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Joint Changes

What they are

Radiation therapy can cause scar tissue and weakness in the part of the body that was treated. This can lead to loss of motion in your joints, such as your jaw, shoulders, or hips. Joint problems can show up months or years after radiation therapy is over.


Ways to manage

Notice early signs of joint problems. These signs include:

  • Trouble getting your mouth to open wide
  • Pain when you make certain movements, such as reaching over your head or putting your hand in a back pocket


Talk with your doctor or nurse. He or she may refer you to a physical therapist who will assess your joint problems. The therapist can give you exercises to decrease pain, increase strength, and improve movement.