View Full Version : Predicting aches and pains

January 10th, 2011, 09:50 AM
I've been more-or-less out of the water since March of last year, first with tendinitis in my right shoulder, and this fall with shoulder and other aches after a couple bike crashes.

I'm starting to get back into the flow of things a bit, swimming three or four times per week and remaining upright on my bike, but I find it hard (or impossible) to predict when my shoulder will act up. Saturday I wasn't expecting much, as I could feel my shoulder, but I went to lap swim anyway and had essentially no pain. By the time I was finished warming up my shoulder felt fine.

I did try something different though. About four hours before swimming I took a couple ibuprofen and iced my shoulder a bit. I figured four hours would be long enough so that any pain suppression from the meds would be gone, but it would still have reduced inflammation in my shoulder. I felt fine yesterday, took the day off. I felt fine when I got up this morning. I went to practice and my shoulder bothered me a bit the entire time, enough so that I kicked nearly half the warmup and switched to zoomers for a good chunk of the main set.

Now I clearly don't have the option of taking nsaids four hours before practice when it's a 6am practice (I good take some the night before), and I will admit that there likely was some residual effect on Saturday (reduced inflammation if nothing else). The fact that I felt fine on Sunday suggests to me that I didn't hurt anything Saturday. Any comment on taking nsaids well in advance of swimming to reduce inflammation? (I don't want to take them right before because they might mask pain.)

I'm curious about other people's experiences. As we age (I'm 57), we are going to have more aches and pains from a lifetime of wear and tear on our bodies. How good are you at predicting whether or not a chronic joint problem you have (shoulder, knee, etc) will flare up when you swim?


January 10th, 2011, 10:23 AM
could it just be that you need more time between waking up and training to get your shoulder warmed up / loosened (sp) before swimming?

maybe your sleeping on it and when swimming in the afternoon you've given yourself time to undo the sleeping damage.

try swimming on a sat or a sunday at 8 or 9am but wake up at the same time as you would for a 6am practice and see if that helps.

I'm usually up at 7am for my 8:30 sunday practice to give my back and shoulder time to recover from sleeping the wrong way.

The Fortress
January 10th, 2011, 10:56 AM
If I do too much yardage, my shoulder will hurt.

If I do too much paddle work, my shoulder will hurt.

If I toss and turn at night and sleep on my shoulder, it may hurt the next day.

If I do too much fly, my shoulder will hurt. (As a result, I never ever do fly without fins and stick mostly with 25s and a few 50s.)

If I get lazy about doing my rotator cuff exercises regularly, my shoulder will hurt. The moment I feel a twinge in my shoulder, I redouble my efforts here.

I also find that lifting weights and keeping the surrounding muscles and the core strong helps prevent shoulder pain.

I also do a heavy dose of kicking during practice, which has actually made my swimming faster.

So, if I carefully manage all these things, I'm fine. If I don't, I'll pay the price. But I tend to be highly paranoid and follow these "rules."

January 10th, 2011, 11:23 AM
I always worry that taking NSAIDS and/or ice before a workout will suppress pain that I need as a warning sign and cause me to do more injury to myself. I do plenty of both after a workout, however. I don't know if this is true, its just my concern.

January 10th, 2011, 11:28 AM
Hey Fortress! What is your exercise routine for your rotator cuff?

The Fortress
January 10th, 2011, 11:46 AM
Hey Fortress! What is your exercise routine for your rotator cuff?


You can check out my blog. But generally I do some of the following:

arm extensions w/3 lb weights (15 reps forward, V, sides)
tricep kick backs w/5 lb weight
standing arm circles (50 forward, 50 reverse)
external rotators on cable machine, 15 reps at 10 lb
internal rotators on cable machine, 15 reps at 10 lb
med ball on the wall
tennis ball on wall in circles (this one is a bit too tedious for me)
prone scapular scrunches w/5 lb weights, arms at side
seated straight arm dips at low weight
chops on a yoga ball with thumbs up and thumbs down

You can google others.

Oh, and unlike some, I never take NSAIDs. Inflammation if part of the healing process. Though I will ice on occasion.

January 12th, 2011, 03:31 PM
"As we age" You will hear this more & more . Try some longer lasting meds or as you get up & go to early swims. With 2 hip replacements, I ache all the time no matter what I take. Good luck & enjoy what we can do as to others that cannot do even close to us !