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Mary1912
October 6th, 2008, 10:41 AM
I am experiencing some mild shoulder pain on the front of my right front shoulder. It hurts if I press on it with some firmness. I feel it when I swim but it's not overwhelming.

I'm laying off the weights in the gym until this feels better. I haven't done anything in the gym since Wednesday last week so I don't think this is recent. I swam on Friday but it didn't start bothering me until late Saturday.

Any suggestions?

pwolf66
October 6th, 2008, 11:14 AM
I am experiencing some mild shoulder pain on the front of my right front shoulder. It hurts if I press on it with some firmness. I feel it when I swim but it's not overwhelming.

I'm laying off the weights in the gym until this feels better. I haven't done anything in the gym since Wednesday last week so I don't think this is recent. I swam on Friday but it didn't start bothering me until late Saturday.

Any suggestions?

Sounds like tendonitis. I suffer from chronic mild tendonitis in both shoulders. All it takes is a little management. When I start to notice it (and sometimes when I don't), I alternate 10 minutes on/10 minutes off with an ice pack for three cycles. For me, that is usually all I need to do.

Typhoons Coach
October 6th, 2008, 11:56 AM
From the brief description I have to agree that is sounds similar to tendonitis (most likely the beginning of it). Make sure that you warm up properly before you swim and cool down properly after your workout(s). Also, make sure that you utilize ice and heat as much as possible after and before (respectively) your workouts.

Mary1912
October 6th, 2008, 12:36 PM
Thanks! I'll ice it tonight when I get home from work and I'll be mindful to warm up/cool down more thoroughly. I don't want this to sideline me.

gull
October 6th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Sounds like rotator cuff tendinitis. I would stay away from paddles, and avoid bench press and dips in the gym. Ice your shoulder after you swim and again before bedtime. Check out this article from the USA Swimming website:

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=445&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US&mid=700&ItemId=700

The Fortress
October 6th, 2008, 12:51 PM
I am experiencing some mild shoulder pain on the front of my right front shoulder. It hurts if I press on it with some firmness. I feel it when I swim but it's not overwhelming.

I'm laying off the weights in the gym until this feels better. I haven't done anything in the gym since Wednesday last week so I don't think this is recent. I swam on Friday but it didn't start bothering me until late Saturday.

Any suggestions?

Another newbie bites the dust ...

Sorry you're in pain, Mary. Very common for new swimmers. Does sound like tendonitis.

Ice if fine, but you can't spend your life icing. Are you doing rotator cuff exercises at the gym? What weights are you doing? I have a cranky left shoulder, and am constantly managing it. RC exercises and weights help me tremendously. However, I stay away from overhead weights (e.g. bench press).

Check out this thread, which references other shoulder threads and discusses RC exercises. http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=7405&highlight=whining+complaining

I've said it before, but I also find ART pretty effective for tendonitis, if yours keeps acting up. www.activerelease.com. If it worsens, consider kicking or using fins for awhile in practice while you strengthen the RC muscles.

aqualung
October 6th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Are you doing much Fly?
I just learned a simple trick from the Stanford guy Richard Quick and his Butterfly video with Shelley Ripple. Phelps doesn't even follow it (according to the poster on that cereal box!). When the hands get thrown out of the water, keep the plane of the hands parallel to the plane of the body. (no thumbs pointing towards the water!) The simple lack of arm twisting takes a lot of strain off the shoulders, and the arm recovery into the water goes a lot faster. It works quite nicely.

gull
October 6th, 2008, 01:08 PM
Rotator cuff tendinitis usually arises from impingement, a situation that is created at least in part by muscle imbalance. As Fort posted, you need to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles with specific exercises (nicely described in the USA Swimming article). Otherwise the problem will become chronic.

tomtopo
October 6th, 2008, 01:19 PM
In February, I severly strained my left shoulder cuff. It's taken almost nine months but I've found what exercises I can and cannot do. I can perform lat pulls/chin-ups infront of my head but not behind the neck. I cannot perform push-ups or bench press but can do flys. I can do curls with dumbells but not preacher-bench curls. The rotator-cuff rehab exercises are also a must and I've found that missing more than three days sets me back. I'm not 100% but I'm getting there. Good luck and keep experimenting on you personal do's and dont's.

Mary1912
October 6th, 2008, 01:53 PM
. Are you doing rotator cuff exercises at the gym? What weights are you doing? I
I've said it before, but I also find ART pretty effective for tendonitis, if yours keeps acting up. www.activerelease.com (http://www.activerelease.com). If it worsens, consider kicking or using fins for awhile in practice while you strengthen the RC muscles.

Unfortunately last week I was doing the dips and bench presses and overhead pulls. :mad:That's probably what sent me over the edge.

I did some RC exercises today. I'm going to check out all these wonderful links and get proactive on this thing. I don't want to miss time in the water.

I don't do much fly. just the occasional 25 yards now and then for kicks. Mostly freestyle and no paddles and only the bouy occasionally. I'll add the fins and see if that helps take the pressure off. I do switch it up between free, back and breast in the workout.

Thanks for all the info!!! Everyone here is so great! :applaud:

ourswimmer
October 6th, 2008, 01:59 PM
Rotator cuff tendinitis usually arises from impingement, a situation that is created at least in part by muscle imbalance. As Fort posted, you need to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles with specific exercises (nicely described in the USA Swimming article). Otherwise the problem will become chronic.

I think of those exercises sort of like brushing my teeth. Just basic maintenance for an essential system. If you have a desk job (or if you like to watch TV) you can do several of the exercises while using your eyes and brain for something else.

jim thornton
October 6th, 2008, 03:37 PM
The bare minimum:

1. rotator cuff muscles with stretch cords or 1 or 2 lb weights. if you can only do one exercise, it should be external rotation

2. our coach says not to do any weight lifting that requires weights going over the head--swimming exercises these muscles enough as it is

3. ice after practice

4. fins or zoomers to "de-weight" your shoulders

5. avoid excessive ibuprofen and other NSAIDs (it's called tendinitis but it's really tendonopathy--there is no inflammation going on here, and drugs/cortisone injections designed to reduce inflammation most likely weaken the tissues, mask the pain, and retard healing)

6. pinkies enter water first, not the thumbs

7. don't sleep on your shoulders! and cut out unnecessary and overly provocative activities, like volleyball spking, tennis serving, and being hung by your thumbs in an S & M dungeon.

8. try to keep hysteria in check: the vast majority of these shoulder issues heal on their own if given time to settle down

Mary1912
October 6th, 2008, 03:48 PM
7. don't sleep on your shoulders! and cut out unnecessary and overly provocative activities, like volleyball spking, tennis serving, and being hung by your thumbs in an S & M dungeon.

8. try to keep hysteria in check: the vast majority of these shoulder issues heal on their own if given time to settle down

LOL!

Seriously...thanks for #8 (and the others too!) I was getting a little panicky today about it.:sad:

Typhoons Coach
October 6th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Another newbie bites the dust ...

Sorry you're in pain, Mary. Very common for new swimmers. Does sound like tendonitis.

Ice if fine, but you can't spend your life icing. Are you doing rotator cuff exercises at the gym? What weights are you doing? I have a cranky left shoulder, and am constantly managing it. RC exercises and weights help me tremendously. However, I stay away from overhead weights (e.g. bench press).

Check out this thread, which references other shoulder threads and discusses RC exercises. http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=7405&highlight=whining+complaining

I've said it before, but I also find ART pretty effective for tendonitis, if yours keeps acting up. www.activerelease.com (http://www.activerelease.com). If it worsens, consider kicking or using fins for awhile in practice while you strengthen the RC muscles.

This is great information in the thread listed above! I wish you the best, and thank you, Fortress, for posting this!

Mary1912
October 8th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Just a quick follow up question...

I am working on these RC exercises and icing. However, should I not be in the pool until I feel better? I've been swimming but my yardage is pretty light. Only about 1700 yds max in a practice (I'm still slow....). I've been doing more kicking, breaststroke and back and taking it easy, etc. Those Zoomers....ugh that blister they gave me hurts worse than my shoulder! I've got to find something else.

Anyway, should I just stay out of the pool? If so, for how long? I hope the answer is I can still swim. I'm loving swimming so much.

gull
October 8th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Anyway, should I just stay out of the pool? If so, for how long? I hope the answer is I can still swim. I'm loving swimming so much.

For what it's worth, I stayed in the water and kept swimming, but limited the yardage and modified my workouts (no paddles, no butterfly). However, I saw an orthopedist as well as a physical therapist who designed my RC program and told me to keep swimming.

Doug Adamavich
October 8th, 2008, 05:59 PM
I had a scare late last year and the beginning of this year with my left shoulder. After reducing my training and going to a bunch of specialists and having xrays and MRI taken, there was no definite answer.

Could be burcitis (sp?)
Could be slight tears in two of the tendons
Could be simple inflamation

The least painful option was anti-inflammatory medication. Doc said to scale back training and let pain be my guide. I went to my trainer and his assessment was my left shoulder was weaker. Did more intense dry land training and after a long while, shoulder felt better. I could start training more, although I was sick from the Cold From Hell that was zapping everybody last spring. That put a damper on training until May.

Anyway, the moral of this story is that shoulder problems could result from a bunch of different factors. Talk to multiple people, especially those who deal with athletes on a regular basis. They will be more likely to understand all of the demands a given sport (ie. swimming) places on the body.

Rest is a good start but get professional advice. I was reluctant but when ice and rest did not cure the problem, the doctor steered me in the right direction.

That's my story, hope it helps.

The Fortress
October 8th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Just a quick follow up question...

I am working on these RC exercises and icing. However, should I not be in the pool until I feel better? I've been swimming but my yardage is pretty light. Only about 1700 yds max in a practice (I'm still slow....). I've been doing more kicking, breaststroke and back and taking it easy, etc. Those Zoomers....ugh that blister they gave me hurts worse than my shoulder! I've got to find something else.

Anyway, should I just stay out of the pool? If so, for how long? I hope the answer is I can still swim. I'm loving swimming so much.

Unless you're having intense pain, I'd probably keep swimming. But keep modifying your workouts to include kicking, SDKs, drills, hypoxic work and strokes that don't cause pain. I hate zoomers, myself. If they give you blisters, try the zura fins, which are more forgiving.

I had chronic tendonitis for well over a year before I went to an ART doc (PT didn't work). He sent me for an arthrogram, which showed some labral tearing. I did ART and PRP for a year, and it's substantially better. Although I am chronically paranoid and overprotective of my shoulder ... However, I never stopped swimming. (But, then, I do kick intensive workouts and use fins and monofin.)

If the pain doesn't get better soon, get it checked by an ortho. Although make it a good one; shoulder pain is hard to diagnose, especially without an arthrogram. You have to be proactive with shoulder pain and give it a big dose of RC exercises, PT, massage, ART, etc. Cortisone is a very temporary solution.

Good luck! It may take awhile for it to heal. Give it a few weeks perhaps.

Mary1912
October 9th, 2008, 08:54 AM
Thanks all! My pain is very mild...noticeable, but mild. I wanted to get on top of it before it became a huge issue. The RC exercises I've been doing have been great so far. I am feeling better today especially (but I didn't swim today...had an early meeting at work). I'm keeping up with the RC stuff...icing it in the evenings and after a workout.

Zura fins...I'll check them out. They have Zoomers at the pool but blechhh....don't like 'em at all.

I'm still hitting the water unless I experience a setback in my improvement. But so far, so good!

Thanks everyone...your advice is very good and comforting! :bliss:

Mary1912
October 17th, 2008, 05:18 PM
I just wanted to say thanks again for all the advice here. All of it wonderful. My shoulder is much better...about 95%. I'm keeping up with the RC exercises.

Thanks again!