Relief For Post Mastectomy Pain
As if having to go through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer isn’t enough those who are left with post mastectomy pain can find that they have never recovered their quality of life. Since the breast tissue is either gone or altered many of the traditional approaches to pain control are ineffective. And while there are plenty of pain management specialists out there most are focused on backs and necks, or chronic arm and leg pain. Few have taken an active interest in post mastectomy pain since the tools they usually employ are not directed to that part of the body. Also since breast cancer survivors typically want to celebrate life the idea of have a spinal cord stimulator, morphine pump, or getting hooked on opiates for pain control is just not appealing. They would rather find the root cause of the pain and do what ever can be done to fix it, minimize it, and learn to live with it so that it does not control their life. That is exactly what we do at Piedmont Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, PA. First we find out why you have pain. Post mastectomy pain isn’t always from the mastectomy itself. It is often from reconstructive surgery, implants, radiation or side effects of chemotherapy. There may be associated nerve injury, muscle spasm or ligamentous strain. Clotting disorders, hidden or smoldering infection, and inflammation can all be part of the mix. Several diagnostic tools can be done to help determine which of these factors, alone or in combination, are contributing to the problem. Electrodiagnostics help find sensory and motor nerve damage, sympathetic skin response studies are used to evaluate the sympathetic nerves which are responsible for burning and weather sensitive pain, and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is a great tool to evaluate for muscle, tendon, or ligament damage that can refer pain into the chest wall and residual or reconstructed breast tissue. Breast Thermal imaging is another physiologic test that can be used as a breast risk health assessment to evaluate lymphatic and ductal congestion, hormone imbalance, neovascularity, and hepatic overload. In short there are plenty of ways to find out why you hurt. And once you know what is wrong there even more options to treat the root cause of the pain. Learn more at piedmontpmr.com.