View Full Version : Shoulder Injury and MRI question

November 3rd, 2005, 01:01 AM
Hi Swimmers
Sorry to post another shoulder injury message. I have been suffering with a chronic shoulder problem for some time and have been working hard to get it under control this year. The pain develops around the right shoulder region. It moves around a bit but settles in the soft tissue between the spine and shoulder blade. It develops 1-2 days after swimming freestyle. Once the pain develops I have had to stop swimming for up to two months before it disappears. The last time it subsided I joined a techique class but it reoccurred after about 7 weeks. I then went to see a physiotherapist for who has been great. He has conducted deep tissue massage of the area, dry needling and electro (something or other) which makes the muscles spasm. He has given me excersices with Therra Bands and has monitored the progress. His work cleared up the pain a lot quicker than previously.

I have to have an MRI of my chest area on an unrelated matter shortly and was wondering whether I should ask the doctor to extend it to the shoulder region. Perhaps one of you good swimmers out there has had previous experience with MRI's and shoulder issues.

Thank you in anticipation.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:11 PM
I've had an MRI on my shoulder and if I were you, I would attempt to convince your doctor to include your shoulder in the MRI referral. If the therapy along with technique training are not solving your problem then you have every right to take it to the next level, especially in a country whose favorite sport is swimming. Best of luck and keep us posted.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
2 separate charges for the MRIs as the shoulder is a separate area from the chest.

The magnets are placed in different areas AND a great deal of the time--the shoulder MRI is an ARTHRO mri. Your shoulder is injected with a dye type material to see where it might be "leaking". There is also a separate charge for the injection of the dye which is done under fluro guidance.

Been there--done that. My left shoulder is one of the most mri'ed parts of my body!

November 3rd, 2005, 10:49 PM
Was the shoulder pain of three of you something directly linked to swimming? If so, was it a consequence of overtraining? or lack of strectching?

Jani Sutherland
November 4th, 2005, 01:09 PM
I have had 2 MRI's on my shoulders and they don't always show what is wrong or can show something incorrectly. Still, it is a very good diagnostic tool.

November 6th, 2005, 06:58 PM
Thank you all for your advice in relation to my MRI question. I have been to see the doctor and he suggested an ultrasound as it is likely to be just as definitive as the MRI and is a lot cheaper. He does not expect either an ultrasound or MRI to show anything as he suspects it is just muscle stiffness. I will go ahead with the ultrasound for peace of mind.

Zirconium - I suspect my shoulder injury is swimming related and could be related to poor technique when I foolishly thought I coud just get in the pool and just go for it.

330man - I know that you had shoulder problems a while back. I will do a search of your posts to see how it all went. Hope you are now 100%.

November 7th, 2005, 11:43 PM
I haven't had the ultrasound yet but am quietly excited that I had a bit of success with my shoulder on the weekend. The physio suggested we give taping a try. He massaged my right shoulder and then taped the muscles around the shoulder and scapula and suggested I go for a gentle swim straight after the session. I went for an easy freestyle swim (only about 500 metres). I wanted to keep going but stopped myself. I and am pleased to report that the pain has not returned.

I am interested to learn what distance other swimmers began swimming while recovering from a shoulder problem. Any suggestions?

November 8th, 2005, 10:45 AM
I had a light muscle pull in the back of the shoulder which occured last year, probably due to insufficiant warm up (and not enough sleep). I continue to train and was on the way to get a shoulder tendonitis.

I drastically reduced the training volume hoping the shoulder will have enough time to heal. After a month, the mild shoulder pain is still showing. I went to a physiotherapist who diagnosed the pain as a minor impingement and advised me to do strengh exercise targetting the shoulder.

I didn't want to take any risk. I stopped swimming for 2 months, while doing the exercises which look very similar to this: http://www.svl.ch/files/shoulder_strengthening.pdf

Take care, please use light weight, otherwise this could make the problem worse. Ideally, a balanced upper body strenthening would be more beneficial. Because your rotator cuff muscles work in conjunction with other muscles (traps, lats, pecs).

My shoulder pain was gone. And I now keep the habit to complement my swimming with resistance training.

November 11th, 2005, 12:28 AM
Thank you for you advice Zirconium. I will continue with my shoulder strengthening. So good to hear that you fully recovered. I hope I have the same experience. Regards Johnathon.