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Swimmer's shoulder?
CREATED: 05/11/09 by mosered REPLIES: 9
mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1770
Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 10:19 AM

Anyone have experience with this? Tingling ache from the neck down through the shoulder to the elbow, especially the triceps. Also some lower back and anterior calf ache. Touched off by long swims. Aggravated by long rides, presumably from holding/leaning onto the handlebars. Figure rest, stretching is called for. Advice?

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 702
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 11:06 AM

Check for a chiro that does ART (Active Release Technique) in your area. www.activerelease.com. I've been doing ART since 2007 after MCM induced plantar fasciitis then associated leg injuries. ART is the only thing that got my running shoes back on my feet. ART is a combination of skeletal adjustment and deep muscle release. Don't be afraid of a little chiro treatment, it took me way to long to become a convert.

ncrcoach's ravatar ncrcoach    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1059
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 11:50 AM

For the past two months, I've had a similar shoulder problem. Mostly I have been icing it and taking tylenol twice a day. The other day I did some extensive stretching and it seemed to help. My muscles may be tight and fortunately it doesn't bother me on the bike. With less than six weeks to my IM, there's no way I'm cutting off any swimming, just the workload. Good luck!

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 201
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 1:28 PM

I too have had some shoulder soreness, though mine is localized to the back of the arm socket - so advice might be tempered by that. My doctor actually advised against stretching if there's pain - if it's a strain/sprain, you're aggravating the problem. Rest and ice were the best things.
Form is my root cause, and swimming too long without paying close attention to my stroke usually touches off a dull ache that can carry over to the run. You might need to back off the yardage and supplement with stroke/form work. Maybe see if a swim coach can watch you and give you some pointers/diagnosis?
Hope it feels better soon! -JK

drsully's ravatar drsully    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 30
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 2:15 PM

I would second the Active Release Technique. I am a chiropractor and I am also certified in ART. The technique in combination with Chiropractic care works very well together. Although it does not sound like swimmers shoulder it actually sounds more like you irritated one of the nerves in your neck. That radicular pain that shoots from you neck down your into shoulder and into your tricep is classic nerve type symptoms. Both swimming and cycling will put stress on the neck region in the particular the area that you are dealing with. Im sure you also have some muscular tightness in the neck and shoulder area as well. A typical swimmer's shoulder will be more localized to the shoulder and usually involves the subscapularis, one of the rotator cuff muscles. Both Chiropractic and Active Release Technique would work well on this type of issue and I commonly treat such conditions in the office. My office is located in Springfield but if that is too far I know all of the ART doctors in the area and could give you a recommendation, just let me know.

ppgodes's ravatar ppgodes    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 83
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 5:51 PM

Ed,
As a physical therapist, I agree with the weigh-in from Dr. Sully. Tingling pain into the triceps sounds like a nerve impingement - could be coming from lower cervical region - or could be impinged at the shoulder - a thoracic outlet syndrome. Do you breathe predominantly on that side? I'm not a bilateral breather, and it can cause significant tightness on one side of your neck.

Should get it check out...especially if it's happening frequently. Soft tissue work can help loosen the tissues pulling on the neck....if it's disc related, I've had good results w/ cervical traction. Bigger concern if the sensation is constant, and you notice associated weakness.

If your insurance covers it, an evaluation by a physical therapist might be a good place to start. The PT clinic Sports and Spinal Physical Therapy in DC deals with triathletes....and present many seminars for our club. I'm really impressed by them.

Paula

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1770
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 8:50 PM

My go(o)d(n)es(s), Paula, and others, what a wealth of knowledge and counsel, thanks!

Breath on both sides. Neck doesn't seem particularly stiff, tho definitely a stiff-necked type of bloke. Rest and stretching do seem to help, as do laying on back and putting feet up on desk. Happened suddenly after no swimmer's shoulder all year. Happened after stiff back from long day at work hunched over laptop. Likely contributing factor: less sleep/more weary for weeks from nose being clogged from swimming (yes, eddie tried neti et al.)

ncrcoach's ravatar ncrcoach    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1059
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/11/09 11:15 PM

Ed, I hope things get better for you. Tonight at CUA, I looked down underwater at my left arm as I took a stroke. I noticed that my left arm wasn't bending the proper ninety degrees as pulled. This improper technique might be the root of my problems.

Point being is that it's very hard to watch yourself swim and see what you are doing right and what you are not doing right. Proper technique is the key!

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1770
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/13/09 9:24 AM

Resting a couple of days except for walks seems to have much helped the back and ham. Still have tingling ache in various areas from upper shoulder to forearm, aggravated by any movement of that area. Affects only the left side, where got swimmer's shoulder before, and where I don't follow through as much on my stroke.

irishnd02's ravatar irishnd02    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 99
RE: Swimmer's shoulder?
POSTED: 5/13/09 6:30 PM

I would definitely have your neck & shoulder looked at by a doc - sounds like it could be an impingement problem and deserves a good physical exam +/- x-ray of the neck.
PS my advice is worth what it costs you :)

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