Breast Cancer Awareness


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Shoulder function can be compromised following breast cancer treatment. Many women experience difficulty raising their arm(s) overhead after surgery and/or radiation treatment. Patients comment that the tissue feels “tight” on the front, back and on the rib cage. Scar tissue develops in these areas and the restriction can extend beyond the incision itself. Radiation and post-surgical swelling can also cause adhesion in the ligaments and soft tissue that allow the shoulder joint to move properly. What many patients don’t realize is that the scapula (shoulder blade) is frequently not moving correctly because of a resulting muscle imbalance. This imbalance of muscles that act on the shoulder can lead to shoulder impingement and eventually a Rotator Cuff tear.  If your shoulder “is not quite right” don’t ignore it and leave it to chance to get better. Physical therapy is often not prescribed because the person can lift their arm overhead, however, the quality of motion is very important to avoid future problems. If you want to learn more about it or have questions, call for a complimentary consultation.