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Thread: Knee pain and swimming

  1. #1
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Knee pain and swimming

    Hello fellow swimmers,
    I'd been letting the swimming slide in favor of running of late--but then came a knee that rebelled, and rather suddenly. Had a perfectly fine run one day followed by mild knee pain, but I blew it off. At 62, if you don't have twinges, you're probably not alive. And I figured, as with other twinges, it would calm down with a little ice. Two days later, I ran but hurt going downhill, so eased off the pace, but otherwise did okay. Then that same day, the knee was throbbing and I was limping.

    Had some x-rays, went to an orthopedic doctor, who shot some cortisone into the knee. Didn't help. Next step is MRI. But meanwhile, the doctor advised against even swimming b/c of the kicking. So I swam with a pull buoy--but to be honest it's not as good a workout to stick with that. I suppose half a loaf is better than no loaf, but I wonder if I'd really have that much of a problem with kicking.

    If you've had prior knee problems what was your experience with this?

    The massage guy I went to said the IT band seemed to be the problem but also very tight quads and hip flexors.

    One thing I seem to be able to do w/out pain (or a lot less) is walk uphill, so a running coach advised using a treadmill and setting it on an incline--seemed reasonable... eliminate one of the causes of irritation. So today I walked a half hour on the 'mill with the speed going from 3.5 to 4 mph and the incline at 4. That was actually pretty satisfying. I had to back off for a couple minutes in the middle of this b/c the knee began to tighten, but then I was able to resume.

    This I took to be a good sign, although it's definitely not in running shape yet. Figured I should be getting back to more swimming and doing some open water events--they motivate me to keep up the swimming fitness. But if I build up yards, I want to be able to swim enough of them without a pull buoy to make it count.

    Thanks for any thoughts on this.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Knee pain and swimming

    If you can run uphill I suspect you can swim OK,but watch out for the turns.How hard the pull buoy workout is depends on how hard you swim.Maybe try some intervals going a little faster than you are used to.
    Good Luck!
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  3. #3
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Knee pain and swimming

    Thanks for the response, Allen. I think I'll try some swimming w/out the pull buoy and/or intervals with it. Once I see how that all goes, I want to get back to a masters' group for practice. Was just walking on the treadmill but at 4 mph, it was fast walking. Fastest I've walked is around 12:something/mile, but that was in a mile racewalk (just to see how fast I could walk a mile). Haven't actually tried running on the 'mill, but depending on how the next few walks go, I might give running a try.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Knee pain and swimming

    Since running is what started the pain I'd say wait until you are pain free before starting back with running,even on the treadmill.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  5. #5
    Very Active Member FindingMyInnerFish's Avatar
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    Re: Knee pain and swimming

    Good point! In any case, I want to see about the MRI result. Today, the traffic in the pool was IMPOSSIBLE--even circle swimming looked hazardous, so I did some water running in the noodlers' lane until the real lap lanes became passable. Once that happened, I started with the pull buoy and then went without it for a bit--knee began to feel irritated at that point, but that proved to be good feedback for remembering to kick from the hips, not the knees, which a swim coach had in the past reminded me to do. Still, it was a lot more comfortable to swim w/ the pull buoy than without.

    One other note: when I wore the aqua vest, I could "run" in water reasonably okay (a little tightness) but when I took it off (which I do sometimes b/c it's too easy with it on--not enough of a workout), the knee started to rebel. Can't imagine why since I don't think my body was doing anything different. Note to self: NEVER do the Sunday noon lap swim again--EVER... although I suppose it is good sighting practice not to mention those heavy-traffic open water starts. Still...
    Last edited by FindingMyInnerFish; December 30th, 2012 at 08:06 PM.

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