View Full Version : Stiff and Sore HELP

February 28th, 2003, 08:43 AM
Help me. I have been training for a couple of months(Since October) for a 4.4 swim and have been battling stiffness/Soreness in my shoulders and chest. While my friends say that I am over training I beg to differ. I watch other swimmers who are training for the event train for a minimum of an hour in the pool daily while I am suffering. My recent workout was;

Saturday 2 miles 67 minutes
Sunday cardio work no pool
Monday 1 mile 33 minutes
Tuesday 1 mile 32 minutes
Wednesday -Whinned a lot
Thursday-More of the same.

I am new to this sport so I need some wisdom.

I am 33 years old so I don't think it is age(hope not).

Rob Copeland
February 28th, 2003, 09:21 AM
A couple of suggestions:
1) Make sure that you get a good warm-up and warm-down at each practice
2) Some pains come from improper stroke technique, find a coach who can give you some stroke instructions or pointers
3) Take aspirin, ibuprofen, or any other anti-inflammatory/pain reliever before and after workouts

Good luck with the swim.

I assume it is the Chesapeake bay Bridge Swim. A great swim! And per your other post, go ahead and wear the wetsuit, this time. Maybe next year you will be ready to try it without.

February 28th, 2003, 09:30 AM
a nice soak in a hottub (106 to 108 degrees) dialates the blood vessels and allows the lactic acid to be removed from the muscles.

February 28th, 2003, 10:08 AM
training on your part. Just because "others" are training longer (and in your eyes harder) doesn't mean that this is right for YOUR body.
You didn't state how long you've been swimming. Maybe you've recently returned to this sport or maybe this is your first time training, hard, for anything.
I enjoy swimming. The summer of 88, when it was really hot, I was swimming on a daily basis about 1 mile. Result--within about 6 weeks I had sore shoulders which I just "pooh-poohed"--further result--by Labor Day in the ER at a local hospital. Further result--2 surgeries (early 1989 and sept 1989) for impingement syndrome. Further result--a total of 4 surgeries on the left shoulder (1989-1998) and 2 on the right. All from swimming "just for fun"! I did do master's swimming meets for about 3 years during that time period but always knowing I could further injure myself. I never did butterfly and NEVER will.
You need to take a good look at what you're doing, have someone else take a look at your stroke. Learn to stretch before and after swimming, take an anti-inflammatory, learn to use ICE post-swim to take down inflammation (HOT isn't what you need--after a hard workout--take a few EASY laps to get out the acid). Additionally, look into a supervised shoulder strengthening program for your shoulder girdle and in particular your rotator cuff.
There is a book called the 7 minute rotator cuff solution--find it!

Leonard Jansen
February 28th, 2003, 10:27 AM
Get in some yoga-style stretching and be patient with it. It takes a bit of time.

Also keep in mind that the race is 3.5 months away and don't try to get in shape all at once. You only have to be ready on the day.


February 28th, 2003, 12:27 PM
Several years ago I broke both of my arms at the elbow (yes at the same time). Surgery to wire my arms back together and immoblization left me unable to extend or flex both arms--my range of motion was severely limited--I only had a couple of degrees in either direction. After I healed enough for it to be safe, and had enough range of motion back in my arms to measure how much I could lift, it was evident I had lost a lot of strength. In fact, I could barely lift a couple of pounds. I not only need PT to help me continue to regaining range of motion, but also to restore my strength. Early on my physical therapist did have me icing the injury to reduce inflamation. However, after the incision from the surgery healed and inflamation was no longer a significant issue, the ice was abandoned. To reduce soreness and prevent stiffness, my physical therapist had my arms in a hot whirlpool at the end of every therapy session, which included aggressive manipulated my elbows followed by increasingly difficult workouts on all kinds of toture devices and weight machines.

I have heard many folks say icing sore stiff muscles works for them. Its just been my experience that heat works well too.

I do agree that stretching exercises like yoga, warm ups, cool downs, slowly increasing the intensity of your workouts, etc. are very important. Figure out what works for you and do it.

March 11th, 2003, 06:17 PM
Looks like I did the right thing so thanks for all of the feedback. i stopped for a while and have done some rehab on the shoulder and it is starting to come around. My friend who is a doc gave me some excercises to do but he said I caught at the right time. His advice for swimmers that if it is clicking or "grinding" then stop.

Can't wait to start swimming again, the treadmill isn't as much fun and the pool is n't big enough for fins.

March 11th, 2003, 08:19 PM
Thanks for letting us know what the end result was/is. So many times you read a posting, offer a suggestion and NEVER hear what the final outcome was.
But see-some of us were right--you must have been overtraining for your body even though you saw others doing more.
By the way--the shoulder exercises will become a lifelong thing now--don't give them up just because the shoulder feels better. It takes constant work and exercise to keep them in good condition--the swimming alone won't make them "right".