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Muscle soreness after exercise

Hi everyone

Getting back into exercise or starting any sort of exercise for the first time after a breast cancer diagnosis can be challenging. Although the benefits to exercise are plentiful and very worthwhile, there can be some down sides, one of which can be muscle soreness. Exercise induced muscle pain is very common, all types of exercise can cause muscle pain especially if you haven’t done that particular type of exercise 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 are best suited to 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 rebate.

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