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Karen Duggan
April 19th, 2011, 03:43 PM
I know that there are threads on here already about shoulder injury and Cortisone shots but I don't have time to look for them.

I have decided to get a Cortisone shot this week for bicep tendonitis.

My question is: Can I swim then? My fear is that if I do I might tear it and do further damage. However, I am also thinking that if the shot works, the inflammation will go down and I won't hurt it.

Any advice and/or experience is appreciated. :agree:

Rich Abrahams
April 19th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Karen,
I had a cortisone shot in my right shoulder on Feb. 28. When icing /rest/rehab won't calm down my tendinitis it works like a miracle for me. The aching in the joint went away within a day and the tendinitis calmed totally down within about a week. I took the day of the shot off from swimming, then swam moderately for two days before resuming my normal routine.

One question: have you had an mri of the biceps tendon? If it's just inflamed I think cortisone will help. However, both of mine (at different times) were extremely frayed and hanging on by a thread. I think if that is the case, surgery may be warranted.

Good luck,
Rich

orca1946
April 19th, 2011, 07:45 PM
I LOVE those shots !! :applaud::banana:
They give me the quick relief I need as opposed to taking weeks off.
Warning - you can only get 3 in the same area in a year !

swimshark
April 19th, 2011, 08:41 PM
I had one in my shoulder a few years ago. The next day was too sore to swim (or move much) but after that, I was good to go. It pretty much healed my tendonitis and bursitis. It comes back occasionally but not nearly as bad as before. Good luck. I really hope it helps you as well.

RadSwim
April 19th, 2011, 10:32 PM
Steroid injections are associated with an increased risk of tendon rupture. The risk is more for ankle tendons, but prudence would have you rest for several days after a steroid injection in the shoulder.

I have had many bouts of swimmer's shoulder as I have relearned swimming as an adult. When my shoulder gets sore, my approach is to back-off, rest a few days, figure out what technique modifications I need, and slowly modify my stroke so that I can swim pain-free. I was sore again in February, but I have changed my recovery and my pull and am doing well now.

On a couple of occasions, I have seen a physical therapist, when my usual strategy was not enough. Several weeks in the gym improved my shoulders both times.

Please proceed with caution after understanding the potential risks and considering alternative treatments.

I am very reluctant to get a steroid injections -- would only consider if all else had failed, including resting for a few weeks, consulting a Sports Medicine specialist, had whatever diagnostic imaging was needed, and had failed a course of physical therapy. Then, only if the pain kept me awake at night.

I am just a fitness swimmer, but I am also an expert in musculoskeletal imaging and periodically give steroid injections as part of my practice, usually for a frozen shoulder.

Karen Duggan
April 19th, 2011, 10:57 PM
Thanks everybody. All helpful advice.

I think I will push for an MRI when I go for the shot.
I have a very high pain tolerance (was walking around
the night of all 4 C-Sections, etc.), so it could very well
be torn and I am not aware of it.

My hubby mentioned that these shots are painful.
I guess I'll shoot for getting back in the water next Monday
as I'm supposed to get the shot this week.

Again, thanks all.

swimshark
April 20th, 2011, 08:01 AM
Thanks everybody. All helpful advice.

I think I will push for an MRI when I go for the shot.
I have a very high pain tolerance (was walking around
the night of all 4 C-Sections, etc.), so it could very well
be torn and I am not aware of it.

My hubby mentioned that these shots are painful.
I guess I'll shoot for getting back in the water next Monday
as I'm supposed to get the shot this week.

Again, thanks all.

Keep us posted.

orca1946
April 20th, 2011, 09:38 AM
They should numb the injection site well before the shot.
Yes, if they need to inject several areas when they are in there, it can hurt - but you will feel MUCH better sooner! Good luck & remember
DO NOT OVER WORK AS SOON AS IT FEELS BETTER!!:bolt:

Karen Duggan
April 20th, 2011, 11:31 AM
Thanks Dad.
:bighug:

hnatkin
April 20th, 2011, 01:01 PM
I have been told on several occasions that MRIs are tricky for shoulders, and sometimes don't pick up tears that may be there. Unfortunately that means the only true way to know what's going on is surgery, which is generally a last, not a first step. Just a warning that you may not want to look at the MRI results as the absolute diagnostic tool for your problem. I also would highlight the comments about cortisone injections - if you get too many, they can weaken your tendons, so you may not want to jump right to it. My approach to shoulder rehab has been through physical therapy. It can take many months to get you back to fully normal, but at the same time you are addressing the problem by strengthening the rotator cuff. It's generally the weakness that is causing the problem in the first place, so the cortisone may take down the inflammation but if you keep doing the same thing you are likely to encounter the same problem in the future. In short - do those shoulder exercises!

Karen Duggan
April 20th, 2011, 01:56 PM
I think it's important to note that this is not a swimming related injury. I have never had shoulder issues in 30 years of swimming. This occurred when I went to spike a volleyball. This is an acute injury that is not responding to rest.

Cokie
April 20th, 2011, 05:44 PM
Karen - looks like you've gotten some good advice here on the forum. As a diehard swimmer with four shoulder surgeries behind me (and we sure hope that all surgeries are behind me) you are going to have a tough time finding balance between wanting to work hard in the water so you compete well and knowing you need to give some TLC to your shoulder. All this advice here is pretty sound, but do hear your doctor out.

I always like this saying, "Take what you want, and leave the rest." When I had my first surgery, my surgeon told me there was only a 30% chance I'd swim again, and he advised not to consider competing. I cried for a day and then stuffed it down and went on with rehab firmly committed to returning to competition. That was 1992, six months after I started masters swimming. Here in year 20, my shoulders have been through 3 more surgeries, but they are rock solid. There will be ups and downs (surgery or not) but the power of positive thinking combined with medical care, medical advice, and common sense will carry you far.

So do what you need to do!

msgrupp
April 20th, 2011, 06:22 PM
Thanks everybody. All helpful advice.



My hubby mentioned that these shots are painful.
I guess I'll shoot for getting back in the water next Monday
as I'm supposed to get the shot this week.



Depends on the skill of the doctor. I've had 2 injections--2 different doctors. Both are ortho-pods and well experienced. No pain from either one but the injection is "front-loaded" with a local anesthetic to help insure that they got the right "spot".

Karen Duggan
April 21st, 2011, 12:01 PM
Thanks again :agree:

Cokie, now we just need to get that back of yours taken care of!

__steve__
April 21st, 2011, 06:01 PM
I would definately bring up what Mr Abrahams mentioned about the tendon attachment health to your Md since the bicep is involved with alot of stuff. I had a shot for golfers elbow which is more superficial than that. But anyway, it's been 4 weeks and turns out to be definate fix thus far. The procedure was painless (just a sting) and quick. The doctor first freezed the area with a liquid, delivered the Rx, and was done in 15 seconds. It had a dull sting that disappeared by the end of the day and left a bruise.

Good luck

orca1946
April 21st, 2011, 06:20 PM
Let us know how it turns out !:blah::blah::blah:

Karen Duggan
April 21st, 2011, 08:45 PM
Got an e-mail today, the shot is scheduled for next Wed. That's the first day we can move into the new house. Figures.

Celestial
April 21st, 2011, 09:34 PM
You won't be able to lift your arm for several hours after getting that injection, let me tell you - I could barely lift my fork about 4-5 hours after mine - but it saved me from shoulder surgery as I healed up nicely! Also remember that a lot of steroids such as cortisone shots, prednisone etc., can lead to osteoporosis - not just muscle wasting!

Karen Duggan
April 22nd, 2011, 12:19 AM
I am definitely getting the message from everyone that this shot is something not to be repeated often! I'm not planning on it.

My shoulder actually didn't hurt at all this morning. Spoke to soon on that one. After doing some easy rotations it hurt again. Sigh.

orca1946
April 22nd, 2011, 04:30 PM
I don't think your arm will be as bad as others say, I could be wrong on this , maybe, I hope not !

stillwater
April 22nd, 2011, 06:50 PM
Mrs. Duggan,

My last cortisone shot was well over 30 years ago.

It was the most painfull injection I have ever had. The bore of the needle matched my pupils when I saw it. The pain I experienced wasn't from the girth of the needle, it was from the healing medicine.

It worked like magic.

Rich Abrahams
April 22nd, 2011, 08:24 PM
I never experienced any pain during or after the shot.

orca1946
April 23rd, 2011, 12:58 PM
Well - we are waiting for your reaction ???:cane: OR :applaud: