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Stiff shoulder

LeiaLeia Member Posts: 39
Hi everyone, I’m probably impatient. I’m 6 months out from surgery, 4 months after radiation. My shoulder is still stiff and quite sore. I do my stretches, and no doubt it has improved somewhat. I’m just wondering if those of you further along than me have regained full ROM? 


  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,122
    Hi @Leia .... sorry to hear this.  A few of us currently have shoulder problems. :( 

    I am having an ultrasound on mine next week.  Possibly bursitis but I had a frozen shoulder nearly 20 years ago that severely affected my ROM - it was manipulated under local anaesthetic but the surgeon said it could recur. :(

    if you stand in  front of the mirror and hold your arms out (like a cross) .. are both shoulders/underarm the same shape?  With mine, the scapular was like a ‘wing’ that ‘came out’ as I raised my arms up!  :( I knew I needed professional help then! 

    Do you have a care plan with your GP?  You may be able to access subsidised physio ..... 

    all the best. Xx
  • LeiaLeia Member Posts: 39
    Thanks arpie. Sorry to hear of your shoulder problem. Hope it resolves soon for you!
    I saw a physio who specializes in breast surgery care and she drew up an exercise plan for me. My gp did a care plan for her. I’m thinking I may go back ‘full price’ , just for some advice. She didn’t think I’d need to see her again.
    Im at the stage, not sure if it’s from surgery, or radiation, or letrozole, or just age creeping up☹️
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,122
    It could be a mix of all three, sadly, @Leia .... I was mid 40s when it happened first time to my left shoulder.  So pretty lucky to get nearly 20 years out of the manipulation.  Then it happened about 8 years ago to my right shoulder as well, with rotator cuff & bicep tear as well as frozen shoulder, and that one needed arthroscopic surgery. 

    All good now, but I think the meds have mucked with it too, as it has also had an ultrasound in recent week!!  grrr

    It all just sucks, really :(
  • LeiaLeia Member Posts: 39
    Agreed! 😩
  • ddonddon Member Posts: 348
    I am 11 months post surgery, nearly 4 months post radiation and my shoulder, chest wall and axilla are tight and sore. They were all good prior to radiation. It’s worse first thing in the morning/ rolling in the night, but its much better by the end of the day with lots of use.  I think we just have to be patient 😊
  • Dory65Dory65 Member Posts: 323
    I'm at a similar stage as ddon. I try to get to weekly Body Balance classes, which is a hybrid of yoga, pilates and tai chi. It's helped enormously, however it's still sore and tight across the upper pectoral area. Strange, because my surgery took place in the axilla. It may be where the surgeon dug around for the sentinel node. Anyway, when I'm all warmed up, I have about 90% ROM. I'm still working on it.
  • LeiaLeia Member Posts: 39
    Thanks ddon and Dory65. It’s reassuring to know it’s just not me! I’ll hang in here and chip away at getting back more shoulder movement😊
  • Caz1Caz1 Bayside , Melbourne Member Posts: 373
    @Leia I am 5 months out from my surgery and rads.  Have resumed seeing my Lymphodena physio, who has given me really good stretches for shoulder and underarm.  Didn’t realise how tight I was until I went to her! Can recommend 
    Caz x
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,889
    It’s remarkable but tightness can return when you don’t expect it. I had a comparatively sudden bout of achiness a week or so ago. Stepping up my yoga and doing some more stretching exercises than normal
    has resolved it. But eight years on, it was a bit of a surprise. Possibly another of the bleeding ‘at your age’ manifestations! But at least this one can be easily fixed. 
  • LeiaLeia Member Posts: 39
    Oh no! 8 years!☹️ Are you still doing your stretches regularly?
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,889
    Yes, it’s a normal part of my exercise. But scar tissue is scar tissue, and it doesn’t take much to tighten things up. Possibly I just didn’t do the right stretches at the right time. A reminder to self that the body is a work in progress and that never taking it for granted is a good thing! 
  • LeiaLeia Member Posts: 39
    Reminder to me too, thanks!
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