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scyfreestyler
January 21st, 2005, 08:05 PM
My therapist suggested that I return to full stroke swimming even though I am not fully recovered from my injury. My rotator muscles are still relatively weak and have a low level of stamina but he thinks that swimming without PAIN will speed the recovery process. It should help me gain stamina and strength as well as allow my cuff muscles to re-coordinate themselves with each other. I was swimming about a mile a day when I was injured so where should I aim for now? The therapist said to stay away from pain but left it at that. Should I cut it down to 800 yards pain free? Should I swim a mile if I can do it pain free? I am also planning on doing my exercises after I swim so that my shoulders are fresh when I get in the water. Is that a good plan?

msgrupp
January 21st, 2005, 08:42 PM
in too fast or you'll be right back where you started.

Start with a FEW (and I do mean FEW) easy 100s. See how it goes. Do that for a few days. See how it goes. Start adding in additional 100 yard units. Don't add those units on daily--stay at a given amount for a few days. Gradually increasing will give you longer benefits!!!

Starting at 800 yards may be a little too much. Try something like LESS than 500 yards--and take it slow. You're not racing!!!! Do some kick board work if you want more time in the water.

Don't anticipate jumping in and doing your old mile. It will take awhile to work back up to it. I had to take off 4 weeks after a back surgery. Hadn't been able to really swim for 6 weeks before the surgery. So was out of water from approximately October to early January. When I got back---started with less than 500 yards and it wore me out!! My arms were OK and the legs felt good (had had sciatic pain from August to November--reason for surgery) but the back wasn't really ready. It took until March to get back to my usual routine.

Whatever you do--be sure to ice down your shoulders when you're done!!!!

scyfreestyler
January 21st, 2005, 08:59 PM
Points well taken. I will swim 500 yards maximum at a leisurely pace. I'll take some ice packs with me so I can ice on my way home as well. I tried getting back into swimming about a month ago and after three progressively better visits, my fourth was painful from the start. I must say that I am a bit uneasy and scared that I am in for a repeat of before. The only thing that keeps me thinking positive is that I have three weeks of PT and cuff exercises under my belt now. Hopefully that along with the continued cuff exercises will allow me to build back up to my pre-injury state at a measured rate.

scyfreestyler
January 22nd, 2005, 07:21 PM
Well, I managed to swim about 150 yards before the pain/discomfort set in. I then went back to kicking and tried another lap but the pain was not going to go away. I guess I will just keep going back and swimming as far as my body allows with hopes of seeing some improvement. The diagonal resistance exercises that I do with my PT really work my shoulder over and I think I am still recovering from doing those yesterday. It is difficult to stop when the pain sets in because I am having so much fun!! Especially now that I have a firm grip on my flip turns, my swimming is more fun than ever. Patience is a virtue I will learn to love/hate during my recovery.

msgrupp
January 22nd, 2005, 10:49 PM
good common sense in actually stopping at 150 yds when the pain started. Maybe this is the time to practice flip turns as you only need to take a few strokes before you turn and then a few after. Meaning--you don't go too far out from the wall.

I would mention to the therapist what happened. Also--keep a written record of what you're doing. This could be of value to both you and the doctor in making future decisions.

LindsayNB
January 23rd, 2005, 09:49 AM
Do you also get pain swimming breaststroke? If not, that might be a way for you to get in more swimming without interfering with your shoulder recovery.

scyfreestyler
January 23rd, 2005, 01:28 PM
Thanks for the ideas everyone, I will consider them all. One positive thing I have noticed is that I recover much more quickly from a painful event in the shoulder. Today I feel no worse for the wear whereas a few weeks ago it might take a few days.

strong440
January 23rd, 2005, 05:46 PM
Since it's been a coupla months since anybody has mentioned the virtues of swimming with lightly closed fists (or virtually the same thing, using fist gloves), I seems to me that the time and place is ripe. It will effectively "take the load off" the shoulders and just might let you swim painlessly.

Sure, it will feel awkward for the first several strokes, but soon it will feel natural. It is good for any of the competitive strokes. Expect it to be ten percent slower once you become accustomed to it, but maybe you won't have to take off a week or a month from swimming altogether.

gull
January 24th, 2005, 07:41 AM
I think you're on the right track, just be patient. A few thoughts:

1. You might try swimming with a pull buoy or fins for some of your sets--this may take some strain off your shoulder and allow you to swim further.

2. Swim every other day instead of every day for awhile.

3. Use ice both after swimming and again at bedtime.

4. I really believe in treating the inflammation (pain=inflammation) with antiinflammatory drugs like Aleve, although the safety of chronic use has been questioned recently.

scyfreestyler
January 24th, 2005, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by gull80
I think you're on the right track, just be patient. A few thoughts:

1. You might try swimming with a pull buoy or fins for some of your sets--this may take some strain off your shoulder and allow you to swim further.

2. Swim every other day instead of every day for awhile.

3. Use ice both after swimming and again at bedtime.

4. I really believe in treating the inflammation (pain=inflammation) with antiinflammatory drugs like Aleve, although the safety of chronic use has been questioned recently.

Thanks Gull, I appreciate the input. My only concern about using NSAID's was that I might mask pain that I should not be swimming through. As far as chronic use goes, are you reffering to the COX1/stomach bleeding issue or the controversy over COX2 drugs such as Celebrex?


EDIT: I should also add that I will not be seeing a PT anymore after seeing my last EOB from BlueCross. I am going to continue with the exercise program but I will have to live without the massage and transdermal anti-inflamatory. The popping in my shoulders is actually more annoying that the small amount of pain that I am still feeling. As long as the popping is pain free there is no reason not to continue with exercise, correct?

gull
January 24th, 2005, 12:48 PM
I don't think you're masking pain--these aren't narcotics--you're treating inflammation. The cox2 inhibitors are under scrutiny now, probably with justification due to a class effect leading to a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks. I was referring to drugs like Aleve (Naproxen), which has been in the news lately as well. There is an increased risk of stomach bleeding with chronic use, and there is now some question of a possible heart attack risk on the basis of one study (but never demonstrated previously).