Axillary Web Syndrome in Burlington: A Painful Condition

What is Axillary Web Syndrome?

Axillary web syndrome (AWS), also known as cording or lymphatic cording, is a painful condition that can develop after breast surgery, particularly after lymph node removal or radiation therapy. It is characterized by the formation of tight, cord-like structures in the underarm area, which can restrict arm movement and cause discomfort.

Symptoms and Causes of Axillary Web Syndrome in Burlington

Common Symptoms

  • Tightness or pulling sensation in the underarm area
  • Visible cord-like structures under the skin
  • Restricted arm mobility
  • Pain or discomfort with arm movement
  • Swelling or lymphedema in the affected arm

Potential Causes

  • Disruption of lymphatic pathways during surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Inflammatory response

The Importance of Early Intervention

This condition can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, making everyday activities challenging and causing ongoing discomfort. Early intervention and proper management are crucial to prevent further complications and promote recovery.

Treatment Options in Burlington, ON

Physiotherapy at PhysioLinks Rehab

At PhysioLinks Rehab in Burlington, ON, we offer specialized physiotherapy services to help individuals affected by this condition. Our experienced physiotherapist, Annet Abraham BPT, Registered Physiotherapist, has years of expertise in treating this condition.

Physiotherapy Techniques

  • Gentle stretching and mobilization exercises
  • Manual therapy to release the cords
  • Myofascial release techniques
  • Lymphatic drainage massage
  • Education on self-management strategies

Why Choose PhysioLinks Rehab?

  • Personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs
  • Compassionate and experienced team
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Commitment to your recovery and well-being


1. How long does it take to recover from axillary web syndrome?

Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to treatment. With proper physiotherapy and adherence to the recommended exercises, many patients experience significant improvement within a few weeks to months.

2. Is axillary web syndrome permanent?

In most cases, this condition is not permanent. With early intervention and appropriate treatment, the cords can be released, and arm mobility can be restored.

3. Can axillary web syndrome lead to lymphedema?

Yes, this condition can increase the risk of developing lymphedema, a chronic condition characterized by swelling in the affected arm due to a compromised lymphatic system.

4. Can I prevent axillary web syndrome after breast surgery?

While it’s not always possible to prevent axillary web syndrome, following your healthcare provider’s instructions for post-operative care, including gentle arm exercises and lymphatic drainage techniques, can help reduce the risk.

5. Is physiotherapy painful for axillary web syndrome?

Most physiotherapy techniques for this condition are gentle and should not cause significant pain. However, some discomfort or mild soreness may be experienced initially as the cords are released.

About the Author

Annet Abraham BPT is a highly experienced and registered physiotherapist at our Physiotherapy Burlington clinic. With years of expertise in treating various musculoskeletal conditions, she is dedicated to helping patients achieve optimal recovery and regain their quality of life.

At PhysioLinks Rehab, we prioritize personalized care and evidence-based treatments to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards relief from this condition.

Visit our GMBs to see which location is closest to you!