Sore shoulder

I have lymphoedema in my left arm. Over the last few weeks I have noticed a pain in my shoulder. It’s not bad, more of an ache, and it seems to be a bit worse in the morning. Also, some movements cause a sharp pain. I’m not sure if this is connected to my lymphoedema or surgery or if it’s totally unconnected. Has anyone else had similar problems?

Hi Hatts,

Sorry to hear you are having this problem.

I’ve not had surgery, so can’t comment on the possibility of that. I have it in my right arm and did experience some pain in my shoulder. Now it’s more stiff than sore. Worth mentioning it to your medical team if you are concerned.

Take care


Could well be related to both the lymphoedema and surgery. Have a word with your bcn/surgeon and physio may be the way to go. I had it soon after surgery but it was picked up early and I got loads of physio and kinesio taping for over a year to help. I still get treatment for the lymphoedema and can get back to the physio if it seizes up again.

Hi Hatts,

I so sympathise with you, I am experiencing excactly the same thing.

I had my surgery eighteen months ago so Im sure its the lymphoedemia causing me problems. The pain I get extends from the top of my arm to my shoulder, and then like you certain movements cause sharp pain around this area causing limited movement.

I play golf and am also very besotted with my very heavy seven month old grandson, I am constantly picking him up just can`t leave him alone, so I think both these things contribute, but I am not prepared to give either up! I am off on holiday for a week next week so am going to have total rest and then if it persists I will see my b.c. nurse.
Take care,

Thanks for your comments. I have emailed my lymphoedema and BC nurses this morning to see if they have any ideas. I’ve never been very good at doing my lymphoedema exercises so that may be part of the problem! Will let you know what they say. x

Hi all

I too have been plagued by shoulder problems since surgery and rads.

As I understand it bc surgery and radiotherpay make us all more susceptible to arm, hand and shoulder problems, like carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow.

If you then factor in the extra weight of a swollen arm dragging on a weakened shoulder, then I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

It’s all such a crock, isn’t it?

Hope you get some help soon Hatts. For what it’s worth, I did gain some permanent improvement in my shoulders when I bought a cheap orthopaedic pillow.

X to all


I don’t have lymphodema but did have mastectomy and axillary clearance and have a lot of problems with my shoulder. To be fair I had some before the surgery but much worse now. I’m getting physio for this but I think it’s going to be a slow process. I can’t see it really ever being right again but hopefully better than it is now.

I hope you get some help with this.
take care
Elinda x

I’m interested in the sound of the orthopedic pillow Bahons2. Did you get any particular type. Have tried googling but there seem to be so many different ones!

Hi Hatts and everyone…

I ended up with an orthopaedic pillow this way…

A few years ago, I was seeing a McTimoney chiropractor for my bad back (and shoulder - only had one bad shoulder back then - those were the days) and she suggested that an orthopaedic pillow might help, but NOT to even think about buying one until I’d tried sleeping with a rolled-up towel (supporting the neck) under my pillowcase, in addition to a flattish pillow.

The rolled-up towel seemed to help a lot, so I bought a pair of cheap foam orthopaedic pillows (probably from a mail order catalogue…Damart? Sorry, it was a while back) and that’s what I use at home.

I wouldn’t say it’s a cure, but I don’t feel the same in the morning without it. I think it’s particularly good for necks, but also benefits shoulders.

Wouldn’t cost anything to try this out first, I suppose.

X to all


Why don’t you try for the orthopedic pillows.

orthopedic pillow
orthopedic pillows

Posted on behalf of new user Mary

I had chronic pain in my shoulder and found it quite hard to sleep. I kept tossing and turning during the night, and couldn’t sleep on my back. I found an orthopedic pillow on a site that helped.


Hi all, I finished my rads end of May and thought I was doing really well when I felt pains in my side and shoulder and in the breast. Underarm is slightly swollen and sore and movements of arm were sore in certain areas, arm is not swollen at least not visibly. Have now had some kine/physio and feels better, but I do still get the aching feeling in the back of arm and the shoulder and my neck. Was not advised to do any exercise after treatment and it all seems to have caught up with me.
Will try the rolled up towel support.
Am hot in the underarm and under bust area too so use a cold pack to cool it as anti-inflammatory medication has not helped. Can’t sleep on that side either. Oh dear just as I was putting it behind me!
Thanks XXXX