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Thread: Forearm pain & soreness...

  1. #1
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    Forearm pain & soreness...

    I was wondering if anyone ever experiences forearm discomfort both during swimming and afterwards? I just turned 50 a couple of days ago and have been experiencing this problem off and on for a couple of years now. I normally swim 3500 to 4000 yards or meters 4 to 6 days a week (have been fairly consistant for the past 10 years). I'm hoping to pump up the training this year in order to do well at Worlds in August.

    This is so hard to describe but here goes: this pain/soreness/weakness is from the elbow down; usually my left forearm is a bit worse since it's weaker than my right. There's no numbness involved; the closest analogy would be a shinsplit to describe the feeling. There's no pain whatsoever if there's no pressure on either forearm. However, if I touch my chin with either hand and apply mild pressure, I can definitely feel it. The sensation seems to be located more towards the "inside" or "underside" of each forearm.

    The pain isn't intense and hasn't prevented me from training, but I am concerned. In the past, I've found that I can swim through it and I intend to start weight training next week. I also "ice" both forearms after every workout and this seems to help. I've talked to my coaches and many swimmers about this and no one's ever heard of my condition, so I decided to try this forum.

    If anyone has had a similar problem, I'd greatly appreciate hearing about your experience and how you dealt with it...

    Many thanks!

    Dave Schrader

  2. #2
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    My triceps get quite sore after a hard workout but I don't know that my forearms have ever been sore at all. Are your wrists and hands tensed up when you swim? That might be the cause of your mystery soreness.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are holding the fingers together too tightly and pressing your thumb too tightly against your index finger.
    Keep it simple
    George Park

    New Bottom Line Pricing http://www.swimdownhill.com

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    Very Active Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I used to get sore forearms and a little numbness in the hands when doing a T30 (continuous 30 minute swim for time). I believe I was tensing too many muscles while swimming, especially while doing the recovery. I had also not completely "discovered" my lat muscles so my arms/shoulders were doing most of the work. At the time I was doing about 4000 a day, seems like a different life back then.

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    I've been wondering if swimming can either cause or exacerbate carpal tunnel-like pain. Do you think you have that? I think I have it from repetitive strain of keyboard use and from life in general (I am same age as you). I don't notice the pain while pulling but only when I pull myself up to the wall during a breaststroke turn which I shouldn't be doing anyway.

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    Forearm pain & soreness...

    Thanks to all for replying to my initial post. In regards to some of your comments, I don't believe my problem comes from swimming with tense arms and/or swimming with fingers & thumbs held too closely together. I've been filmed underwater and there wasn't any indication of that in the video. I'm primarily a distance freestyler and my coaches have told me that I have a smooth and relaxed stroke. The comment about carpel tunnel syndrome may have some validity; I'll have to investigate that possibility.

    Unfortunately, this problem is probably only going to be solved by seeing a sports doc. I think my condition is somewhat rare for swimmers. If I ever figure it out, I'll post my findings...

    Thanks again,

    Dave S.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by geochuck
    Sounds like you are holding the fingers together too tightly and pressing your thumb too tightly against your index finger.
    I also wonder if maybe you're turning your forearm sdeways and don't knowit. that woudl creaate tension in the forearm.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member swimlong's Avatar
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    Are you fairly new to swimming workouts? Perhaps you have "overuse" syndrome from too much too soon, or are just developing muscles in your forearem. Maybe see a physio about what weight exercises to strengthen and some stretching.

    If the pain is on the inside of the forearm, it could be elbow tendonitis related. I developed elbow tendonitis from freestyle - or more specifically, poor freestyle style ( pull not close enough to my body resulting on too much "lever action" on the elbow). When I had this condition my forearm hurt, too.

  9. #9
    Very Active Member swimlong's Avatar
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    oops - just reread your post - nope, you're not new to swimming!

  10. #10
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    May be your hand is flexed wrong see this hand should be straight and in line, not like this. http://triswimmer.com/tri_swim_coach.html This is my site that I can write stuff then transfer to www.swimdownhill.com see it here http://swimdownhill.com/_wsn/page18.html
    Keep it simple
    George Park

    New Bottom Line Pricing http://www.swimdownhill.com

  11. #11
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    Forearm pain & soreness... (related to hand position?)

    Thanks to Swimlong and Geochuck for their additional comments to my original post. Swimlong's comment re: elbow tendonitus may have some validity: my pain/soreness is primarily on the inside of my forearm as described. And Geochuck's comment on hand position is interesting in that I have seen several different approaches to this. Some coaches recommend keeping the hand straight in line with the forearm as it sweeps beneath the torso during the power stage of the pull. Then again, I've seen other coaches recommend bending the hand and fingers at the wrist so that the fingers are pointing directly down towards the bottom of the pool. Indeed, I've seen video of Rowdy Gaines with both his hands in this "cocked" position: elbows high, his hands not bent up or down at the wrist but rather the wrist itself bent sideways so that his fingers were pointing straight down to the bottom. Don't know if there's a "right" way re: this technique...

  12. #12
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Hey David I tried to send a video to you it shows my stroke and the big error in my swim stroke a broken wrist in the recovery stage, the right hand is flexed out, very bad to me I like everything straight, nothing broken.
    Keep it simple
    George Park

    New Bottom Line Pricing http://www.swimdownhill.com

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    elbow problem

    David: What you have is commonly called Golf Elbow but is not always caused by the golf swing. I had the problem last year and it became very painful for a period of four to six weeks. I believed most of my problem was caused by using the paddles to often in training. I slowly improved over time without doing anything special but weight training and increasing the range of motion in the area. They both helped over time. I also went for the shot for the pain early on but that provided only temporary relief. I'm almost 55 and it took me about 4 to 6 month to get mostly free of the pain. Sorry!

  14. #14
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    My thanks to George for sending his video and Paul for his experience with his "golf elbow"... it sounds like I have a similar condition. I'm finding that as I'm starting to do more intense workouts again, my forearms seem to be adapting to the extra workload and the pain & soreness aren't quite so bad. I believe that I'm going to be able to train through this condition. As much as I hate to admit to myself, I think this is more of a symptom of aging (ouch!) and my body just not recovering like it used to when I was 40.

    This getting older stuff is not for wimps (although I do feel like one at times)...

    Dave

    P.S. Paul, hope you set some sprint records when you age up...

  15. #15
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    Hopefully I'm not done yet in the 50yr old group. Ive already moved up in meters for Worlds. We will see!!!

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