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twhessler
December 12th, 2013, 07:22 PM
Hi
i know that sounds like a dumb question, but I have concerns.
i have been reading some of the posts on this site and people are talking of swimming 5 or 6 days a week, I would love to do that.

Currently I swim 3 times a week and put in 3,500 yards a session . I would like to increase this but for the last couple of years every time it get going I end up with tendinitis in my elbows and or shoulders. The doctors always say I'm over doing it and to back off.
it seems I should be able to up my yardage or amount of swim days but I'm always afraid of injury, I am starting to get a little faster now and can feel my elbows threatening me.

Could this be a stroke problem ? Or maybe I'm susceptible to tendinitis ?

Any ideas how to get around this and spend more time in the pool would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You, Tom

pwb
December 13th, 2013, 09:38 AM
What are you training for - fitness? racing? If racing, pool or open water? If pool, sprints or distance?

I'm no sports medicine doc and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but stroke technique issues can lead to injuries. You're certainly not doing a volume that is anywhere near approaching 'over-use' so it might be good to have a coach who is good with technique check out our stroke.

I've just gone through about a year of rehab for a shoulder issue and, in the end, the only thing that worked to get me back to training was finding a physical therapist who knew swimmers.

__steve__
December 13th, 2013, 12:52 PM
I've just gone through about a year of rehab for a shoulder issue and, in the end, the only thing that worked to get me back to training was finding a physical therapist who knew swimmers.Did you also have an underlying stroke issue requiring attention which acted with the yardage load?

Swimspire
December 14th, 2013, 10:57 AM
Hi
i know that sounds like a dumb question, but I have concerns.
i have been reading some of the posts on this site and people are talking of swimming 5 or 6 days a week, I would love to do that.

Currently I swim 3 times a week and put in 3,500 yards a session . I would like to increase this but for the last couple of years every time it get going I end up with tendinitis in my elbows and or shoulders. The doctors always say I'm over doing it and to back off.
it seems I should be able to up my yardage or amount of swim days but I'm always afraid of injury, I am starting to get a little faster now and can feel my elbows threatening me.

Could this be a stroke problem ? Or maybe I'm susceptible to tendinitis ?

Any ideas how to get around this and spend more time in the pool would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You, Tom


Hi Tom, I wouldn't be absolutely sure until I saw your stroke, but I am inclined to believe that you have some technique issues you need to work on, as this is the primary cause for injuries in swimming.

I would also suggest that you add drills to your workout, so that you are incorporating variety into your swim without too much of the stress on your upper body during fullstroke sets. You should work on drills that develop your kick, in order to lessen the burden placed on your shoulders and elbows. By including leg-based drills into your workouts, you can still increase your yardage without using your upper body, maintain the proper ratio between leg work, arm work and fullstroke, and reduce aggravation of your injury-prone areas.

Good luck!
Julia

orca1946
December 14th, 2013, 12:40 PM
I swim 3 days a week at the yards you do & go to the gym to do cardio & weights 3 days a week with one day a week off.
It would also be good to have a coach or a "good" swimmer look into proper stroke technique.

twhessler
December 15th, 2013, 07:47 PM
Thanks for the replys

I am just a fitness swimmer no racing. I have had a few very good swimmers look over my stroke and the results are always, i have a very good stroke. Im not saying its perfect and maybe im doing something under water that is wrong and not easily seen, but i'm pretty sure there are no major errors with it.
I hesitate to do leg drills, i understand the reasoning to break up your routine. On my days off I do track workouts with some pretty hard sprints although I don't have any leg problems I believe I am pushing them just about to the limit as it is and swim days are kind of an off day for the legs. At least thats how I think it's working.
Thanks for the advice, Tom

__steve__
December 15th, 2013, 08:16 PM
I end up with tendinitis in my elbows and or shoulders. The doctors always say I'm over doing it and to back off.
As for the elbow inflammation you've mentioned, would you be referring to tennis or golfer's elbow (lateral or medial epicondylitis)?

twhessler
December 16th, 2013, 04:44 PM
Steve
I think you are correct but not 100% positive.
I end up with a shot of cortizone and three days later no pain.

Thanks, Tom

Swimspire
December 17th, 2013, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the replys

I am just a fitness swimmer no racing. I have had a few very good swimmers look over my stroke and the results are always, i have a very good stroke. Im not saying its perfect and maybe im doing something under water that is wrong and not easily seen, but i'm pretty sure there are no major errors with it.
I hesitate to do leg drills, i understand the reasoning to break up your routine. On my days off I do track workouts with some pretty hard sprints although I don't have any leg problems I believe I am pushing them just about to the limit as it is and swim days are kind of an off day for the legs. At least thats how I think it's working.
Thanks for the advice, Tom


First of all, whether you consider yourself to be a fitness swimmer or a competitive swimmer, it is not recommended to view swimming as a way to rest your legs from other activities. Not only because the way you use your legs in running is different from the way you use them in swimming, but also because swimming is a total body exercise. In other words, you need to use the upper and lower body in tandem in order to swim efficiently and - most importantly for you - to avoid injuries.

If you still insist on using swim days as an off day for your legs, you will have to be cognizant of the fact that you are placing all of your emphasis on your upper body and thus are at greater risk of injuries due to overuse and poor technique.

twhessler
December 17th, 2013, 02:53 PM
swimspire
I think I came across wrong, I kick when I swim and believe I swim pretty efficiently. I just don't do leg specific exercise in the pool in the interest of not over doing it on the legs.
You mentioned "poor techinque". Would poor technique lead to tendinitus ??
I guess that would be the most important question and the reason I started this thread. The doctors say it's over use and back off and yet most people seem to be putting in more yardage than me.
I don't know if anyone can really answer that i'm sure everyone is different. I was just kind of looking for some thoughts from experianced swimmers.
Thanks, Tom

ourswimmer
December 17th, 2013, 04:10 PM
The doctors say it's over use and back off and yet most people seem to be putting in more yardage than me.


I end up with a shot of cortizone and three days later no pain.

Your doctors do not seem to know much about swimming, or about shoulders. A cortisone shot is not a routine, first-line treatment for swimmer's shoulder. It is a last-try-before-surgery treatment. It knocks down inflammation, sure, but it doesn't do anything about whatever problem caused the inflammation in the first place. And if something is inflaming your shoulders on just 10,000 yards a week, to the point that you need a cortisone shot rather than just 400mg of ibuprofen, you need to get to the bottom of it.


I've just gone through about a year of rehab for a shoulder issue and, in the end, the only thing that worked to get me back to training was finding a physical therapist who knew swimmers.

PWB's advice is the advice to follow. The routine, first-line treatment for shoulder pain in swimmers is really a pre-treatment: You need to strengthen the muscles that stabilize your shoulder blades on your back and your upper arm bone in your shoulder socket. To do so, you need to see a physical therapist who knows about overhead sports, swimmers ideally but baseball or volleyball players would do. Then you need to get in the habit of doing the suite of rotator-cuff exercises your PT recommends, religiously. They are like brushing your teeth (you do it every day; you don't wait until you are in pain). As a serious runner you surely are familiar with the concept, for knees and hips. The older I get the more exercises I have to do just to stay in shape to exercise.

This FINA video is about shoulder exercises. It is informative, but rather than just copying a video I would recommend strongly that you see someone who can help you understand which exercises would be good for you with how your shoulders work today. You don't want to do the exercises incorrectly, and you don't want to do exercises that you are not strong enough (yet) to do correctly and beneficially.


http://youtu.be/tP7fV_d7cDQ

Swimspire
December 17th, 2013, 06:54 PM
swimspire
I think I came across wrong, I kick when I swim and believe I swim pretty efficiently. I just don't do leg specific exercise in the pool in the interest of not over doing it on the legs.
You mentioned "poor techinque". Would poor technique lead to tendinitus ??
I guess that would be the most important question and the reason I started this thread. The doctors say it's over use and back off and yet most people seem to be putting in more yardage than me.
I don't know if anyone can really answer that i'm sure everyone is different. I was just kind of looking for some thoughts from experianced swimmers.
Thanks, Tom

Hi Tom,


Yes, you can certainly develop tendinitis, or impingement syndrome as it is also called, from poor technique. Engaging in a repetitive motion that is executed in such a way that it places a strain on your joints (whether shoulders, or elbows) can cause inflammation.


For example, if you do not have the proper body rotation while you are swimming freestyle, you will have to swing your arms more to the side in order to take a stroke. This means that your shoulders will take more of the burden and will be forced to internally rotate more than necessary in order to compensate for your flat body position in the water. Again, this is just one example of the many ways that stroke technique can affect your joints and muscles.


While I agree with ourswimmer that physical therapists can work wonders, and shoulder exercises are a very important element to shoulder stabilization, prevention is key here. If you do not figure out why you are having pain in the first place, you will constantly be focusing on managing the pain as opposed to finding a solution to eliminating it.


I would still strongly recommend that you find a competent coach who will be able to analyze your stroke technique.

Hope this helps!

__steve__
December 17th, 2013, 11:02 PM
I had golfers elbow that not necessarily resulted from swimming, but would certainly light up when doing so. One cortisone injection was enough to slow the inflammation and allow it to heal

twhessler
December 18th, 2013, 05:29 PM
Thanks for all of the replys.
I did get some good information and a few different ideas to follow, this is exactly what I was looking for. I am now going to start my focus on prevention before I worry about upping my yardage.

Thanks, Tom