Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Pain in the neck and shoulder area few months after radiation

Options

Hi,

Sometimes I feel pain in the neck area (supraclavicular) post radiation. I completed radiation 2 months back. Has anyone faced similar issue?

Comments

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
    edited December 2021
    Options

    Sure, that positioning is awful! I've got arthritis in my upper spine (plus everywhere else, lol) and I've had shoulder and more neck problems from it the last three years since radiation. I finally got a steroid shot just yesterday to get some relief. Hope it works since it will take a few more days to know. Since your radiation is more recent, you're also dealing with stretched-out muscles yet. See if your BS or PCP will send you to physical therapy.

  • lalbo
    lalbo Member Posts: 68
    edited December 2021
    Options

    My last radiation treatment was in August. I have random pains every once in a while. Right now, my underarm is "tight" and I have to stretch my arm straight up in the air to stretch it out. I also am still sore to the touch where they removed lymph nodes. Most of it I like to think of as the nerves responding after surgery. I hope you have relief soon!

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited December 2021
    Options

    I'm struggling too, I go to PT twice a week and try to get in for a massage once a week. I have received several cortisone shots since my BMX which help almost immediately. The most recent injection (November) has already started to wear off and I'm having a difficult time. PT wrote to the ortho yesterday and suggested an MRI. I'm not making any progress after almost a year of PT and radiation only made it worse.

    Lalbo, my underarm is so much more tighter after rads, stretching hasn't done much. It's so bothersome.

    Hoping you all find some relief soon.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,176
    edited December 2021
    Options

    Me too, MRI showed partial rotator cuff tear. Cortisone shots helped a lot.

  • lalbo
    lalbo Member Posts: 68
    edited December 2021
    Options

    I have also noticed lately, I cannot reach around behind my back like I used to. I have to pull my bra strap down to my right hand to be able to clasp it. I've not done anything strenuous to injure myself. I'd really like to not go to another doctor at this point in time.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
    edited December 2021
    Options

    I would suggest that you get a referral to see a trained, certified lymphadema PT specialist. Check out this site, which as created with lots of input from BCO members.

    http://www.stepup-speakout.org/


  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited December 2021
    Options

    Spookiesmom - glad the cortisone has helped.

    LaIbo - I couldn't reach behind my back either or even pull up my pants. My son had to help me, lol, (funny/not funny) PT didn't help, but the massages did. I go to the cancer clinic for my massages and the "massage therapist" is actually an oncology nurse, and has been trained in massaging bc patients. Since rads I've been struggling again. Luckily, in my case it's not lymphedema, at least not thus far; fingers crossed it stays that way. I honestly think that my muscles have atrophied and until I can get the strength to build those muscles back up it's going to be ongoing.

    I think getting checked for lymphedema is the way to start though.

  • mfrube58
    mfrube58 Member Posts: 7
    edited January 2022
    Options

    Check with a PT to see if you have Axillary Webbing. I thought that my shoulder was dislocated during the CT planning for radiation. Turns out it's linked to lymph node removal. It is extremely painful - I have had PT for 3 months and am just now not having constant pain. I have mild lymphedema. My PT is fantastic - what I cannot understand is why no one mentioned this as a possibility! When I told my Rad Onc that I though my shoulder was dislocated, he literally stepped back. No awareness of Axillary Webbing! Luckily my Oncologist understood and sent me to PT immediately. How is it possible that the MDs have no awareness of this?

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited January 2022
    Options

    mfrube58 - is webbing the same as cording? Sorry if it's dumb question. My ortho just scheduled me for an MRI for both shoulders as this pain is so intense and I'm so restricted in my movement.

  • mfrube58
    mfrube58 Member Posts: 7
    edited January 2022
    Options

    Yes, not sure why there are two names for it, but both axillary cording and axillary webbing are the same. I have been able to see an internal cord going from my armpit to my thumb.

    Good luck with the MRI!



  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
    edited January 2022
    Options

    mfrube58 - thanks. I had some major cording last year, I do have some now, especially in the underarm. Having it worked on has been painful since radiation, but my RO did inform that this could happen. However, never was cording mentioned by any of my other doctors or surgeons, not until I brought it up, and only because I learned about it on here and asked the questions. Thank goodness for this site.