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Bone/joint stiffness since finishing chemo

1trublonde's picture
1trublonde
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi,
Is this just me,? or is bone and joint stiffness part of post chemo changes???? I hadn't really thought about it until my sister in law asked me if I was having any problems. She'd seen something on TV somewhere and wanted my take on it. I guess I'm more focused on it now that someone else is aware of it. I find my lower back really stiff and achey, also my hips...I'm not sure if MORE exercise is what is needed, or should I use the glucosamine/chondroitin supplements??? Any thoughts? :-)
Love to everyone.....Jules xoxoox

Lauracec's picture
Lauracec
Posts: 101
Joined: Jul 2008

It is most likely from Chemo. I know it took me a few weeks after chemo ended to get real sore. all the steroids they give you can mask the pain somewhat and I over did big time for a few weeks and am just starting to get feeling a lot better . so next time I will definantly get back into things a little slower. I know walking helped me with the fatigue from it all. also after some good walking when your muscles are still warmed up a little I found it helpful to sit and then gently lay back on one of those huge excersise balls to stretch. Laura

newhopechurchli's picture
newhopechurchli
Posts: 127
Joined: Oct 2008

a year later. I also wanted to know if anyone experienced this because it is not only back stiffness - but I have severe pain in my legs all the time. sometimes I find it hard to walk when I first get up in the morning. Anyone else?

softD's picture
softD
Posts: 71
Joined: Dec 2008

Yes, I too have a lot of pain and stiffness especially when I first get up in the morning. It also takes me a while to get going if I have been resting, or sitting (like in the car) for any length of time.I finished chemo last October and thought this was the cause, but it has also been suggested to me that it could be from the 'instant' menopause? I'll be interested to see if anyone else has heard this, but I still blame the chemo!
Take care, Carolyn x

1trublonde's picture
1trublonde
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2009

My legs and feet are stiff first thing, but for me it soon resolves....the most uncomfortable for me is the constant low back stiffness/ache. It is not debilitating, just VERY annoying. Are your labs ok, sometimes if our electrolytes are out of balance we may experience leg discomfort. Do you have restless leg syndrome?? and if you have chronic back pain/problems sometimes the sciatic nerve, which runs down the legs, can be REALLY uncomfortable. Just some thoughts, hope they don't give you more to think about!!! Love Jules xoox

mopar
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2003

Yes, could be all of the above. But no matter what the cause I highly recommend some exercise and the supplements wouldn't hurt, either. Of course, if it is menopause related, I don't think they'll be giving you any estrogen. I know I certainly can't have any.

I've been working with weight-bearing exercises such as weight training, rebounding, etc. That will help to keep the bones healthy and strong. I don't recommend running, etc., as it puts stress on the joints and spine, something you don't need right now. Whatever you decide to do, just take it easy at first. A little each day will be more than you did the day before. And before you know it, you will have a routine and will reap the benefits.

You might want to try to stretch, usually at night before bed is a good time because it's very relaxing. That will keep the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the bones flexible, which can also help with pain. Are you taking a calcium supplement? The one I take has boron and Vitamin D, as well as the cal/mag.

Take care, and let us know how you're doing. Sending luv & hugs!

Monika

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Jules,

Yes indeed. If you type in aches and pains above you will see more info regarding all of us with aches and pains after chemo.

Calcium is important and exercise. It has been 7 months since my last chemo and I am still experiencing stiffness, lower back pain and joint pains.

Hopefully, "this too shall pass".

Libby

JanQ's picture
JanQ
Posts: 238
Joined: Jan 2004

I'm so sorry Jules, but yes that is another cruel side effect of chemo. I would do both the supplements and exercise. they always say exercise is best for your bones. Good luck, Jan

1trublonde's picture
1trublonde
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2009

Thankyou everyone for your words of support.....I wasn't sure if I was just going crazy. I will certainly start to do more stretching, as this is something I've always liked to do. I just thought it was the getting back to work and being on my feet kind of soreness, but hearing from you all reassures me that this is most likely just part of the process. I'd always considered myself fairly flexible and fit (average), and then I just figured that because my activity was somewhat decreased during treatment that it would just take time to sort itself out. However, I am hopeful that with some more time, and more exercise (yuk !!! ) it will improve.
Love to you all, I Really like this site !!!! :-) xoxooxox Jules xox

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

I think we all have had joint pain somewhere. My main place is left hip bone..so painful after I sit awhile that I can hardly walk!. When we go to the movies and get up to leave, I look like a 100 year old and it hurts until we get to the car a lot. My oncologist has put me on an anti-inflamatory full time. I have not had chemo since Sept. 2008. Saundra

ColleenN's picture
ColleenN
Posts: 73
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi!

I'm glad you posted this. I was beginning to get frustrated because I've been getting so achy everywhere. I thought at first it was due to getting use to going back to work a month after my last treatment, but it's been two months since then, and it's getting worse instead of better. I'm a nursing assistant at a nursing home, so it's a fairly physical job. Some days I can handle it, some days I have to go back to pain killers. I take supplements and do 1/2 hour of yoga every day before work. I feel better knowing that it's common, but not so hot knowing that it may last a long time! I am happy though to know that you're all there to chat with! Take care.

Colleen

1trublonde's picture
1trublonde
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2009

Yeah, I work in healthcare too and I'm on my feet all day, and lifting folks etc. The stretching from Yoga is wonderful. For me my right hip has been a problem but I am sure with patience it will get better. I am not good at Yoga, but I do love the feeling of things being stretched and relaxed. I wonder though, being upright all day and then standing a lot,can't be great. I went back to work about a month after my last chemo, but I didn't realise how tired I would get. But each week since has been an improvment.. This is such a great place to chat or write ones thoughts down, good to know none of us are alone.

Jules xoxo

dorion's picture
dorion
Posts: 187
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi Jules
Boy did you ask the million dollar question! YES yes and yes....although doctors will deny this til the cows come home for what reason I don't know, but that in itself scares me. After 6 months of no chemo I just realized lately that it's leveled off. but this was the bone of my contention for the longest while. Anyway I started my second round of chemo yesterday and now I'm on another tyrant that I just finished posting.....Wow who is that cutie with you?

It will get better Jules, it did for me, but I wonder if it will come back the second time around. Let you know in 6 months I guess.

Linda

1trublonde's picture
1trublonde
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2009

Linda....the cutie....is....my husband.....:-) I hope that with the second round you are not so uncomfortable. Its just another thing to add to the pile....I am almost 5 months out from my last chemo, and have to say things are a teeny bit better....except for a fall and I banged up my bottom......... bruised etc, but again, improving. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I've been at work.....and I get behind....anyway, it's always great to check in and see whats going on..
Lots a love, Jules xoxoxo

mpf80
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2009

I too am having muscle/joint pain. I had my last chemo (TCH) on Dec 4, 2008. I still get Herceptin every 3 weeks until August. Starting in Jan, I really made an effort to do 30 minutes of walking/biking most days. I had a little stiffness and shoulder pain off and on until Feb, when the pain came on almost at once, stopping any excercise. I have pain in my hands almost always. I also have pain in both arms, shoulders, hips, back and both legs. It seems to come and go from place to place and can range from a little stiffness to quite painful. The Doc says it's a classic case and that I should keep moving and take motrin. Something about protein building up.... Problem is that I just had tissue espanders put in and can't walk further than the mailbox for 2 weeks. I have noticed that the 800mg Motrin that I got for the expanders really helps for the muscle/joint pains.

I'm curious as to how long this is going to last, because I have registered to walk in the Breast Cancer 3day in August and I need to starting training. I would like any info on supplements etc that would help with inflammation. I can only take so much motrin before my stomach starts acting up.
Thaks,
Mary

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Another thing I have been thinking. Our bones and joints probably ache because of the destruction of our bone marrow cells. It takes a lot for our blood cells to recuperate from the destruction of chemo.

Love,
Libby

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Yep, I have taken different chemos and some cause worse bone pain then others but my back is stiff and achy and my hips. I have numbness in feet and left leg because of surgery but seems to ache at different times too. I take Advil and go on. Unfortuneatly its part of good old chemo.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

newhopechurchli's picture
newhopechurchli
Posts: 127
Joined: Oct 2008

I just got a laugh a few posts up when Dorion asks "Who's the cutie" See.... in the midst of all our aches and pains we still find time to think on good things :)
Just thought it was funny.... it gave me a chuckle!

arbor3's picture
arbor3
Posts: 105
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi

Yes the joint pain is always there. I am on my third round of chemo and every chemo round I have had joint pain, mostly in my knees and albows. when I am through with the round of chemo the pain slowly goes away. So for six months I feel good.

Dinora

JasonC
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2009

Okay, this is my first time to this site and I actually did a google search on bone-pain post chemo. I just finished my treatment in February (09), and I've been having bone ache in my hips and legs... of course, I'm still paranoid about reoccurence so my first reaction was it's back in my bones!!! Okay... I'm calm and backing away from the ledge now....

Thanks for the post! Glad to know there's a resource where I can see and talk to people who are going through the same things that I am.

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

My pain in my hip area was enough to have my gyn/onc give me a total bone scan last year and no cancer. It comes and goes there, there and over there! =)

Libby

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

My oncologist ordered an x-ray,bone scan and bone density because of my hip pain. All negative except for the density has dropped because of the anti estrogen pill. I am now on Foxamax and tolerating it very well like I did before OC. Saundra

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