Does Lymphedema Cause Pain?

In this video, Andrea Brennan, OTR/L, explains the varieties of pain in lymphedema.




Andrea Brennan, OTR/L: Many patients come to clinic to discuss their pain in the arm, armpit, down the arm even the chest wall.  Lymphedema causes perhaps an ache or discomfort in the shoulder because the arm is heavier but it is not a burning pain, it is a dull ache.

When however, people describe an acute pain that there is pain in the upper arm, perhaps in the joint, may be radiating to the chest wall that is when I suggest an urge the individual to see their physician or even go to the emergency room because we want to rule out a deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot.

Andrea Brennan is an occupational therapist specializing in lymphedema therapy. She is currently the only lymphedema therapist in Arizona and can be reached at

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk.  If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.