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Help - How long until Exercise stops Hurting???

Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
Hi to all
Prior to diagnosis (2015), treatment (chemo and rad) and hysterectomy (2016) I was exercising consistently and using a PT to try and shift weight and get healthier.  Well, I have finally run out of excuses and recently started again with a PT (up until now I have been very hit and miss with exercise - walking, water aerobics).  I was prepared for the pain of sore muscles but holy crap it feels way worse this time and so much longer for them to bounce back.  I am not doing anything ridiculous in the gym, mainly just using my own body weight doing movement type exercises.  I'm only 44 and feel like I am 74. I am still on Hercepting and Perjeta (and will be indefinately) plus Armidex which can make my joints feel a little stiff - does this affect the muscles as well???

Exercise is not my most favourite task so I need to know...... has anyone else experienced something similar when getting back into training.....and does it take a long time for it to become easier.  I don't want to give up, but it is really taking a strain on me both physically and mentally


  • brightspacebrightspace Member Posts: 390
    Hi kari  perhaps more gentle exercise due to your ongoing treatment,  others here will give their input and  recommend seeing a exercise psyiologist get dr gp to put you on treatment plan to reduce costs
    Good luck B
  • Fiona_BCNAFiona_BCNA Member Posts: 82

    Hi Kari_2015,

    My name if Fiona I am the Active and Well Officer at BCNA.

    Good on you for getting back into exercise and persisting even with muscle soreness. Although the benefits to exercise are great, there are some down sides, one of which can be muscle soreness. It sounds as though you have experienced exercise induced muscle pain before and are aware exercise can cause muscle pain especially if you haven’t done it for a while.  

    If the pain is severe and ongoing (more than 3-5 days), you may have pulled a muscle or tendon or even torn a ligament. In this situation, you’ll need to rest the affected body part as well as talk to a doctor or physiotherapist. Medical professionals can best assess the severity of an injury and suggest the most appropriate form of treatment.

    The muscle pain may also be a side effect of your treatment, the following breast cancer treatments may cause muscle pain:

    Bisphosphonates, medicines that are used to protect bones during breast cancer treatment, also may cause muscle pain and stiffness.

    Here are some things that may help ease your muscle pain:

    • Use warm compresses to help ease discomfort in a specific area.
    • Take warm baths to soothe all-over muscle pain.
    • Consider massage or acupuncture to relieve muscle aches.
    • Talk to your doctor about muscle relaxants to that may help ease your muscle pain.
    • Try to do strengthening and flexibility exercises. Yoga can help stretch and strengthen muscles. Make sure the exercise is at a mild to moderate level so you don’t make the muscle pain worse.
    • Keep a pain diary that records the severity of the pain, when and where the pain happens, and any pain medications you take. Write down as many details as you can. This will help your doctor find the best treatment for you.

    It may be best to seek a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist or speak with your GP if the pain persists. Your GP can set up a GP management plan or team care arrangement that can give you up to five allied health visits with Medicare rebates

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,407
    I finished my chemo treatment in August and was on herceptin until recently. I am amazed how sore I am after exercise and that is after just walking or aquafit. I was so weak after chemo I couldn't get off the floor and had managed to gain 20kg. I've had to work really hard recovering some fitness. I am nowhere near my starting fitness but getting there. (Still not doing gym or zumva much).  I have to back off some weeks due to soreness or fatigue and just walk or swim,   then when rested I try again. It's a tough recovery but I am determined to win
     It just might take more time than you hoped for.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,452
    Hey Kari!
    I  finished chemo in December 2015. I was so ill 4.5 months that exercise wasnt an option i in fact had to learn to walk again. Since November I have also been seeing an Exercise Physiologist as part of my income protection, what an eye opener! Its been amazing!! I highly recommend it to anyone to start from this point with one. She does not work with anyone still in treatment as she said apart from maybe some light walking its a time of healing. Even now, we are still building and its been about stretching the entire body and strengthening my core. AMAZING!!! I too am on Arimidex though my Oncologist is trialling me off it for 6 weeks as my side effects are still severe. I wanted to say what you will find is the reason behind how sore you are is Chemo and Arimidex together, I know because I too have battled this for 14 months now and only making slow inroads. The MUSCLE SORENESS is in fact because they are fatigued, the other reason is because Chemo shrinks the sheath across the muscles! causing pain....this is also causing cramps all over my body especially throughout my back, so the stretching is key in helping this. It is a super slow process and I think we forget what our bodies have been through, that it takes a long time to heal. Im 49 and feel 79 LOL its CRAP!!! Hope that helps! She did STRESS the worst thing post treatment to do is PUSH yourself as we would normally do when we exercise because the muscles fatigue so quickly by pushing through it takes so much longer to recover, the trick she said is a little bit at a time and increase slowly. Hugs!!! slowly but surely you will get there Melinda xo 
  • Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
    Thank you everyone, makes me feel so much more motivated already.  I had booked an appointment with exercise Physiologist but thought going to a PT would be enough (plus I am sooo over all the appointments!), but now I think I will rebook and do both.
    @Jane-Altona - good luck with the marathon, make sure you let us all know how you go.  Hopefully you will also enjoy a bit of a holiday at the same time.
  • TwiggyjumpsTwiggyjumps Member Posts: 116
    My glutes, lower back, hips and leg muscles are tight and sore also. Started about a week after I finished chemo. Still on Herceptin. Seeing an exercise physiologist tomorrow. :) 
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,407
    I still can't squat without agony. Something I need to work on still. 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,452
    Im 21 months post chemo as much work as i have done with my exercise physiologist it has helped so much. Like Kath im still in alot of pain with my lower back and left hip. Unfortunately its not changed squatting is painful still uuugh. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,644
    Hi Kari_2015,
    I finished active treatment in August 2016 (lumpectomy, chemo & radiation) & I am now on letrozole. Prior to the diagnosis I was very active (marathon runner, squash, gym). During the treatment I tried to keep running but by the end of chemo I was doing a few very short shuffles. As I started to feel better during radiation I put myself on a gym & running program being careful to start slow etc so as not to hurt myself. It was worse than coming back from an injury!!! Everything was so tight, I'd put on weight and I just felt really really bad. It took about 3 months before I felt sort of OK but not great. I was starting to get very upset as I was so used to finding running easy and fun. So I went to an excercise physiologist. She put me on a program for improving my balance, my core and stretching. She also suggested Pilates & yoga. It's worked but it has taken a long long time, only now in February 2017 am I starting to feel like the old me. So stick with it and maybe see an excercise physiologist (I think you can get a free visit through your GP, my private health covered mine). It is hard as we are now "well" but we are not back to normal and probably never will be but I'm going to give it a bl**dy good try! All the best, keep us posted, Jane
    Ps I have entered the Berlin Marathon 2017, don't care how fast I am but I'm going to cross that finish line and hopefully not blub too much :)

    Berlin Marathon 2017 - here's to a great experience!  Good luck!
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,644

    That is a great response above that you posted back in February - do you think it would be good to start a new post with that very information for those that are new to the site!
  • Fiona_BCNAFiona_BCNA Member Posts: 82
    Hi @iserbrown

    Thank you for your very helpful suggestion. You can see the new thread here http://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/17046/muscle-soreness-after-exercise#latest

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