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Thread: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

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    Exclamation Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    Hi im 14 and 2 years ago i got this tricep pain in my right arm. Only at the end of practice though when i was swimming cool down, but it stopped immediatly once i stopped swimming. 2 years later and its only gotten worse. Now I can only swim a 50 before it starts hurting, and about a 100 before my arm goes numb. Breaststroke hurts the worse, and it goes numb quite badly, followed by butterfly, and then freestyle. Back stroke does not cause this pain. I do breath alternetly in my freestyle, and i asked my coach and he said i am putting my arms to deep in the water and maybe thats causing this, but said my breast stroke was perfect, although this hurts the worse. It takes about 4 minutes for the numbness to go away. I went to physical therapy but it does not help. They dont really know whats wrong, also they said i had an inflamed shoulder in my right arm i believe, but they said they dont think this is really causing this. The numbness spreads to my hand; first to the pinky and ring finger and then travels to my palm. Anyone else expiercence this or knows whats wrong with me, please help!

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    What diagnostic tests have you had done? Unfortunately, with symptoms like that, the cause can be any number of things. I have been through the same thing and it ended up being a very difficult to diagnose problem: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. If you have had all the usual diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, CT scan, MRI, etc., and you still do not have a diagnosis, you might want to research Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Good luck!
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    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    I have had this problem when swimming, esp. freestyle and fly. You probably should see a neck/spine specalist. I am waiting for a time slot to open up to see mine.

    From what a PT that I know told me, it sounds like a pinched/damaged nerve somewhere in the neck area. I have had the tingling, then numbness in my little finger, then ring finger, palm and back to my forearm.

    Find a good neck/spine person in your area to see.

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    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    As ElaineK noted, this could be any of many different things, or even a combination.

    I also get the numbness, almost exactly as described, but it is due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Lifting weights to strengthen the muscles, especially working my wrists, has worked well for me. On longer swim sets, I'll shake out my hands periodically, open/close my fingers a bit.

    Good luck and hope you figure this out soon!
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    They just did a bunch of things where they moved my arm all these different ways to see if it affected it. They tried to shift some bones around but that only caused me to have to crack my shoulder blades periodically. It hurts outside of swimming as well, lifting my arm up an out with something in it, painting the wall made it go numb. Thank you for your replies

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    Quote Originally Posted by krisskelly View Post
    They just did a bunch of things where they moved my arm all these different ways to see if it affected it. They tried to shift some bones around but that only caused me to have to crack my shoulder blades periodically. It hurts outside of swimming as well, lifting my arm up an out with something in it, painting the wall made it go numb. Thank you for your replies
    What type of a doctor did you go to? Listen to Wookie and go to an orthopaedic specialist who specializes in neck/spine. Numbness isn't something you should just live with, because it can indicate a damaged nerve that can cause permanent nerve damage.

    Believe me, I've learned A LOT about the subject, having gone through a back surgery, shoulder surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and almost having to go through surgery for tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel, but in the foot).

    Talk to your parents and show them this thread. Please ask them to get you the proper medical care, so you don't wind up with permanent damage.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    We just went to physical therapist. From what we've researched at home it does somewhat look like thoratic outlet syndrome. My parents want to take me but they also want to see if there is anything Else that I might have. Is there any thing like thoratic syndrome that I could have?? We did the at home tests and i passed those ( as in have it pass) so hopefully it's just that simple. Thank you for all the help, it real means a lot! I've been held back greatly with this in my swimming so hopefully I can get my old speed back soon

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    Quote Originally Posted by krisskelly View Post
    We just went to physical therapist. From what we've researched at home it does somewhat look like thoratic outlet syndrome. My parents want to take me but they also want to see if there is anything Else that I might have. Is there any thing like thoratic syndrome that I could have?? We did the at home tests and i passed those ( as in have it pass) so hopefully it's just that simple. Thank you for all the help, it real means a lot! I've been held back greatly with this in my swimming so hopefully I can get my old speed back soon
    The biggest problem with thoracic outslet syndrome is that it is so difficult to diagnose. At times, it can seem like carpal tunnel syndrome, and/or tennis elbow, and/or a cervical herniated disk (in the neck). The tingling/ numbness/ pain radiates all up and down, from the neck, all the way into the fingers. So, a lot of conditions, such as the ones I have listed, have to be ruled out first. A nerve conduction study is an important test to have, because it will show which nerves are involved and getting damaged.

    Believe me, thoracic outlet syndrome is NOT that simple! It is a nightmare to diagnose definitively. Please take Wookie's advice and mine: SEE A QUALIFIED ORTHOPAEDIC SPECIALIST!

    P.S. Do you live anywhere near San Diego, California? If so, the specialist who did my surgery is an expert on thoracic outlet syndrome and considered one of the best TOS surgeons in the country: Dr. Richard Braun
    Last edited by ElaineK; January 2nd, 2011 at 10:05 PM. Reason: Add P.S.
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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    No where near! But thats just great haha, hopefully we can get the diagnosis easily or something of the sort. Still pushing my parents to set up the appointment but its hard to find time and money haha! Will do it soon and post my results, thanks for all the help!

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    Re: Tricep Pain and arm numbness after swimming a 50!

    Well i went to the chiropractor this time, and it looks to be pinched nerve or tos, i haven't been responding to treatment for 3 weeks now, but were giving it 4 more weeks and if that doesn't work we are off the nerve doctors, thanks so much for all the help

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