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Thread: Rotator Cuff inflammation

  1. #1
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    Rotator Cuff inflammation

    I took a look through the archives and saw that quite a few of you have had some gory shoulder injuries

    Mine is probably very minor by comparison, but I know from experience how debilitating chronic injuries can become, so I hope I've caught this early enough.

    I only started swimming front crawl in October '12. In the last month or so, I've weaned myself off the pull buoy completely and I feel that I'm applying more force from my shoulders. Also, I've caught myself swimming with my trunk a bit 'flatter' in the water, so I need to lift my arms a bit futher during recovery... which seems to take a little more effort on the part of my shoulders. As a countermeasure, I've been trying to force myself to rotate a bit more.

    Finally, I started taking back crawl lessons and it was when reaching overhead that I felt pain sharp enough to make me stop.

    Yesterday, I did loads of legwork with fins, breast stroke and hardly any front crawl at all. I thought that maintaining motion and stimulating bloodflow around injured areas with gentle movement, but minimal loading, would do the trick.

    Last night, on leaving the house for my evening walk with the dog, the little fellow saw a cat and made a lunge... His leash, which was held in my left hand, delivered an interesting jolt to my shoulder. What would normally have been easily absorbed, left me in sharp pain.

    I now have a constant dull ache, so I visited the doctor today and he's given me anti-inflammatories (Ibuprofen with Arginine) and muscle relaxants to make the shoulder muscles slacken off at bed time.

    I understand that I need to rest, but I don't want to let my shoulders atrophy over the coming weeks.

    I read online that as long as it's not painful, some light breast stroke as well as finning with arms by the side is OK.

    Does anyone have any advice on the subject?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by wavingnotdrowning; April 17th, 2013 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    ice ice baby

    ice
    heat
    ice
    heat
    ice
    go to bed

    heat is a washcloth that is wet and put in the microwave for about 15secs. get it hot but not so much it burns. leave it on till not hot.
    a bag of frozen corn or peas works really well. as do the cold packs that you can mold. you will need 2 or 3 of them. leave them on till you are numb to the touch.

    how much ibuprofin did they give you. all reports show it takes 800mg for it to do any reduction of inflammation.

    heat before any activity.
    ice after.

    find the usms article on how to warmup your shoulders properly.

    and you can start looking up the band exercises for rotator cuffs.

    welcome to rebhab! (i say that in a i'm sorry you are tone)

    steve

  3. #3
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    Thanks! I will apply the hot / cold treatment tonight. Ibuprofen is 800mg over the course of the whole day (400 morning & 400 evening). I've been given 10 days' worth.

    I know that no two injuries are exactly the same, but in general, do you think if I take it easy, then breast-stroke could be OK?

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    I have ice on my shoulder right now and it feels soooooooo good.

    Ahhhhhhhhhh

  5. #5
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    while i am no doc, i did sleep in a holiday inn express once.

    to me even breaststroke could agrivate it. backstroke was the worst for obvious reasons. fly? oh yes!

    i think light free with proper heat before and shoulder warmups is safe. and you will need to do rehab of some type.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    I've had luck lately with ART (Active Release Therapy/Techniques), but you need to find a practitioner who is used to working with athletes. I tried acupuncture (worked on my low back pain, but not on shoulder) and massage (great for temporary relief, but not for sustained relief). Neither ice nor heat nor pain meds worked for me. I'm not out of the woods yet, but a few months of lots of rest, a lot of work on my pulling technique in the water and ART seems to have brought me through to a point where I can train to compete again.
    Follow my blog http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=5013
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  7. #7
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    Thanks for the comments. I will keep going along to the pool, but will take it easy. I read on another forum that fs swimming with clenched fists can be one way of avoiding aggravating shoulder injuries....though for me, the act of lifting the hand out of the water during recovery is a little uncomfortable...but is less so when I rotate further.

    Whatever happens, my underdeveloped kick is going to receive a lot of attention in the coming weeks....maybe this is a blessing in disguise
    Last edited by wavingnotdrowning; April 19th, 2013 at 02:02 PM. Reason: schpelling

  8. #8
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    that pain lifting your hand out for recovery is/was part of my issue as well. was one of the big signs i had a SLAP tear.
    entry into the water and exit for recovery.

    and like PWB, i've done a LOT with ART. i was going sometimes 3 times a week to ART early last year. at $40 a wack it added up fast.

    well i called my doc yesterday. 4 weeks early. i am just overjoyed that i probably have another shoulder surgery/scope in my very near future. sniff sniff do i smell another 20year retirement?

    steve

  9. #9
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    Re: Rotator Cuff inflammation

    Ouch. Painful on the wallet too.

    Best of luck... I hope it turns out to be less serious than you think

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