Does Your Shoulder Hurt After A Mastectomy? How To Check For Frozen Shoulder Symptoms


After you've had your mastectomy, you're bound to have a little post-operation discomfort as you heal. However, if your shoulder has become stiff, you may actually have developed frozen shoulder. Read on to learn more about what this condition is, how to check for symptoms, and how to treat it.

What Is It Exactly?

After your mastectomy, adhesions and scar tissue will develop at the operation site. And if you aren't particularly active, this scar tissue can cause a "frozen shoulder" where you lose much of your range of motion.

While "frozen shoulder" is the catch-all term for lots of immobility issues, it could eventually develop into adhesive capsulitis, where your shoulder capsule's joint becomes inflamed and painful. So, if you are experiencing any symptoms of tightness or pain in your shoulder, you'll want to get it checked out before it escalates.

How Can I Self-Diagnose It?

If you still aren't quite sure whether you're just achy or there is a deeper problem, you may want to try a quick test. First, stand up and let your arms dangle at your sides with palms facing your thighs. Raise the shoulder that doesn't hurt up sideways—with the palm still facing your thigh—and see how high it can go (your arm will probably touch your ear). Try the same with the arm that aches; and make sure as you raise it, the arm doesn't pull forward. If you cannot raise it without pain or stiffness, that could be a sign of frozen shoulder. Two other tests include:

  • Reaching behind your head to scratch your back. If you can't reach back, the issue could be in your subscapularis muscle
  • Holding your hands up in a "surrender position." If you can't do that, you may have issues with your scapula and muscles that abduct.

In short, you should go with your gut and your knowledge of how flexible you are. It's better to see a doctor and be safe rather than sorry.

I Think I Have Frozen Shoulder Syndrome—What Now?

Although it may seem counter-intuitive to start moving a shoulder that is hurting or stiff, many treatments focus on breaking up the scar tissue and getting back to proper range of motion. You'll want to talk with a chiropractor. He or she may perform one or a combination of physical therapy, massage therapy, or chiropractic adjustments. If your shoulder has developed severe adhesive capsulitis, your chiropractor may recommend manipulation under anesthesia. Manipulation under anesthesia is a great alternative to surgery because a physician can break up the scar tissue with intense stretches while you're under anesthetic—and you won't have to go under the knife! Lastly, a chiropractor may prescribe corticosteriods to help with any pain as you work through range-of-motion exercises.

Talk with a chiropractor today for more details about how you can fix your frozen shoulder so that you can focus on recovering from your mastectomy.


16 June 2015

the benefits of chiropractic care

Do you spend a lot of time in your car or at an office desk? Are you constantly uncomfortable because you feel pain in your neck, hips or back? If so, it may be time for you to visit a chiropractor for an adjustment. I had struggled with back and hip pain for years before I even thought to go to a chiropractor. I had no idea how a chiropractor could actually help me. If you experience any kind of pain, you could benefit greatly from going to a chiropractor for an adjustment. You can learn what I learned about the benefits of chiropractic care by visiting my website.