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swimr4life
November 4th, 2007, 09:36 PM
I'm so frustrated!! I've had neck (trap)and upper back pain for almost a year now. It would come and go. Now it is "going" almost constantly. I went the medical route first....muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory drugs and rest....for about 2 weeks. It helped temporarily. (I HATE taking muscle relaxers....they make me feel tired and lazy!)The minute I stopped taking them and tried to swim, it came back.

I went to a chiropractor. He did X-rays and said my neck was straight. It is supposed to have a slight backward curve...sort of a natural "shock absorber" for your spine. He also said my neck (cervical spine) is shifted big time to the left.....explains why it hurts on the right! :doh: He said my trap muscles have been doing all the "shock absorbing" and had many knots in them on both sides. He also said my pec muscles were too tight and pulling my traps I've been going THREE times a week to get adjusted by the chiropractor. I've been stretching, icing and not swimming. The only thing that has helped is massage...and that's not in my budget! It doesn't seem to be getting better.:shakeshead: :cry: I finally went "swimming" Thursday to try to stretch it out. The doctor said it was ok as long as I didn't push it! I thought I would just kick a lot. I did try to swim some EASY strokes. It tightend up real fast! I ended up kicking on my back and doing a lot of vertical kicking in deep water. Any advice?

allenhighnote
November 4th, 2007, 10:07 PM
I know the feeling. I've got similar neck, shoulder, and back pain.

I've found that NSAIDs actually make them worse over time and I was suffering from "Rebound Headaches". See Are you a Pill-Popping Masters Swimmer?
by Jessica Seaton, DC at http://www.spma.net/newsletter/2007/sep2007.pdf.

I've been pestering my Dr for several years. I've had X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, seen a neuroligist, and rhumatologist. Have you tried acupuncture?

If you've got good insurance through work, keep going until you get results.

If you do a lot of kicking, stop using a board. Kick on your back, side, or underwater.

I know about the frustration.

Have you had a good coach evaluate your stroke? If you have poor technique you could be causing your own pain. Self evaluation usually doesn't work unless you are a swim coach yourself.

Oh, one of the things that helped me the most was seeing a physical therapist. I was referred by my Dr. He taught me some better stretches than the standard ones we've done for years. Also, I'm using 5-10 lb weights to strengthen the small muscles of shoulder. Stretch bands work great for this too.

Check out http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=9105 as it has some great stretching information from USA Swimming.

ViveBene
November 4th, 2007, 10:08 PM
Hi -
I do not have experience with neck pain. I do have a major experience with a chiropractor. They do not have the tools to make a correct diagnosis in the event of an actual injury. They do not necessarily know how to read X-rays. (And don't necessarily believe a word he says about whether your neck is straight or not, or whether it should be.) I would see a chiropractor again only if the individual was in joint practice with an MD and working with the MD on the same patient.

In your situation I would try an MD and a physical therapist. You might have something like a slowly degenerating disk problem. Pain that is slowly increasing is a signal staring you in the face. Insist on imaging studies: CT, MRI. The first medical treatment is almost always rest, anti-inflammatories, etc. I was BED-RIDDEN and the first treatment was "rest." ("Can we skip that part?" I asked.) In part, insurance agencies like to see the cheap, noninvasive modalities tried first. And docs use them to rule out or bridge over temporary situations. A PT can help you with exercises that you can do at home (to replace massage), if that is the appropriate course.

You have seen chiro several times and you are not getting better. You are getting worse.

Free advice from strangers on bbs is worth what you pay for it, but your original post has quite a lot of info that you may not be seeing. (I am not talking about pecs, traps, or straight necks.)

Good luck, VB

swimshark
November 5th, 2007, 07:30 AM
I can relate. I've had neck pain every morning as I wake up for the last few weeks. I've seen my GP with no luck in finding out why. I had an MRI done a while ago and it came up as normal. Frustrating, I know. I hope you can get some answers soon.

Alison

geochuck
November 5th, 2007, 07:47 AM
Modify your stroke, bend your arms more, get the thumb closer to the body. Ease of on the power from the entry to the catch.

When I get the pain in the neck, I give Chuckie 2 aspirins
:banana::banana::banana:

lynnwa
November 5th, 2007, 08:00 AM
I had neck and back pain o the point that I was unable to sleep and my Dr. prescribed physical therapy. I was able to get relief from it, it was covered by insurance and the therapist gave me exercises to do at home for maintenance. Being aware of my posture was a big thing I needto work on as well as sleeping on my side with only one pillow for my head only. He suggested I roll a small towel to support my neck at the base of the pillow too.

Fortunately I mentioned my trouble to my swim coach and she told me I was bringing my thumbs up too far (almost to my armpit) which is how another coach taught me. I eased up on that, still do the exercises and haven't had the need to go back. My Dr. is an MD and also an osteopath. Good luck - I hope you get relief soon.

CreamPuff
November 5th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Beth,

I will PM you on this.

Must be something in the GA pool water b/c I've had a very, very similar experience to yours. :doh:

Basically since last March (and June was when the pain started), I've had continual headaches, occasional ocular migraines, and to your post, very stiff neck and upper back/ trap pain. I lost a lot of mobility in my neck area and had terrible neck pain.

Went to an MD and recently started with a chiropractor. Both concluded via Xrays that I (like you) have lost curvature on my neck (which I saw on the Xrays.) They said my big traps aren't helping my neck any. Guess these big shoulders are actually not so good for us!? I also had an MRI which came back normal. The doc wanted to give me codeine and no muscle relaxers (she's against relaxants but not strong painkillers for whatever reason) which I declined.

So, I'm pursuing the chiro route for now. I too went 3x a week for about 4 weeks. I will say my headaches stopped as did my migraines (it's been about 5 weeks.) I'm on zero OTC or other RX meds which is fantastic. I also had a decrease in pain and an increase in my range of motion which is awesome. I also had to go through two different chiros before I found the right one.

The only thing I'm struggling with now is that when I start to push my swim workouts (and I'm still nowhere near what I was doing), my body starts to have trouble like my left arm and palm tingles and my neck and left wrist gets stiff. Did I mention that I had to stay out of the water for two weeks?! And, when I do swim, I can't push it. So I feel your frustration!

I'm going to see if I can eventually start pushing it in the pool. If not, I'll pursue the PT/ Neurologist route. I'm starting to think that my body is telling me not to push it the way I did in the past. . . Sux to loaf all these practices.:cry:

Keep us posted. Try different docs if you aren't getting the results you want.

It's uncanny how we are experiencing such similar symptoms. I do wonder if and how much swimming is contributing to this condition. . .

Always,
:cane::cane:

The Fortress
November 5th, 2007, 09:05 AM
I'm so frustrated!! I've had neck (trap)and upper back pain for almost a year now. It would come and go. Now it is "going" almost constantly. I went the medical route first....muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory drugs and rest....for about 2 weeks. It helped temporarily. (I HATE taking muscle relaxers....they make me feel tired and lazy!)The minute I stopped taking them and tried to swim, it came back.

I went to a chiropractor. He did X-rays and said my neck was straight. It is supposed to have a slight backward curve...sort of a natural "shock absorber" for your spine. He also said my neck (cervical spine) is shifted big time to the left.....explains why it hurts on the right! :doh: He said my trap muscles have been doing all the "shock absorbing" and had many knots in them on both sides. He also said my pec muscles were too tight and pulling my traps I've been going THREE times a week to get adjusted by the chiropractor. I've been stretching, icing and not swimming. The only thing that has helped is massage...and that's not in my budget! It doesn't seem to be getting better.:shakeshead: :cry: I finally went "swimming" Thursday to try to stretch it out. The doctor said it was ok as long as I didn't push it! I thought I would just kick a lot. I did try to swim some EASY strokes. It tightend up real fast! I ended up kicking on my back and doing a lot of vertical kicking in deep water. Any advice?

Beth:

As you know, I've had neck, trap, shoulder pain off and on since I started masters swimming. PT did not help me initially and my first orthopod appeared to misdiagnose my injury, which an arthrogram showed to be a frayed left labrum. I'm dealing with that with prolo/ART.

As for the neck/trap items, I think some of my issues are caused by (1) way too much driving, although I do use a roll for my back; (2) sleeping on my stomach -- worst thing for the neck. It's much better to sleep on your back. Some people use neck rolls for that too. I wish I could do it, but I have a hard enough time sleeping; and (3) swimming intensely seems to exacerbate the condition.

For me, my ART/chiro guy can work wonders, as does massage. But I agree, the time and money for constant massages? Also my ART doc says it's essential for neck health to keep the pec muscles loose. So he recommends a lot of door stretches and corner stretches for the purpose. There are some other neck/trap stretches you can do as well.

I don't use any NSAIDs or muscle relaxants either. Allen is right about the rebound headache possibility. Plus, NSAIDs retard the healing process.

I would make sure you chiro is working with an MD to read the x-rays right. But given your profession, I'm assuming you're getting good care.
Hang in there sis! Getting old sucks. I think it's just difficult to train hard without doing a lot of things to keep your body intact and healthy.

Hang in there!! :wave: :bighug:

dorothyrde
November 5th, 2007, 09:56 AM
When I read your post, I really felt that massage is the answer because your muscles are so tight it is pulling things out of alignment. However, it is not in your budget. Here, the Community College has a program for massage therapist and they always need people to "practice" on. So you can get massages for less. Maybe there is something there you can find. Also, if insurance pays for the chiropractor, maybe they would pay for therapy by the chiropractor's office. My chiropractor has ultrasound treatments, and massage therapists on staff. Maybe look into that.

Since I play softball, I have lots of softballs around. Besides playing ball with them, they actually make wonderful massage tools. If you regularily roll a ball over tight muscles, it really helps. Maybe research different methods of self massage to work those tight muscles.

TheGoodSmith
November 5th, 2007, 10:55 AM
My neck pain has been constant for 3-4 months. I tried Meloxicam (arthritis anti-inflammatory) and it has proven very effective. Massage therapy and acupunture has helped as well. It's still there but much reduced.

John Smith

Slowswim
November 5th, 2007, 12:51 PM
When I read your post, I really felt that massage is the answer because your muscles are so tight it is pulling things out of alignment. However, it is not in your budget. Here, the Community College has a program for massage therapist and they always need people to "practice" on. So you can get massages for less. Maybe there is something there you can find.

I totally agree with Dorothy and hope you get better.

Another Idea for free massages. Go to a local 5 or 10K run. Dress in running gear. As the runners are finishing go over and sign up for a free massage. Piece of cake.

allenhighnote
November 5th, 2007, 04:16 PM
One thing that I've found that helps decrease my frustration is to swim more on my own and less on a team. I love swimming with a team but when I do I have the desire/need to train harder. I love to train and compete but under the circumstances that is not the best thing for me. All I was doing was :frustrated:.

When I swim on my own, I can just swim from swimming sake and keep active without going crazy while I sort this health thing out. It allows me to work the muscles without taxing them too much. I'm doing lots of kicking -- vertical and without a board or on my back or side. With and without fins.

For me moving down a lane or two just didn't do the trick. I would see my usual lane mates doing what I know I can do and only get depressed or worse would push it to much and make my pain worse. This has been the most frustrating thing for me.

Whatever you do, don't quit swimming. I've tried that before and it just makes the situation worse in the long run.


I tried Meloxicam (arthritis anti-inflammatory) and it has proven very effective.
John Smith

Did your GP prescribe it or did you have to go to a rhumatologist?

I'm going to GP tomorrow and Rh in about a month. I've tried several other drugs but they just made me loopy without any improvement. At this point, I'll try anything.

It's a royal pain in the :mooning: being healthier than the "average" American but still in pain when you know you're doing the right things.

Dorothy's idea of the soft balls is a great idea. I prefer old dead tennis balls. I gently lie on them on the floor or bed. You don't want to feel pain but you want to let the muscle slowly let the ball in. (yeah, sounds like my head is in the clouds, but you'll be surprised if you give the muscle time.)

CreamPuff
November 5th, 2007, 04:19 PM
I wish massages were not $85/ hour. They help but only provided me with temporary relief.

TheGoodSmith
November 5th, 2007, 06:06 PM
Allenhighnote:

My arthritis specialist prescribed the Meloxicam.

RecreationalSwimmer
November 6th, 2007, 03:43 AM
Double post, deleted

RecreationalSwimmer
November 6th, 2007, 03:51 AM
He said my trap muscles have been doing all the "shock absorbing" and had many knots in them on both sides. Any advice?

This contraption might help you, Beth.

http://www.spikmattan.se/index.php?lang=en

It's made out of 24 sections that snap together like a jigsaw puzzle. They keep unsnapping all the time, may use some duct tape. Don't leave it on the floor, thinking you will remember to pick it up later...:censor:

aquaFeisty
November 6th, 2007, 08:05 AM
Oh Beth, that sucks.

Lots of good ideas from folks here. My main piece of advice would be to use every contact you can think of to make sure you're seeing the best doctor. You're looking for someone who treats healthy, athletic people and someone who is willing to LISTEN to you. You don't want someone who normally treats patients for whom watching tv and sitting in front of a computer is their usual daily activity. Ask friends you know from work, ask people you see at the pool, ask anyone for recommendations. You probably know lots of doctors/nurses from work... ask who they'd send their family to.

And for the massages... while they don't work as well as a massage, I use the tennis balls too. My PT demo'd how to use them for my piriformis muscles (deep nasty muscles kind of in the side of the butt that for whatever reason I have to keep happy to keep my knees happy.) You want to start out on a really soft surface and then move to harder surfaces as your body can take it. I usually use a doubled over yoga mat.

Hang in there, Beth, and know that we're all rooting for you.

Carrie

SwimStud
November 6th, 2007, 08:24 AM
Beth...I sympathise. I have a back ache and sciatica right now. I couldn't swim last night, which was distressing b/c up until now swimming has always been on the "able to do list" albeit slowly and gently. I couldn't do more than 200 before the pain started to heat up. I ended up doing some kicks on my back with fins just to get something done... it sucked.

Oh Beth, also. Drink lots of Green Tea...makes you pee and removes the waste from your muscles. I'd reccomend a cup a day for anyone to be honest. Very good after massages etc.

cathlaur
November 6th, 2007, 09:04 AM
I just wanted to say I hope that you begin to feel better swim4rlife. That is tough. I get a massage weekly ( great benefits) so I am lucky. I know that neck pain is tough.

You have lots of great advice here. Just make sure you don't injure yourself more. Good luck.

Swimstud. I bet you are having a hard time not swimming. Sorry for the pain OUCH. It is hard when you cannot swim. I was back in the pool today after 9 days off. IT WAS fabulous.

Katie

ensignada
November 6th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Beth, I have similar issues with my neck, trap and accursed rhomboid muscles. Mine are the aftermath of one too many whiplashes in my younger days.

My one-two punch is a combo of massage/chiro when the pain is acute (knock on wood, happened only once in the past year).

Massage is so expensive, but I have found a way to mitigate it somewhat. It's not widely advertised, but when I went looking on my insurance co's website, I found a list of massage therapists that the company had negotiated a lower price with. When I need massage therapy, I only pay $45/hour for it. I was initially concerned about the quality of massage, but this particular therapist is nationally certified and works with the Eagles twice a week (sadly, massage isn't helping their play). She has, however, helped me tremendously when I've needed it.

tulclark
November 6th, 2007, 08:17 PM
Beth
I feel your pain! I too had problems for over a year with pain in my neck and upper back (traps). Here are some of the things that have helped me.

1) Find a copy of Kit Laughlin's book " Overcome Neck and Back Pain". There are some great stretches that you have probably never seen before. Amazon has the book on sale for $12 plus shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/Overcome-Neck-Back-Pain-Laughlin/dp/0684852527/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product/104-4234458-4835122

2) I think stretching your pec muscles is a good idea. I do the one where you stand in a doorway with your forearm vertical against the door frame and arm at a 90 degree angle. Leg on same side foreword, then rotate your upper body to the opposite side. Hold for 30 seconds.

3) Strengthen your lower trap and rhomboid muscles. I use a ther band. Hold the band in front of your body with arms to the side upright at a 90 degree angle. Pinch you shoulder blades together while holding the band. Do around 25 reps. Do this ever other day.

The knots or trigger points in your muscle can be massaged out by pressing firmly with the tips of your fingers and massaging in a counter clockwise direction. Biofreeze is a wonderful product to use while you self massage.

Good luck, I wish you luck. Again, for $12 I think you will find Kit Laughlin's books in valueable. :wiggle::wiggle:

rtodd
November 6th, 2007, 09:16 PM
Beth,

Do you breathe on both sides? Perhaps staying on one side for a while would help. I have neck issues bilateral breathing. Just a thought.

swimr4life
November 7th, 2007, 05:30 PM
THANK-YOU SOOO MUCH for all the advice and encouragement. This has been extremely frustrating for me!:whiteflag: I was so tired of hurting and in need of a endorphin fix. I figured not swimming for almost 3 weeks had not helped ( I've swam once!) so I might as well swim and at least feel better overall.....even if my neck hurt. I went "swimming" yesterday and boy was that a mistake! I swam easy and did a lot of kicking with fins. The little bit of swimming I did, I used fins most of the time. I kicked without a board, on my back and with my arms at my side. Boring...but at least I got my heart rate up. My neck and left shoulder started tightening up and hurting pretty quickly. I only did about 1500 yds. So, I did vertical kicking. When I got out of the water, my left shoulder was killing me! It hurt to lift or extend my left arm. UGGGHH. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and told him how very frustrated I am with my lack of progress...even worsening of my symptoms. After examining me, he said I have inflammation/tendonitis in my left shoulder and muscle knots all in my neck/shoulders and back. I'm not surprised! He said the Dr. in the office (MD) can give me injections right into the muscle that will decrease the inflammation/pain. The injection would be a natural substance made up of "natural plant extracts and minerals". They are called "Traumeel" and "Zeel". Sounds kind of hocus pokus to me. I'm going to do some research before I do that. Fort, is this similar to your prolotherapy? If so, have you seen any improvement? My chiro also said my exercises I've been doing (I showed him) were not working my upper back enough and I had a definite muscle imbalance. He showed me some exercises to do. He aslo said that I needed massage more than anything to break up my knots. I may have to take the money I was saving to go to Austin and invest in some massages! :sad:

The Fortress
November 7th, 2007, 06:15 PM
THANK-YOU SOOO MUCH for all the advice and encouragement. This has been extremely frustrating for me!:whiteflag: I was so tired of hurting and in need of a endorphin fix. I figured not swimming for almost 3 weeks had not helped ( I've swam once!) so I might as well swim and at least feel better overall.....even if my neck hurt. I went "swimming" yesterday and boy was that a mistake! I swam easy and did a lot of kicking with fins. The little bit of swimming I did, I used fins most of the time. I kicked without a board, on my back and with my arms at my side. Boring...but at least I got my heart rate up. My neck and left shoulder started tightening up and hurting pretty quickly. I only did about 1500 yds. So, I did vertical kicking. When I got out of the water, my left shoulder was killing me! It hurt to lift or extend my left arm. UGGGHH. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and told him how very frustrated I am with my lack of progress...even worsening of my symptoms. After examining me, he said I have inflammation/tendonitis in my left shoulder and muscle knots all in my neck/shoulders and back. I'm not surprised! He said the Dr. in the office (MD) can give me injections right into the muscle that will decrease the inflammation/pain. The injection would be a natural substance made up of "natural plant extracts and minerals". They are called "Traumeel" and "Zeel". Sounds kind of hocus pokus to me. I'm going to do some research before I do that. Fort, is this similar to your prolotherapy? If so, have you seen any improvement? My chiro also said my exercises I've been doing (I showed him) were not working my upper back enough and I had a definite muscle imbalance. He showed me some exercises to do. He aslo said that I needed massage more than anything to break up my knots. I may have to take the money I was saving to go to Austin and invest in some massages! :sad:

No, those injections are not the prolotherapy and plasma regeneration I am doing. Prolo actually causes inflammation. But prolo and PRP are treatments for chronic tendonitis and tendonosis of the sort you have. www.treatingpain.com (http://www.treatingpain.com) (bottom left corner, there's a youtube video that explains PRP). The cure period is a long one though. But I am definitely better now than I was before I started treatment. And I'm not done yet. Maybe you should ask one of your docs about it? I know it's unconventional, but it has helped me when nothing else did. PRP is supposed to be faster and more effective than prolo. (There was a recent article in the NYT on Aug. 7 about prolo.) It's also supposed to help prevent arthritis problems when you get older from all the tendonosis and fraying.

I haven't heard about the "natural" injections. (In fact, natural supplements have no effect on me whatsoever. But I don't think they help chronic conditions much.) I know you know that cortisone isn't terribly good for you in the long term because it weakens the tendons. I did get a cortisone shot in my trap muscle when I was in agony back when I started swimming. It did nothing. Injections into the muscle are difficult and often ineffective unless you're using a special fluoroscopy (sp?) machine.

Knots are tough. You've got to do massage. I also find ART is really good for knots, muscle imbalance and muscle tightness. Often, we're so focused on the tendonitis, we forget that we need muscle work. The bottom line is that when you're training hard at our age, it's tough to keep all the tendons and muscles happy. When you're sprinting, you're straining every muscle. That strain takes a toll and has to be managed. It's by far the biggest challenge I've found in masters swimming. So I usually buck up and go to ART 2x a month or so and cross train. Is your chiro ART-qualified? ART is great for muscular imbalance. If you have to spend the money on massages instead of Austin, get the massages. Otherwise, you'll be in real danger of not swimming at all. Besides, you swim kickass times without even leaving your state!!

Are you doing scapular exercises along with the RC stuff? Maybe you need to hit the weight room a bit. I don't do that many weights, I usually focus on core work, but I do do some moderate upper body work. My pain doc seems to think it really helps take some of the burden off my shoulders.

I feel your pain. I wish I could make you all better. I do know exactly how you feel. :kiss1::hug::bighug:

dorothyrde
November 7th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I find adding yoga this year has helped tremendously. I do an hour, twice a week. However, you have to get rid of the inflammation first.

swimshark
November 8th, 2007, 08:14 AM
I may have to take the money I was saving to go to Austin and invest in some massages! :sad:

Beth, I'm so sorry about your pain. I know it can be frustrating not being able to swim. I hope the chiro and other docs have sone answers. My sister has a great massage therapist in Atlanta. My sister does long tris and trains so much she has to massag out the knots a lot. We also have an awesome shoulder doc there, too. He's a bit hard to get into but so worth it (he did my knee surgery in 1999). If you want some names and phone nubmers, let me know.

Alison

geochuck
November 8th, 2007, 08:54 AM
The best Massages I have ever had.

Angel a Mexican guy here in Melaque Mexico, charges $35 a hour. Fly here get a room for a week or 2 - $200 a week.

cathlaur
November 8th, 2007, 09:52 AM
Beth I am so sorry that you are really not feeling well. I know how frustrating it is not to be able to do the things we love to do.

It sounds like you have several things going on and that it is going to take some time to heal. I hope you can find a cheaper place for a massage. I get one weekly and know that they are my saving grace. I pay $50 for 45 minutes but my benefits from work pay for them.

I dont have tons to offer other than my support.

Get well soon

Katie

swimr4life
November 8th, 2007, 12:14 PM
The best Massages I have ever had.

Angel a Mexican guy here in Melaque Mexico, charges $35 a hour. Fly here get a room for a week or 2 - $200 a week.


I'm ready to leave yesterday! Not a bad idea!

Thanks for your support and encouragement Cathy. My husband's company is doing their annual insurance renewal right now. You better believe I'm researching for the one that pays for massage/alternative treatments. I've already had one shoulder surgery....I will do everything in my power to not go through that again. The rehab stinks!

Dorthoyde, I'm trying yoga at the gym. I've only gone once but can already see how it would help! Good advice!

Fort, I'm going to ask the ortho that did my shoulder surgery about options you have mentioned. I really respect him and feel he would know what route is best for me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and research with me!

swimr4life
November 8th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Beth, I'm so sorry about your pain. I know it can be frustrating not being able to swim. I hope the chiro and other docs have sone answers. My sister has a great massage therapist in Atlanta. My sister does long tris and trains so much she has to massag out the knots a lot. We also have an awesome shoulder doc there, too. He's a bit hard to get into but so worth it (he did my knee surgery in 1999). If you want some names and phone nubmers, let me know.

Alison

YES! Please let me know!!!

dorothyrde
November 8th, 2007, 12:32 PM
I think a lot of times people, especially when they are young neglect the stretching part of working out. Then over time, our muscles just get all bunched up, and it becomes almost impossible to stretch out. I know people at my age who can no longer hold their arms over their head, they no longer have the shoulder flexibility from lack of use and stretching. I have always stretched, but it is just this year I started adding yoga in twice a week, and it has really improved my flexibility, and leaned my muscles out.

SwimStud
November 8th, 2007, 12:36 PM
I'm ready to leave yesterday! Not a bad idea!

Thanks for your support and encouragement Cathy. My husband's company is doing their annual insurance renewal right now. You better believe I'm researching for the one that pays for massage/alternative treatments. I've already had one shoulder surgery....I will do everything in my power to not go through that again. The rehab stinks!

Dorthoyde, I'm trying yoga at the gym. I've only gone once but can already see how it would help! Good advice!

Fort, I'm going to ask the ortho that did my shoulder surgery about options you have mentioned. I really respect him and feel he would know what route is best for me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and research with me!

Beth, look into reflexology. Foot massage. You can research the web or buy a book you may be able to help yourself with self treatment there...it does work.

The Fortress
November 8th, 2007, 12:54 PM
I'm ready to leave yesterday! Not a bad idea!

Thanks for your support and encouragement Cathy. My husband's company is doing their annual insurance renewal right now. You better believe I'm researching for the one that pays for massage/alternative treatments. I've already had one shoulder surgery....I will do everything in my power to not go through that again. The rehab stinks!

Dorthoyde, I'm trying yoga at the gym. I've only gone once but can already see how it would help! Good advice!

Fort, I'm going to ask the ortho that did my shoulder surgery about options you have mentioned. I really respect him and feel he would know what route is best for me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and research with me!

Even if something is technically not covered, you can appeal the initial denial of coverage if your doc will write a letter of necessity. My Hubby appealed the denial of prolo for his hamstring and won. I'm going to do the same. Although my understanding of PRP is that it can be covered. You need a really excellent experience doc for these procedures though! Good luck with the insurance. If I had more time, I'd definitely do yoga.

SwimStud
November 8th, 2007, 01:18 PM
My nubby appealed the denial of promo for his hamstring and won.

Your nubby? hehehehe:lmao:

The Fortress
November 8th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Your nubby? hehehehe:lmao:


I am, but that should probably go on the "gyno" thread. :bolt:

johnhughes
November 8th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Hi, Beth: First, I assume you do not have any radiation of pain from your neck down into your arm and hand... no muscle twitching or cramping in an arm muscle you can't explain by way of too much zeal in the wt room... and you do not get a 'zinger' into your arm when you turn your head a certain way.

Good :applaud: I read your finding of the loss of lordosis of your neck - unnatural straightening. So, I would assume your musculature is really out of balance causing the stack of cervical spine bones to be pulled up straight rather than settling back into their repose positions with facet joints engaged.

I reviewed everyone's postings and I am happily surprised by the knowledgeable posts. I too like the dead tennis balls for self-adjustment of my mid back. A similar tactic is taping two racquetballs together (tennis balls are slightly too big for me for this...) and lie face up on a yoga mat or so. Put the 'dumbell' taped-together racquetballs under your neck and relax, letting them cradle your neck. Then, gently scooch down toward your feet and let the dumbell roll up and lodge at your occiput... putting a gentle traction on your neck. I do not think traction will be a quick fix for you, but the gentle stretch is good. Other stretches can be found in a cheap but good book by Bob Anderson.

Now, for reconditioning: For swimming, I would mix freestyle and backstroke to allow your neck curvatures to change slightly during your workouts. You also might consider slowly incorporating 'neck rotations' into your weight program to strengthen the strap muscles of your cervical spine.

Passive heat and active warmup before you swim... and you might skip the heat. An ice pack afterward... and good luck to you :cheerleader: John

swimshark
November 8th, 2007, 03:19 PM
YES! Please let me know!!!

From my sister: Collette at Georgia Sports Massage. But she can see Chrissy or Robin (guy)
too. All three are good. www.georgiasportsmassage.com for phone numbers..

The shoulder doctor is Dr. Scott Gillogly. He does shoulders and knees only. His contact is: 404-352-4500, 3200 Downowwd Cr., Ste 500, Atlanta, GA 30327. He is the ortho for the Falcons and Thrashers so you might not see him exacly but I can say that he has a wonderful staff of doctors. Any of them will be worth the trip.

Good luck.

Alison

tomtopo
November 10th, 2007, 09:33 PM
I've had neck and back problems that seem to go away when I start doing pull ups or pull down machine. I believe as we get older the vertebrae compress and stretching them by hanging (pull-ups/pull downs) help decompress (just an idea). Is it possible that one of your muscle groups gets more work than the opposing group (chest / upper-back, stomach/lower-back, shoulders/lats)? A couple weeks working the weaker opposing group may help. Good luck with that pain in the neck. Both back pains and neck pains can get depressing so don't give up and I know you'll find a cure.

sdswimmer
November 12th, 2007, 03:57 PM
Two things I've found to help (although my neck pain is very secondary to other issues I have to I found these for the other issues first): swimming wiht a center mount snorkel it lets my neck muscles relax and sometimes I even find stroke changes that stretch my upper back a little, Feldenkrais http://www.feldenkrais.com/ Classes are quite inexpensive and then you can use books and DVD's at home, it seems hokey when you start but hte results can be quite amazing not all classes are listed on this website so do some checking locally, the movements are so gentle at the least they fall in the do no harm catagory.

swimr4life
November 15th, 2007, 03:59 PM
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I went to my MD and he referred me for phyical therapy and a MRI. Hopefully this is just a muscle imbalance and not a disc or spine problem. I'll keep you posted!

swimr4life
November 16th, 2007, 02:34 PM
I went to PT today for an evaluation and treatment. The physical therapist said I am a "mess"! :( I have many muscle imbalances and scoliosis. He showed me a different stretch for my neck and really took the time to figure out where my pain was coming from. I really like him and hope and pray he can help me!! He said no exercise for a week.....only stretching. I hope I can swim some time soon!!:fish2:

swimshark
November 16th, 2007, 02:51 PM
Beth, I hope you can get back in soon, too.

Alison

geochuck
November 16th, 2007, 03:16 PM
Is it necessary to exercise when we get in a swim pool?

The other day I was in great pain in my glutus maximus and had calf cramps from over doing a walk on the beach. I did double what I usually do and then went up town and walked back (about 2 miles up town and 2 miles back), ouch. Today I loli gogged in the pool and feel much better now. We must learn to take it easy no stress and strain.

I did about 20 laps but it was not exercise.

Swan
November 18th, 2007, 08:53 AM
Two things I've found to help (although my neck pain is very secondary to other issues I have to I found these for the other issues first): swimming wiht a center mount snorkel it lets my neck muscles relax and sometimes I even find stroke changes that stretch my upper back a little, Feldenkrais http://www.feldenkrais.com/ Classes are quite inexpensive and then you can use books and DVD's at home, it seems hokey when you start but hte results can be quite amazing not all classes are listed on this website so do some checking locally, the movements are so gentle at the least they fall in the do no harm catagory.


Years ago, I had some neck pain also and did what SDSwimmer did: Center mount snorkel. I found that the continual turning of my head to one side (I only know how to breathe on one side) was exacerbating the problem. A couple of weeks of using the snorkel and the pain was gone. A few more weeks of weaning myself off the snorkel and it too was gone. Yes, you look like a dork in the pool but you're still swimming and not losing any conditioning. I also found that I needed to be careful at turns to not raise my chin as that also seemed to make the neck pain worse.

Feel better,

Swan