As my shoulder was getting stiff again I thoughtI'd look out the leaflet given to me by the physio whilst having rads.
It says "THese exercises should be done 3 to 4 times a day. You should continue to do them throughout your radiotherapy and for four months after your radiotherapy has finished. After this time continue with the exercises twice a day, gradually decreasing them to once a week over 12 months, then once a week indefinitely. Remember everyone is different and it is up to you to decide if you are still benefiting from them at this time. Occasionally you may experience some delayed tightening of the muscles that move your shoulder. if your shoulder becomes stiff then go back to doing the exercises several times each day. If you do not improve within two weeks then you should contact your GP."
One other tip she gave me was to do the exercise where you take your arm straight above your head in front of a mirror as it is easy to "cheat" ie do it with a slightly bent elbow which decreases the stretch and effectiveness.
So with that in mind I'm back to doing my exercises several times a day and have been for a swim. Shoulder still stiff but better than yesterday.
Sunshinevic Was told by physio that my original problem was cording so as well as the standard exercises have also got some connective tissue stretches (painful at first but effective and you do need a physio who will modify the exercises to stretch each bit of tightened connective tissue as the range of movement increases). if you want further details PM me and I'll find the google reference)
Hope you are managing to find the time to do the exercises. finished rads 7 months ago and developed severely restricted movement during and after. The physio now sees me oncew every two months and I can manage the decorating now. Do find that if I don't do my exercises at least once a day the movement becomes restricted but am now managing to lift at work.
Been to the physio today, she was great! after lots of questions and examining she said I have some cording and that radiotherapy has hardened tissue and affected muscles, so lots of painful exercises to do and see her again next week. Such a relief to have some idea of whats going on, must find time to do exercises lots before next wednesday, which wont be as easy now my 3 children are at home for Christmas hols!
Thanx for all your responses, always helps to know you are not alone with these problems.
I have still limited movement 19 months after my surgery and have been told that its as good as its gonna get. I went to a physio class and it was brilliant I can lift it so much more than I could before I went, but i have been told the rads have shrunk my skin.
Love to all
Hi everyone, I have just phoned my BC nurse cos my left arm is really aching, I had bilateral in July and finished rads in Sept, and its worse now than ever! She told me that my chest (where rads were could hurt/ache for months, and that if my left arm doesnt get any better in a month to go back and see them at the hospital. But she also said to keep up the excercises, but I am going to start to go swimming Judy - hopefully that may help!
My surgeon made a point last week of showing me the consent form that I had signed, warning me of possible shoulder weakness. He was very abrupt and defensive with me- perhaps they see this as a failure on their part, and are not wishing to acknowledge it as such.
Over the last week though my arm movement has improved. For at least 6 weeks of physio, I had only been able to achieve a 90 degree angle, when lifting my arm to the side. I was getting quite despondent about it, so experimented with some different exercises in the pool. Using the affected arm only I hung from the top edge of the pool, with my feet off the bottom, I then bounced myself gently up and down with that arm. I did this facing the wall, and side ways on. I stopped every 10 lengths and repeated this again. I have swum 7 out of the last 8 days. When I was measured again by the physio yesterday, I had increased my range of movement by 50 degrees. It could just be coincidence, but it seems to work for me.
Hope this helps,
I often think if they were truly honest about all the things they just gloss over and make it seem like everything will be just like before we'd run away screaming saying "nooooooooooo" rather than sit nodding obediently.
When they do decide to tell you possible horrid things they do it all in one go so you only hear bits (I am thinking of my mx and recon talk where I got so much gory detail I thought I was going to faint and had to sit with a glass of water thinking "shut up" but was told - we need to tell you this (because you might sue us if we don't).
We don't have the luxury of time to fully explore things at DX. If I had been thinking about a boob job I would have spent a lot of time researching different types, surgeons, etc rather than blindly nodding and signing on the dotted line 🙂
I too never even contemplated that my arm movement wouldn't return to 100% afterwards. I explained to them my job was at times physical and they didn't bat an eyelid.
I had my mast Mar 07. I still do some arm exercises every day. Some days I find my arm has more movement in it than others. I still don't have a full range of movement in it, compared with my other arm - not a lot of difference, but I can definitely stretch higher with my good arm. I assume after all this time, this is as good as it gets.
I do find it annoying that no-one warns you of this at the outset - it's all 'do your exercises and everything will be normal again'
I had a mastectomy and lymph node clearance 8 months ago and got my arm movement back to a good level through persevering with the exercises. I finished radiotherapy in July and about 3 weeks later my arm seized up and I couldn't move it. My oncologist said it was scar tissue from the radiotherapy and to start up the exercises again. My arm really hurts, some days it is worse than others and it still feels stiff and difficult to move. I just feel it is par for the course. But I can't help but feel that I will be doing the exercises for a long time yet.
Arm movement not improving and exercising seeming to get more painful. rang bc nurse and she is sending me to the physio nxt wk to be assessed, hope she can help! Will let you know sunshinevic after ive been nxt wk!
I had a WLE in September 2006, followed by lymph node clearance in the October. Since then, I have never stopped doing exercises. I took up yoga last year and I find the gentleness of the stretching is great for me. However, I do sometimes need help with putting big things like sheets and duvet covers out on the washing line. I'm still experiencing differing levels of nerve pain as well, it moves round to various places.
I had surgery and reconstruction in Feb, implant in April and then recently uplift on opposite breast. Prior to this surgery I had limited movement but with intensive physio got the movement back. Now have restiction again even though they operated on opposite breast. Seems worse this time. Can get my arm up without all my body pulling.
You tend to think you are the only one suffering but then when you read others have it to it seems to make it normal.... if that is possible.
Hope you get some help from your bc nurse.
Can you let me know as I was told mine could be cording............regards sunshinevic
Thanx for the reply, good to hear from you, I remember 'cyber chatting' with you before, possibly when we were having chemo? How are you doing? hope all is going well for you. Yes think I may have to ring bc nurse as thinking of going back to work, maybe feb, and not being able to lift my right arm properly will hinder me at times in my job!
good to hear from you
I haven't, but I'm still doing the exercises. Some areas have specialist physiotherapists to helpwith things like this, so I think it would be worth asking your bcn. Hope it improves soon
Just wondering if everyone has returned to normal arm movement after mast/lymph node clearance? Immediately after op I did exercices and got back to just about normal, so much so I stopped doing exercises!!! Anyway recently trying to decorate noticed I couldnt lift my up arm fully so started exercises again and still finding it difficult to lift arm up fully. i am persevering but wondering if other people have experienced similar problems?