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Thread: Back injury from overdoing it?

  1. #1
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    Back injury from overdoing it?

    I'm grateful to be able to reach out with a question.

    So im new to swimming. Never been good at it so I got some long fins to help my kick. Long story short I got so into it having so much fun I would do like 30 round trip laps every day on the kick board with no stretching afterwards. In the beginning I felt just fine. But after around two months I realized I was starting to get super tight all up and down my legs. So much so that my hamstrings are now like steel and pulling very tightly on my low back.

    Its clear that i probably need to cut down how much I swim and also stretch as much as I can each time I finish.

    but the question is how to proceed now that I have steel cables for muscles...I feel like I need to make up for two months of no stretching but that is obviously impossible. Does anyone have experience doing something foolish like this due to over ambition and just plain enjoying themselves? I'm bummed because my back has been aching even after a week of rest and I want to get back into it. Any thoughts?

    im 44 if it makes any difference.
    Thanks and glad to be here.

  2. #2
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    Back injury from overdoing it?

    I have had similar
    Issues when I used to run a lot and still have issues with tight hamstrings. I recommend stretching before and after swimming for at least 10 minutes per session. It may take some time off your workout but will ultimately help prevent injury. Just think of it as part of your workout. I would also recommend stretching before bed.


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  3. #3
    Very Active Member gobears's Avatar
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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    You might try some massage and/or ART while you rest. Probably a good idea to add some variety to what you are doing - and maybe strengthen other muscles

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    Definitely try stretching a couple of times a day until you get loosened up. Maybe do it right after you get out of a warm shower, too? Also, consider getting a foam roller and use it on your back, quads and IT bands while watching TV or something. It hurts like hell but will break up some of that tight tissue.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    I concur with the stretching advice above. Additionally...personally I would cut way back on the use of the fins. Not necessarily all "swimming" per se. In other words, you probably ought to "swim" more and "kick" less.

    Dan

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    I often get serious back pain when my legs and hips are too tight. Start a daily stretching routine at home to loosen up your hamstrings and hip flexors. If you are open to trying yoga, I have found this to be the best preventative medicine for keeping my legs and hips loose and back relatively pain free.
    A get well quick fix is definitely a good massage...go deep tissue if you can stand it. Then you can start fresh in the pool, while remembering to thoroughly stretch afterwards.

  7. #7
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    I recommend dynamic stretching before you swim and static stretching after you swim. Before you start doing ANY stretching, I would recommend watching some YouTube videos on how to do it correctly. Enter "Physical therapy exercises for back" in the YouTube search box for some good ones. Here is one to get you started:


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    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    I recommend dynamic stretching before you swim and static stretching after you swim. Before you start doing ANY stretching, I would recommend watching some YouTube videos on how to do it correctly. Enter "Physical therapy exercises for back" in the YouTube search box for some good ones. Here is one to get you started:


    Elaine is quite right on dynamic vs static stretching. A cold muscle is a short muscle. Also I feel you are using the wrong kind of fins for swimming. Long fins are great for snorkeling/scuba but cause way too much knee band and a slower tempo when using them due to increased drag when bending your knees too much. Fins with short lengths are better for swimming. This way you get more resistance but can better maintain a six beat cadence using shallow surface kicking. If your legs extend down n the "hard water" they create frontal drag both on the way down and back up. Try to kick in the hole your upper body is making in the water as much as possible.

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    Thanks a lot for the helpful replies. I wonder if I should stop exercising at all and for how long?
    so far the thing that helped most was some light and brief exercise on the elyptical machine followed by a foam roller.

    I only hope I haven't screwed myself up too bad.

    Do do you think there's a risk of over Stretching? I did some foam rolling and really intense stretch without the light workout yesterday. It felt great at first but then seemed to come on with a vengeance.

    Guess it's mostly about being patient?
    sorry for all the whining, I am not used to pain lol

  10. #10
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    You might also want to flip over and kick on your back for half of your workout. You'll be engaging most of the same muscles, but there are minor differences. Also do dolphin kicking to engage the core.

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    I do the back arch recommended by my P T guy. Also, a question. Why don't you use your arms? If you do 1,500 yards of kicking you need to also use your arms - yes- you can use fins as well,but I would switch much shorter fins to let your arms catch up to your legs.

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Ox View Post
    I'm grateful to be able to reach out with a question.

    So im new to swimming. Never been good at it so I got some long fins to help my kick. Long story short I got so into it having so much fun I would do like 30 round trip laps every day on the kick board with no stretching afterwards. In the beginning I felt just fine. But after around two months I realized I was starting to get super tight all up and down my legs. So much so that my hamstrings are now like steel and pulling very tightly on my low back.

    Its clear that i probably need to cut down how much I swim and also stretch as much as I can each time I finish.

    but the question is how to proceed now that I have steel cables for muscles...I feel like I need to make up for two months of no stretching but that is obviously impossible. Does anyone have experience doing something foolish like this due to over ambition and just plain enjoying themselves? I'm bummed because my back has been aching even after a week of rest and I want to get back into it. Any thoughts?

    im 44 if it makes any difference.
    Thanks and glad to be here.

    Kick using alignment board and snorkel to maintain better alignment in water and take strain off lower back.



    Study how how to fix low back pain with exercises for glutes, hips, abs and kinetic chain. Learn how to maintain neutral spine through bracing techniques. I'm 63 and my low back issues also started showing up in my 40s. The things I mentioned are some of the ways I solved the problem.

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    At 44 I had a L5/S1 lamenectomy surgery to correct a disc that was pinching a nerve. My doctor, who works mostly with triathletes, told me to never use a kickboard again for flutter kicking sets. I started using a swim snorkel with a streamline to stretch and kick at the same time. I have been pain free for almost 2 years!

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    I know I'm reviving a rather old thread, but wanted to say how much I LOVE those guys' videos. Another amazing YouTube channel for stretches lately is Dr. Ben Kim. He is a naturopath I think, in Canada, and blogs about a lot of health topics, but he has some fantastic stretching moves videos. I think we ALL could probably stretch more than we do, I KNOW I should!

    edited to say, er, I was intending to reply to Elaine's post from the two chiropractors with videos on PT! I don't think this is showing up as connected to it, but if you scroll back just a bit in the thread, you will see Elaine's post with a video link in it.

  15. #15
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by f1refl1es! View Post
    I know I'm reviving a rather old thread, but wanted to say how much I LOVE those guys' videos. Another amazing YouTube channel for stretches lately is Dr. Ben Kim. He is a naturopath I think, in Canada, and blogs about a lot of health topics, but he has some fantastic stretching moves videos. I think we ALL could probably stretch more than we do, I KNOW I should!

    edited to say, er, I was intending to reply to Elaine's post from the two chiropractors with videos on PT! I don't think this is showing up as connected to it, but if you scroll back just a bit in the thread, you will see Elaine's post with a video link in it.

    Well, I know exactly what/who you are talking about.
    I'm glad you found those videos useful!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

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    Re: Back injury from overdoing it?

    I am not a coach but, from reading the responses, I can tell you that I do lots of kicking on my back with fins and without. I love the feel of short fins. When I flutter kick on front with a kickboard, I always use a freestyle snorkle to take pressure off my back and neck.

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