• Has anyone else dealt with muscle stiffness and soreness after finishing chemo? I'm 2 months done and its no better.

    Asked by tmclean67 on Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Has anyone else dealt with muscle stiffness and soreness after finishing chemo? I'm 2 months done and its no better.

    I thought I needed more time to heal but now I'm wondering if its from 8 months of inactivity. I feel like an old lady when I stand up and hobble the first few steps.

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • Indyeastside's Avatar

      Yes, think its a pretty common badge of treatment. I am at the office visit follow-up stage and all joints complain daily, occasional muscle pain randomly. Not incapacitating but annoying. Ibuprofen 800mg us a good thing. Exercise regiment has definitely helped regain strength and mobility.

      Just part of life for me now. But still here praise God. Good luck.

      almost 5 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      Oh my gosh! Im not the only one lol. My back muscles become so tight. Even my gluteal muscles hurt as do my hips. Sometimes I have to walk hunched over and my legs dont want to move. This has worried me so much. I kept hoping that it has to do with my bad back and not cancer. But even that was worrying me. I thought I had something like MS. :\

      almost 5 years ago
    • tmclean67's Avatar

      Thank you for your responses. I went to the gym and had a good work out and will keep plugging away.
      Good luck to you

      almost 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I run a Landscaping business. After I got done with my treatments I thought I would go out and help my guys do a little work. After picking up just a few block, I decided I wasn't ready yet. I still get very sore after doing some vigorous work, not like I used to do mind you, just a bit of anything and I am sore for a day. I've been out of chemo for 20 years, and out of my last radiation for 2.5 years. I don't think we are ever the same as before, I just have accepted it.

      almost 5 years ago
    • markmather's Avatar

      Yep. 11 months out of chemo and still have stiff days and hobble abit. Has gotten so much better. Lots of work on the physical recovery now. Stay with it and will slowly get better. Your best days are ahead of you now.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      My oncologist has convinced me of the benefits of maintaining an exercise program throughout chemo. It doesn't have to be strenuous, but regular walking and stretching have been helping me, not only with stiffness and soreness, but also with general fatigue. It is hard some days, especially during the days each chemo cycle that I am having side effects, but I make myself do it and it does help in the long run. Start slowly and progress slowly and carefully, but definitely start and keep it up. If you have access to a physical therapist, I would highly recommend that.

      almost 5 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Wow...just asked my oncologist about this! I also finished chemo about 2 months ago and have become more stiff and achy since I finished. I am back in the gym, but you should see me getting off the exercise bike! I have to exercise sitting down because I don't have great balance. But I have to use my arms to drag myself off the bike, then grip the counters and low-walls while I walk it off. Also, if I sit in the same position for a long time, I am very stiff. If I crouch down or sit on my knees, someone has to help me up.

      I am thrilled with my "cancer-free" diagnosis, but no one understands that the side-effects are still there. I'll be so ecstatic the day I can feel my fingers and toes, and when I don't feel like I'm an old lady (I'm only 46 yet I feel like my body has aged 30 years in the past few months!).

      almost 5 years ago
    • survivorb2's Avatar

      Ok, how about shoulder pain? I often asked my Oncologist if this pain is normal and he always told me no, not in your shoulders. As I read more it is part of the whole process I went through. I was on Herceptin for a year, just finished 2 months ago :)

      Yes, stiffness and body pain is there. I did start working out every morning ( I am a morning person) and my body does feel better. I did for the reason, I was putting on weight everytime I went for my Herceptin treatment... and my Oncologist told me to start moving around more.. Even though Herceptin can be part of it...
      Stay positive!!

      over 4 years ago
    • NEtransplant's Avatar

      I have been in recovery for a full year and have not fully recovered my energy
      and stamina. I experience foot and leg cramps when sleeping and must exercise
      diligently to a avoid this. And I experience stiffness in my lower body or all over
      after sleeping and siting to drive. My body's performance is inhibiting. As another
      Lady said one day is perfect and the next day is lousy. Exercise doesn't have
      A reliable effect. I am going to try yoga, drinking lots of water and cod liver oil.
      Hardest part is giving up the morning coffee ! Lymphoma is gone, praise God
      And thanks to my oncologist ! And the great prayer support I received.

      about 3 years ago
    • Lesley's Avatar

      I'm new to this community and wondered how everyone who answered the original question is now going. I'm 2 months out from the end of chemo, trying to get to the gym 4 times a week whilst going through daily radiotherapy but the muscle fatigue is getting me down. I struggle with the weights at the gym then for about an hour after I'm a lot better. As soon as I sit ie the drive home I'm stiff again. I feel it mainly in my big muscles so thighs, calves and upper arms. Nothing is touching this. I was active before chemo (Taxotere and Cyclophosamide BTW) and so much want to be able to just stand up or sit down without pain. Any comments or suggestions?

      almost 3 years ago
    • skett's Avatar

      Lesley it does improve, although I still have days of random muscle stiffness. I also developed frozen shoulder, and haven't fully recovered. I'm sure part of that is due to this muscle stiffness thing I have going. It's not enough to stop me from doing anything, though. I look at it as a reminder of what I endured and conquered and knowing others have the same thing makes me feel better. I'm almost 2 years post treatment and living a normal life, so have faith. There is hope.

      over 2 years ago
    • EmilyL's Avatar

      Thanks for the comments. I, too, was starting to worry. Felt much better the first month after 16 treatments of chemo, but now, nearly 2 months later in much muscle/joint pain. Difficult to remain active. Used to walk 2-3 miles a day & bike 4 miles a day. Now if I walk one mile or bike 2, I'm in a great deal of pain the next day.

      over 2 years ago
    • Judt1940's Avatar

      This is my biggest complaint. Thumb and first finger numb on tips, drop things. Big toes are stiff. Someone mentioned MS, thought maybe had it. After sitting I can barely walk. Bent over, using cane from time to time to keep balance, afraid to fall. Getting out of car after driving have to stand for a moment. Nerves and odd cramping in feet and lower legs.

      over 2 years ago
    • Estherj's Avatar

      I thought it was just my age doing this aching to my body. It is good to find out that so many others have this after stopping chemo. It makes me not feel so alone in this.

      over 2 years ago
    • JaiRae's Avatar

      I am so glad I am not the only one!! Wow!! Im 5wks post chemo treatment & have tried to (again) start my gym regimen & its the hardest thing ever. My chemo was tough on me - fatiged for 7 days after each treatment. I did get out & walk SOMETIMES but for the just of the duration I was down. So trying to get back where I felt, 'normal' (mind you I was a gym rat) is a journey in itself. I ache sometimes just from sitting & just getting up after sitting in the same positon is not cool. Im 38 & feel as if this is what 70 feels like. DONT give up honey!! :-) We're all different yet at some point all going threw it. God bless & good luck!

      over 2 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Yes. I continued taking my Pilates class once a week, and got massages every few weeks. I also tried to walk when ever I could. But my muscles were sore and weak, and still recovering. I needed PT for my knees, because as my Orthopedist said last year "You hit the perfect storm, receding cartilage and weak sore muscles" My thigh and calf muscles help keep my knees in place and they are doing better now.

      Check with your team to see what you are up to doing and then try to ease your way into light exercise, start with stretching and strengthening (I find resistance training easier then weights), if possible see if there are inexpensive classes available, it's always good to have someone spot you

      over 2 years ago
    • maxineokeefe4's Avatar

      Hi - my husband found a class by the library which ran tai chi - he loved it for easing back into exercises. He was always complaining about sore ankles and leg joints? Not sure if anyone else had this. I'm not sure who close you live to water but he found swimming helpful as well - we are lucky in Australia having water everywhere :) MM

      over 2 years ago
    • jthomps24's Avatar

      I ended my chemotherapy a month ago and noticed about a week ago that my body is very stiff. I thought it was from inactivity or from putting on so much weight, but seeing all of these responses is letting me know that it may be from the chemotherapy. I am glad to know I am not alone in this. It is making me realize how much the cancer treatment really did a number on my body. I am beginning to exercise again after several months of inactivity. I had just had a baby and it was winter time when I was diagnosed so exercising was not on the radar. I think I will try yoga and stretch more frequently. This chemotherapy really did a subtle number on my body. Thank you everyone for your comments.

      over 2 years ago
    • Susyglen's Avatar

      Hi I am 10 months in remission I had 6 months on ABVD chemotherapy every 2 weeks and nuelasta injections after each treatment then 3 weeks of radiotherapy every day. I started getting pain in my hands about midway through radiotherapy. I developed carpal tunnel and trigger thumb eventually in both hands. This was a side effect from chemo that you don't get told about. My neighbour who went through treatment for breast cancer got the same problem. I had my hands operated on in turn over about 3 months. They are perfect now. The rest of my body is slowly getting there, but some days I feel about 80, I get stiff a lot and achy sore muscles, I think I am just great fun to be alive that I can live with the other problems.

      about 2 years ago
    • Deborahjean's Avatar

      Hi everyone! I ended 8 months of chemotherapy exactly four weeks ago. I did walk and went to the gym during treatment ... But now I'm feeling very stiff and aced... Like when you WORK PUT WAY TOO HARD! Also my right shoulder and upper arm are killing me! So painful. I assume this is related to the chemo and the drugs, that are very heavy duty neurotoxins, leaving the nerves and signals to the muscles damaged. I know there will be some permanent damage and some things will repair or regenerate as new tissue grows. I still have 5 weeks of 25 radiation treatments to go! Oh my!!!! I'm wishing all of you health, healing, wholeness and the ability to take this all one day at a time!

      over 1 year ago
    • Michelle's Avatar

      Hi there - This thread is very helpful. I thought I was falling apart. I finished 12 rounds of chemo (Oxilaplatin, folfox, 5FU, Leucovorin, Avastin) over a month ago. I was so excited I could get back to my exercise regimen of yoga, walking, biking, maybe an hour/day, and I have the same soreness you all are describing. Especially concentrated in my right shoulder, upper arm, wrist, numb fingers, but my whole body aches. Especially, like many of you are saying, after sitting or driving. I thought that with exercise, this soreness would get better. I have several supplements (magnesium, l-glutamine...) that are supposed to ease this, and they do for a while, but I can't get rid of the pain. It's discouraging to learn that this can go on for years, if not life? After finding this thread, I'll call my oncologist to ask about this issue. I just kept expecting it to go away.

      over 1 year ago
    • blessedtobeHis' Avatar

      Hi Friends and fellow survivors! I finished 12 rounds of chemo 11 months ago and noticed a loss of flexibility immediately. I had dropped down to 90 lbs during radiation/chemo regimen a year earlier and attributed my fatigue and soreness to loss of muscle mass. After 11 months of trying supplements and yoga and exercise I was given the name of a chiropractor who uses manual therapy to restore flexibility to the fascia which is the end of the muscle that attaches to the bone. I was totally unaware of the effects chemo had on the musculoskeletal system and have mentioned dozens of times to MD Anderson the physical problems I was having. Many chemo patients use this therapy and the first time I have ever heard of it was this week, so I just wanted to spread the word!! I went for my first appointment and had significant improvement after just 30 min of therapy!! The goal of the Dr is to restore as much flexibility as possible and then the patient can maintain flexibility through exercise or yoga.

      over 1 year ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more colorectal (colon) cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Colorectal (Colon) Cancer page.