed at night still but I suspect I’m much older than you young chickens so looking positivly your younger, fitter ( yes you are) than me so upward and onward you all go ( hey even played tennis the other day :)  something I never thought I’d do again . But I know how demoralised you all feel after all you have all been though It just isnt fair is it.


Now for Anastrozole for all you who are struggling through its side effects - yes it 's a real @*% in every way.

But again hang in there - it does get easier no i’m not going to say the joint pain goes but whether we get used to it or the joint pain receeds with use who knows but it’ss not so bad the further you get into it . Go on pampering yourselves and good luck I’ll be thinking of you all as you continue on this journey.