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On 11/21/2006 Neighbor wrote:

Can you e:mail me with information about the therapist you are seeing? Thanks.

Hi

My therapist is in Sydney Australia. 

 

On 11/21/2006 Neighbor wrote:

Can you e:mail me with information about the therapist you are seeing? Thanks.

My therapist is in Sydney, Australia.

Dear fellow pmps sufferers I too have been experiencing horrendous pain after breast surgery – postmastectomy pain syndrome is the diagnosis, and it’s been a long search to find someone who can treat it. The pain is debilitating and feels like someone has taken a knife to my chest and shoved a sharp blade up under my arm. It developed about 8 weeks after mastectomy and has continued unabated. The only time I get relief from it is when I go to bed and don’t move - once I move any part of me the pain is there. The pain extends across my chest right down my arm to my wrist, and I am also hypersensitive to touch. I have been to numerous doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists. Because I had not much movement in my arm, the initial diagnosis by the physiotherapists of my condition was frozen shoulder. I received treatment and pain medication for a frozen shoulder condition for quite some time without any improvement. The diagnosis has since proved to be incorrect. I had the mastectomy in September, 2003, and it wasn’t until February this year after searching for answers that I found someone who understood the symptoms I was presenting and was able to treat this condition. While I do have to travel quite a distance to access treatment it is worth it because I didn’t know how I was going to live the rest of my life in this state of pain. In the four months since treatment began, I have been able to stop taking Neurontin which is one of the main drugs and reduce Endep being used for my nerve pain. They were drugs that did not take the pain away, but at least took the edge off it, and made it a bit more bearable. I’m now able to move a lot better and my sensitivity to touch has improved incredibly. My chest used to feel like it was set in concrete. The person I found to treat me is a physiotherapist who specialises in treating postmastectomy pain syndrome patients. She is currently doing a PhD thesis on the treatment of this condition. Because I have to travel a long way for treatment I only see her once a month and she gives me a very precise programme of massage and exercises to perform daily. Because I’d been suffering for such a long time prior to receiving the correct type of treatment, it was difficult for me to believe that I could be helped. I have been extremely diligent in doing exactly what she has advised me to do in between consultations and I have to say that my pain has decreased about 50% in the past four months. Although I may have some degree of this problem for the rest of my life, the improvement achieved so far is significant and my life is so much better already. The continuing progress gives me hope that by Christmas I may have a tolerable level of pain without meds. The process is slow and painful, but it is worth it and I have so much more movement in my arm as well. My physiotherapist has explained to me that muscle and nerves in the area have been damaged by both the surgery and the radiation and the whole area is ‘pulling’ tightly. The therapy I am receiving is designed to progressively ‘release’ the tightening in order for the pain to decrease. My hopes are now high for a substantial improvement and I feel that the problem doesn’t just go away with the passage of time. Based on my experience, it is important to seek treatment that can have immediate effect. Unfortunately, medical practitioners in the area where I live did not seem to know how to recognise or treat this condition in a severe form as they just don’t see it - only a small amount of patients present with this problem to the degree that I have it. I understand that possibly up to 30 percent of patients are affected to some degree after breast surgery. The good news is that there is help for this condition out there, you just have to find the right practitioner who knows exactly how to treat it.
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