View Full Version : disc injuries

December 20th, 2005, 05:13 PM
About 3 months ago, I was diagnosed with a herniated C6-7 disc, not sure if it was aggravated by swimming fly/breast strokes. Available data suggests that PT is typically as effective as surgery over the long-run (a year or so), but I'm wondering: Does anyone know of someone who has had this or a similar injury and how they have been swimming since? I continue to have some mild weakness and fatigue in the triceps as a result of it, which definitely impacts my strokes. I'm hoping to hear that people have gone on to swim well after this type of injury and rehab.

December 20th, 2005, 05:26 PM
no idea about that type of injury. But i broke my back pretty badly in may and i can swim fine now (though i'm dead slow(nothing to do with the back,) but i'm working on that). so i'm sure you'll be fine just take it easy for a while and good luck with it

Lucky McCharm
December 21st, 2005, 06:40 PM
My wife is a masters swimmer and she has three herniated discs, also in the C region. She's done fairly well with physical therapy and rehab. She was out of the water for 6 weeks this summer, and then made her way back to swimming, albeit gingerly. Her pain resonates on the left side--shoulder, elbow, and hand-numbness--and she's left handed. She finally got an MRI once every-day tasks such as writing and gardening became too painful; this is when the herniations--all are mild to moderate--were confirmed.

She's been pretty good about doing her exercises and continuing on w/physical therapy, and she has been slowly adding in regular swimming. She first used a snorkel and fins, and worked solely on kicking. After that, she added in a lot of one arm backstroke. As physical therapy continued and she was able to regain some range of motion, she was able to do regular backstroke. There were days when she pushed it too far, and she'd have to hold off on swimming the next practice, but as time goes on, she's figuring out how to listen to her body.

For now, freestyle is out but she can do breaststroke and backstroke comfortably. She swam in a meet recently, but she didn't dive off the blocks or do a regular backstroke start b/c she wanted to spare the pressure on her neck. She swam a decent breaststroke race and she thinks its because she's been doing so much kicking.

It's been a long journey for her, but she seems to be taking swimming in stages. I know that she's opposed to surgery, and I think it's her aversion to surgery that is motiviating her to be vigilant about doing her exercises. She still has some limited range of motion in her left arm, and she probably needs a stroke overhaul in freestyle, but after 3 months of P-T, she's improved.

So, in sum, at least one person has been able to rebound--slowly--from herniated discs. Good luck!

December 22nd, 2005, 12:32 PM
Hi there! Welcome to the spinal injury club! :) I myself have a bulging disc at L5...not herniated and not the same as your injury....but I can tell you that I recently reentered the water with my varsity swim team. My doctor told me to not do fly, and perhaps breaststroke if it gives me trouble (but only if). Also flip turns and starts if they give me trouble.

I've also been told that should I get any back pain or nerve tingling going on I need to stop swimming to allow my injury to keep healing.

I do do lots of PT stuff every day in my athletic trainers area.