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Shoulder pain with radiation
19 Posts
Hi everyone, I finished my first week of radiation on breast and lymph nodes and have pretty severe pain in my shoulder, arm and neck. I was doing the exercises before I began in the hope to avoid this problem. I'm not sure if I overstretched or if it's from the position during treatment.
Just to add I am a healthy 52 year old with good mobility, although I have arthritis in my neck..
Any suggestions are helpful?
5 Replies

@ValP2022 I'm sorry to hear about your pain. I didn't experience what you are experiencing. I did exercises after my mastectomy but never did any as part of radiation. I have to say that was in 2011 so maybe things have changed.

As for the cause, I wouldn't want to guess the cause and suggest any treatments. If you are getting treatments daily this would be something to discuss with the technicians. It would also be something to mention to your oncologist. If you were given a phone number to call outside regular hours I would make the call.

Since I'm not a doctor I wouldn't want to suggest anything that could make matters worse.

I don't know if maybe @Essjay might have any suggestions to help.


2050 Posts

@ValP2022 I’m sorry you are in pain - do tell the techs next time you go and they’ll try and make it more comfortable for you.

I had terrible neuropathy in my hands that made it almost impossible to hold the bar - they propped my arms up in the right position with foam. I also had a labral tear in my shoulder from surgery - limited my movement on my surgery side so again, pads and props helped. They need you to be comfortable so you can cope with the session, especially if you have to do the deep breath holds.

How is the shoulder and neck today?

19 Posts

@cancertakesflight thank you

I am hoping it eases off over the weekend but will ask next week if it continues.

19 Posts

@Essjay it is a little better today

6 Posts

I too have just passed 5 days of radiotherapy for my right breast and lymph nodes (under armpit area) and I have 10 more to go. My pain in the left shoulder and neck keeps me up at night. I did speak to the technician and she tells me that it is normal and to take Tylenol. I do have a doctor's appointment next Thursday and I hope she will provide more helpful info about pain management. At the moment I am taking left over Dilaudid (which was prescribed to me for after surgery pain). I will get back to you if I get more info. Hang in there.

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