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efrog57
February 28th, 2010, 01:31 AM
Hi, I've been swimming about 1km for about a year, one day I decided (I know I did wrong, and I regret it) to swim more, and when I had swam about 1,750 mts my elbow started to hurt, even when I took a shower. The pain disappeared in a couple of days, but when I do some elbow movements my elbow does like a "crack" sound, and hurts a little, but disappears after a while, it's happened in movements like:
.Jumping out of the pool
.Pushing someone
.Lifting weights over my head (for the triceps)
.Doing tecktonik movements (type of dance)
.And many more....

It's been like 10 months since that happened, but for the last 4 months I've taken care of myself, using the hot/cold technique, I've been lifting weights (increasing 250g each week), and increasing swimming distance (I swim 150 crawl, 50 breaststroke, 25-25 -holding a board at my arms, doing crawl and breaststroke kick) I started at 1km, and currently I am swimming 1.5 km, increasing 50 every 3 - 4 times I go swimming.

After I go swimming, my elbow hurts a bit (without movement sometimes) but the pain goes away.
I'd be so thankful if you guys could help me with this because it's been bothering me a lot, and I just wanna be able to do everything.
Thanks in advance.

SolarEnergy
February 28th, 2010, 09:23 PM
Well elbow pain sucks. It does because very often, the stroke isn't that faulty so technical changes may be required but that is just to account for the fact that you need to protect them. It sucks. I know I use to have some.

How fast do you swim? I know myself, I know that if I am exaggerating on the distance per stroke whilst trying to swim EVF whilst putting a lot of pressure (like maintaining a 1:15/100 pace for 400m on 14 stroke per 25m), elbow may hurt. But since I know, I just don't do it anymore.

Now I swim my fast rep on 16 strokes. And I am not trying to achieve optimal and steep EVF (even though I could if I wanted to).

I need to look at some footage. Without them, all I can do is to issue generic statements:

- No fast pull buoy work
- Go back to your safe mileage
- No paddle, never never even if they offer you money to swim with 'em
- Do eliminate any dead spot in the front. Having to reaccelerate on each stroke makes matter worst
- Worst case, try to lock the whole arm whilst pulling. Will feel very strange at first
- In making any change, always monitor stroke count to see the impact of your changes. Stroke count along with time. Even if a new way of swimming feels completely odd and awkward, if you maintain same time at same DPS with same effort you're cool.

jim thornton
February 28th, 2010, 09:29 PM
I have similar issues and did a blog about it. http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=6975 Read the comments section because some of our doctor-swimmers responded with advice. You most likely have either medial or lateral epichondilitis depending on which part of the elbow hurts. One is known as "tennis elbow" and the other as "golfer's elbow."

All I can tell you is these injuries take a LONG time to heal. I would avoid anything that hurts it badly--especially weight lifting exercises. Ibuprofen before swimming helps me.

I had to take a little time off because of a bad cold, and I had hoped this would fix the problem, but if anything, it made it worse.

I don't know if any doctor would sanction this, but my advice:



avoid provocative motions that you don't need to do
if you are a swimmer, chances are you need to swim, so take a little ibuprofen before practice and just hope for the best
there may be some rehab exercises you can try--google this or go see a rehab person with expertise in sports injuries (if you have decent insurance, otherwise do what you are currently doing, and what I always do, i.e., solicit free medical advice on these forums!)
finally, be patient. the human body tends to heal itself over time. this is probably true of the vast majority of non lethal afflictions, at least until you get quite advanced in years. you will either A) get better, B) accommodate to the new problem, or C) be killed by it.
At least this is my new philosophy in the US, which has the Best Healthcare System in the World, if you are a foreign sultan.

Chicken of the Sea
March 1st, 2010, 07:56 PM
My left elbow tends to hurt a lot when I do long swims. I just take Advil. Not sure what else would help.

jim thornton
March 1st, 2010, 08:21 PM
- Worst case, try to lock the whole arm whilst pulling. Will feel very strange at first.

A doctor told me that wrist flexion is part of the problem. I tried the above technique, which has the effect of reducing the pressure on the wrist flexors, and it did seem to help.

For now, I will avoid that catch where your hand resembles a hoe entering the water. Jim Clemmons, if you have ever seen him swim, uses this, and I suspect it's very effective. But it does hurt the elbow.


My left elbow tends to hurt a lot when I do long swims. I just take Advil. Not sure what else would help.


Perhaps taking a month to swim 14,000 yards instead of an afternoon might help?

nancyk
March 3rd, 2010, 11:05 AM
I've had tennis elbow pain last Oct. from too much golf. I also have flexible joints so I have to be careful of my knees like when I'm walking.

I find it helpful to take 1 tablet of glucosamine chondroitin.

makesense
March 4th, 2010, 10:02 AM
I too came down with the infamous 'golfer's elbow' a couple months ago. Specific cause, who knows. I blame it on beginning the backstroke with its new arm stresses.

Have been able to swim through it mostly. For last 3 days, doing kicking only workouts, and things have improved, but not resolved. Also, have been doing forearm stretching (eg, see http://www.pamf.org/sports/king/medial_epicond.html), and will more regularly do this in the future.

Anxious now about swimming, and reversing my recovery progress.

ourswimmer
March 4th, 2010, 11:15 AM
For last 3 days, doing kicking only workouts, and things have improved, but not resolved. Also, have been doing forearm stretching (eg, see http://www.pamf.org/sports/king/medial_epicond.html), and will more regularly do this in the future.

In my experience, total rest was not helpful for "golfer's" (or as I prefer to call it, "backstroker's") elbow. The stretching exercise pictured on that web page was and is, although I find it more comfortable to put my palm against a flat surface like a wall rather than to pull on it with my other hand. The strengthening exercises are also very helpful. You can do them with light weights, or with stretch cords. Finally, do not neglect ice. Ice the trouble spot after workout, even if it doesn't hurt right then.

If you work a lot at a computer, you might also examine your keyboard and mouse set-up to see if it is putting undue strain on your wrist flexors. Raising or lowering your desk relative to your arms, or switching mouse hands, might also give you some relief.

thewookiee
March 4th, 2010, 11:32 AM
In my experience, total rest was not helpful for "golfer's" (or as I prefer to call it, "backstroker's") elbow. The stretching exercise pictured on that web page was and is, although I find it more comfortable to put my palm against a flat surface like a wall rather than to pull on it with my other hand. The strengthening exercises are also very helpful. You can do them with light weights, or with stretch cords. Finally, do not neglect ice. Ice the trouble spot after workout, even if it doesn't hurt right then.

If you work a lot at a computer, you might also examine your keyboard and mouse set-up to see if it is putting undue strain on your wrist flexors. Raising or lowering your desk relative to your arms, or switching mouse hands, might also give you some relief.

It's not "backstroker elbow" Silly, that just an excuse for people to use so that don't have to swim the glorious stroke.

On a serious note, you are right about the computer/mouse though. I have pain in my left forearm and hand. My forearm is due to carpel tunnel and the hand from early on set arthitis. I have been taking advil, along with the forearm stretch posted above, plus doing forearm curls to help strengthen the muscles.

The other thing I finally had to do is change how I swim freestyle. The high elbow recovery, with low hand caused me to have a lot of pain in the forearm and elbow. I had been playing around with a more straight arm recovery off and on for several months before hand. I finally made the switch a few weeks ago. Since changing, my elbow and forearm don't bother me at all.

I am not saying you need to switch, but tinkering with your stroke may help.

Georgio
March 4th, 2010, 12:35 PM
"...the US, which has the Best Healthcare System in the World, if you are a foreign sultan."

I liked that statement!

Physical therapy helped my "tennis elbow" when I had insurance. Especially the electrodes that make your arm shake. :bow: Fortunately I'm cured.

Georgio

SolarEnergy
March 4th, 2010, 09:51 PM
A doctor told me that wrist flexion is part of the problem. I tried the above technique, which has the effect of reducing the pressure on the wrist flexors, and it did seem to help.

For now, I will avoid that catch where your hand resembles a hoe entering the water. Jim Clemmons, if you have ever seen him swim, uses this, and I suspect it's very effective. But it does hurt the elbow. Thanks for the info Jim.

Really the key here, is to perform all phases that come prior the effective pulling range (that exclude the catch) totally unloaded. I can certainly understand that attempting to flex the wrist whilst applying pressure can make matters worst.
- - -
That said though, my own tennis elbow was caused by the passing of the elbow underneath the body, this transition phase that marks the end of the pull / beginning of the push phase. Too much pressure there.

With all respect due to physicians, even physios, it was impossible for all these folks to pin point the cause (technically speaking) as most are not even aware about the existence of this elbow passing underneath the body.

You got to know how to swim to find that out.