All Topics → Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy → Topic: Bi-lat mastectomy & upper back pain?
Posted on: Jul 16, 2007 05:26PM
Chelee wrote:For those women that have had a bi-lat mastectomy are any of you having pretty bad upper back pain?
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Posts 1 - 18 (18 total)
Jul 17, 2007 12:26PM Erica wrote:Chelee,
Jul 17, 2007 02:22PM caaclark wrote:Chelee,
Jul 17, 2007 02:49PM beth1225 wrote:Chelee,
Jul 17, 2007 04:30PM wallycat wrote:I am going for Physical Therapy on Monday because I have shoulder pain on my left side. I don't know if it is mis-use of the left side after surgery, an old weight lifting injury, a combination of the above with Tamoxifen, which people say causes joint pain (I've had no other symptoms from it, which worries me), or I too worried about mets. My surgeon (who I trust and adore) and my oncologist both sort of chortled when I even asked. They said we need some time to heal.
May 22, 2008 10:00AM Blessed40 wrote:
I am a breast cancer survivor with upper middle back pain between the shoulder blades. Had partial mast in 2006 and developed breast cancer in the other breast and had the mastect again. Developed upper middle back pain a little before the first mastect. I can relate to all of you. I too, am concerned however I know that my posture was altered considerably after having this. I used to have quite large breasts and feel that my balance has been thrown off with this thing. I go to the doctor on the 27th and will definitely express my concerns regarding this. At this point it's just aggravating. I'll let everyone know how it turned out.
Feb 20, 2012 08:04PM Mesheyl85 wrote:
Hello.. I too am currently experiencing upper back pain. I was diagnosed in April 2009, had my 1st mastectomy in Nov09, my second mastectomy in Nov2010, and I've had radiation and chemo. I'm not sure why my back is sore and I do get mild pain around the scar area. I'm hoping it's because my body is adjusting to not having breasts or my posture. I'm going to take up yoga and see my doc and try physical therapy. It could also be the way I sleep or my bed just sucks. Anyways, I hope it goes away as its intermittent right now. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you... ..-Mesheyl
Mar 1, 2013 03:10PM - edited Mar 1, 2013 03:19PM by HappyHanh
I know this post is from 2007 but unfortunately, I know many more women will continue to ask this question as they too embark on this part of the journey. Thus, I'm posting my experience to see if it will be of help for those seeking information on timing, onset and possible solutions. I had a bi-lat. mx in May 2011, the severe upper back pain started in Nov 2012 (after chemo, 1 yr of Herceptin treatment and all the reconstructuve surgeries completed). The pain is very similar to those described by others on this post. It originates behind my left shoulder blade (this is where the largest tumor was removed), travels between the blades up towards my neck. It starts out as a sharp pain that is tolerable for me (of note, I have a high pain tolerance) but if left untreated, my entire back starts to hurt and spasm (due to compensation from other parts of my back). Like many of you, I automatically assumed the worse and asked my oncologist to order a chest CT, X-ray and bone scan. All came back negative. I saw a Physical therapist and a chiropractor. Both seemed to help with pain management but the source of the problem is still there as I still have flare ups. With pain medication and muscle relaxers, you can manage the pain as well and hope that it goes away. However, I've had enough flare ups to know that I need to get at the root of the problem. I'm currently seeking help from a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) to find a permanent solution. They are trained in osteopathic manipulation techniques that can either resolve the scar tissue that is causing the misalignment of my ribs or they can pop your ribs back in place when it does happen to circumvent the downstream impacts like chronic back pain and muscle spasms (which not all chiropractors are trained to do). I will re-post to give an update once I've explored a couple of options. Good luck ladies and if you've successfully found a solution, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you=)
Apr 6, 2013 08:43PM Alynne61 wrote:
Thanks, Happy, for posting... I never had mid upper back pain... but lots of pain in neck, shoulders, etc. started after left mastectomy in 1990 and continued after right mastectomy 2 years ago. at this point, having been checked out and there is no cancer anywhere... I do yoga, stretching, see a chiropractor, and get an occasional massage. I think nobody ever realizes what surgery does to your body. after all, the surgeon must manipulate tissues and nerves, remove lymph nodes and interrupt normal lymph pathways, etc.
Apr 8, 2013 03:09AM Momine wrote:
Happy, I do not have what you describe, but the back edge of my armpit feels a bit funky, numb, tingly etc. The other day I was lightly massaging the area and there was one spot that was downright painful when pressed, like a muscle pain. So I started pressing and poking it, and when pressed a certain way, it triggered a very sharp pain near my spine, similar to what you describe. I am thinking it must be, as others have said, from nerves getting cut and rearranged.
I find that regular exercise, including some light weight work, is the only thing that keeps my back and shoulders relatively pain free.
Nov 19, 2013 12:13PM PeytonsMommy wrote:
Happy, do you have an update for us? I experience similar pain in my back & shoulder. My dr has ordered xrays & bone scans - all negative. I see a PT up to 3x/week & manage the flareups with painkillers/muscle relaxers as well. I would prefer to get to the root of my problem. I had a bi-lateral mastectomy in Oct 2012 with immediate reconstruction, then 6 rounds of C/T, then implants in May 2013. My PT & Chiro have both mentioned several times that my ribs always seem to mis-aligned/popped out.
Oct 23, 2015 05:32PM Elizabethgrizmer wrote:
I had a bilateral mastectomy in may. Had radiation July thru august. I've been under going reconstruction since then. Once I hit 500cc in the expander I have had a hard time breathing and the back pain in unbearable. Only on radiated side. Percocet and muscle relaxers not helping. I feel like going crazy. I can't sleep. What did you do
Nov 6, 2015 10:07PM Moderators wrote:
Welcome to BCO! We hope you find your time here to be supportive and informative.
You may want to head over to our Reconstruction forum. This is an old thread, so you likely won't get a response here, but if you're wondering about back pain after recon (in reference to Elizabeth's post above yours), you'll definitely get some answer in the recon forum!
Jul 2, 2016 12:14PM Clairinda wrote:
I am here because I have recurring back pain after my mastectomy for stage 2, ER+ PR+ (no nodes). I had my surgery 7 months ago and they used my tummy tissue to reconstruct my breast. While my back is ok during the day it is extremely stiff and painful in bed, especially when I turn over. I always worry in case it is something more sinister but I suspect everything stiffens up after surgery. Always a worry though.
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