Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

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radicalrat
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:53 pm

Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby radicalrat » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:35 pm

Re: Introductions - Say Hello
by radicalrat » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:00 pm

Hey im Caroline and have just joined - 'tis a good site...leanrning quite a bit. Was just gonna ask anyone who might know on here about injuries. I was reading the bit about shoulder injuries and i have one in my right shoulder which my doctor thinks is impingement...probably from my technique tbh, but im not sure. But i've been reading the symptoms of the so called swimmer's shoulder and i have an extra symptom which they don't mention: that occasionally my shoulder/upper arm area will make a MASSIVE crack when i catch it moving in the wrong way and it's almost a really painful 'relief' when it finally cracks, as well as clicking and cracking in smaller less painful ways on a regular basis. im quite flexible and clicky in other joints anyway but no where near as painful as this! lol i can't tell when it's going to happen until it does and it's really really painful and was just wondering if that's part of the impingment syndrome and im currently waiting results from an xray, but if anyone out there who might know anything about that, please let me know! i've been having physio on it to strengthen the muscles in my back around my shoulder blades which naturally 'wing out' and as much as that'll help in the long run im not convinced that if my shoulder is actually impinging, the strengthening of muscles will help but not solve the problem? lol but basically im no doctor and have no idea - but i didnt really get a straight answer about the big crack from my physio as to what it was so i thought id get a second opinion which wasn't so physio based - hence the xray! lol

Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated! :)

Caroline xx

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Paul Newsome
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Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby Paul Newsome » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:19 am

Hi Caroline

I'd definitely recommend sticking with the advice of your physio on this one, at least with respect to rehab. It sounds like the types of exercises they are getting you to do will help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles as well as develop your external rotators (behind the shoulder) which basically counter-balance the action of the internal rotators (in front of the shoulder).

Essentially impingement is caused by an imbalance in the strength of the muscles at front of the shoulder with those at the back (and also the technique of your stroke). This can be a postural thing. If you slouch in your normal everyday life with shoulders rounded forward (as most people do), you effect the way in which your shoulders support themselves. If you then carry this poor posture over into your swimming, chances are your form and technique is going to be affected. What typically happens is that you tend to cross your hands over the centre-line as they enter into the water, possibly with a thumb-first entry. This excessive internal rotation of the shoulder joint leads to the impingement. With over 3,000 strokes typically being completed in a given session, you can see how your shoulders might be copping a bit of a beating if your technique and posture is not sound!

There are some useful technique pointers up at http://www.swimsmooth.com/injury.php which will help. It would also be worth reading this article on core stability and shoulder posture: http://www.swimsmooth.com/core.html

With respect to the big "crack" that you hear, this could simply be that these symptoms may have gone untreated for some time and now require some good attention. I would wait to get the result of the XRAY and then speak with your physio again about this. I would highly recommend getting your swim stroke analyzed with some 1-2-1 Video Analysis as well. Where are you based? Maybe we can recommend someone for you in your area. Failing that, do you have any video footage of your stroke that you can post that we can provide comment and tips on for you?

Let us know if any of this helps.

Cheers

Paul
2013 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Champion. Don't forget to check out our valuable Know How section on the main site at http://www.swimsmooth.com/knowhow.html

Meowws
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:50 am

Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby Meowws » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:56 am

is normal. every since i start swimming, i feel like to turn my body 360 degrees like a towel. you need to stretch more. the pain will go away in a couple of weeks of not swimming,

radicalrat
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby radicalrat » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:01 pm

hey thank you, that sounds similar to what the physio was saying...from what i can remember - when he told me it was all a mine of information being thrown at me! lol yeh im getting my stroke worked on at the moment which will definately help. i think this will turn out to be a VERY long process to heal unfortunately cos physio hasn't helped yet lol hasn't really made much of a difference to be honest! and it's just so bloody painful! and i have no videos of me swimming unfortunately, and i live in suffolk in the UK, near a town called ipswich so we shall see. but thank you for what you've said...and in response to the bottom post, im pretty sure it's not normal and i've met many other swimmers without any similar problems!! and when i was at uni, we didnt have any swim training for over a month and i did nothing and completely rested it and it was still a major problem so sorry but can't say i agree with you lol it definately hasn't settled down with rest :(.

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Paul Newsome
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Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby Paul Newsome » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:34 pm

radicalrat wrote:...and in response to the bottom post, im pretty sure it's not normal and i've met many other swimmers without any similar problems!! and when i was at uni, we didnt have any swim training for over a month and i did nothing and completely rested it and it was still a major problem so sorry but can't say i agree with you lol it definately hasn't settled down with rest :(.


Indeed RadicalRat - this needs careful pro-active management to resolve...rest will not help fix the problem at this stage. It might alleviate symptoms for a while, but it won't fix the issue. Stick with what you're doing and ask you coach to check on some of the technique aspects we've discussed to see if these could be a problem.

Good luck!

Paul
2013 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Champion. Don't forget to check out our valuable Know How section on the main site at http://www.swimsmooth.com/knowhow.html

AdamT
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:03 pm

Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby AdamT » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:40 pm

I'm afriad i don't have any advice, but perhaps some insight into treatment I had for this. THe physio taped my shoulders back to stop me hunching. I got some very funny looks from the guys in the changing rooms. I had about 5ft of tape all over my shoulders and back. It was completely non-stretchy so tying my shoelaces was a real challenge. My wife found it funny as h3ll when I took it off....only cos it hurt me soooo much!

The rest of the rehabilitation was using those strechy band things to do some exercises to strengthen the back of the shoulder. These are great and I still use them to try and prevent the injury coming back.

A.

cookie
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Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:35 pm

Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby cookie » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:53 pm

Hi Caroline from another Caroline with the same problem!

What Paul (and others say is right). I had a very painful shoulder injury and continued to swim on it, I didn't realise what I was storing up for myself. Since May this year I have been having Chiropractic treatment and rehab twice a week and it has improved greatly. The treatment worked well first and now the rehab is helping to correct my posture and strengthen my back and upper trapezius muscles.

I would find someone with experince of helping people with shoulder problems, I am sure there will be someone near you that swimmers go to. I was lucky to find my chiropractor, as she specialises in shoulders, do ask around the clubs.

I exercise every week and will give you a link to some of the exercises i do, but you should check with your physio / whoever is treating you before you do them, they are on the US swimming site: http://usa-swimming.net/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=445&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=702&ItemId=700 these help me enourmously and my posture (and stroke) are changing for the better.

I hear a lot about Swim Therapy in swimming circles http://www.swimtherapy.co.uk/ they do stroke analysis and have a vg reputation. I plan to see them soon, I have added the link in case you want to look into this further.

I wish you luck finding the right therapist, keep on going, I can tell you love swimming, life wouldn't be the same without it for me!

All the best,
Caroline

radicalrat
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby radicalrat » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:49 pm

Adam, yeh my physio put tape in a massive cross across my back too to stop me from winging my shoulder blades out - he unfortunately did it when we had really hot weather and i got a tan around my cross so when it came off (very painful too!) i had a massive white cross all over me! not impressed! lol but i found it helped with my posture but not the clicky bit! lol

radicalrat
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby radicalrat » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:53 pm

Caroline, sorry to hear you've got the same problem! sucks doesn't it? thanks for the advice - im deff getting my stroke looked at atm and am researching swim people up near uni for when i go back there. and my physio who im seeing atm is a shoulder specialist which helps :D. also my xray came back negative...or positive...whichever it is...basically there was nothing wrong! lol so it deff think its what everyone on here is saying!

yeh im hoping to get it all sorted so ican keep swimming and hopefully get my times down with the right technique :)

thanks for all thsoe links - they look really helpful already :) xx

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Paul Newsome
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Re: Painful shoulder injuries - please help!

Postby Paul Newsome » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:24 am

radicalrat wrote:thanks for all thsoe links - they look really helpful already :) xx


Indeed radicalrat, I had a bit of a peruse of these exercises over the weekend and can highly recommend them for preventative work for your shoulder. If already injured, I'd recommended showing them to your physio and asking them to adjust accordingly.

Cheers

Paul
2013 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Champion. Don't forget to check out our valuable Know How section on the main site at http://www.swimsmooth.com/knowhow.html


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