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Back to Swimming: Goodbye Shoulder Injury

sarahleonardby sarahleonardSep 2nd 2012
Back to Swimming: Goodbye Shoulder Injury
Just a quick post to share my good news. If you've read any of my previous post you'll know that I've been struggling with a shoulder injury for about two years now. It's been really complicated and has affected my neck, shoulder and chest. At times it was not so bad but at others it was awful and I couldn't find any relief. Today though I got back to the pool and swam 400m (front crawl and backstroke) without any problems. I am so delighted! Although I'm still slightly apprehensive about pushing it too much, this is significant progress for me.

So what has been the answer to my shoulder problems? Well I think there are a few factors.

1) I have had a cortisone injection which took away a lot of the pain.

I was unsure about this for ages because of mixed advice, but I eventually decided to give it a go in December 2011 and for me it really helped. It worked so well that I thought brilliant I'm fixed! I could still feel my shoulder niggling a bit, but at least I could sit and sleep without pain so that was better. I thought I'd continue to see progress once the pain cycle was broken but actually it just continued to grumble and niggle and I still had restricted movement. Once the cortisone wore off the pain came back along with the tears and sleepless nights.

So once this happened I moved to plan B.

2) I needed to go back for another cortisone injection (I had them both ultrasound guided btw) because I was kind of locked in position with the pain. This time I also went for weekly physio with Emma and Tony. I wasn't taking any chances that my shoulder would work itself out this time and I've been religiously following their advice on scapular setting, glutes strengthening (I was uneven) and calf stretching (I have extremely tight calf muscles which mean I can't do the some of the glute exercises properly) mixed in with some deep tissue massage and acupuncture.

I found that I was making some more progress with this and I felt positive for the first time in ages.

3) It was also at the physio's that my posture was examined. My neck has been tight and painful but I'd always put this down to my shoulder problems and also my last job I found very stressful. Not surprisingly it's all connected. I did a lot of desk work and I used to slump and although I'd had my work station assessed by Occ Health I was jutting my neck out and causing lots of tension. So for the last week I've been constantly reminding myself to sit, stand and walk with my neck in the correct position for me (now I've been shown and know where this is) along with my physio exercises and hey presto a big improvement! I also have plans to take this further and try Alexander Technique and go back to Pilates so I'll let you know how I get on with these.

I said that this post was going to be short, but it's ended up longer than I 'd planned. I was just so happy to finally get back in the pool and swim without the restrictions, clunking and pain.

As a last note I'll also mention that before I swam I also spent a few minutes warming up by rolling my shoulders and waving my arms about like a windmill. I think that the lifeguard was expecting something special after the show on the side of the pool and he must have been a bit surprised when I then got out after 400m. I couldn't care less though I'd done my swim and was off to meet my swim friends for breakfast.
Back to Swimming: Goodbye Shoulder Injury
bisceeezyby member: bisceeezy, Sep 2nd 2012 16:16
Look how happy you are! Great to hear you've got a hook on it at last.

The last six months I have been developing my 'other strokes' much more and have balanced my sessions more evenly across the full menu, to 'enrich' my game in the pool. I have suffered with my shoulders/neck in the past and have found this recent alteration has helped a lot. Striving for good posture/technique in these other strokes has given me extra aims and goals along the way, too.

Best of luck on your journey! I'd be interested to hear about how you go with the Alexander tech.

sarahleonardby blog author: sarahleonard, Sep 2nd 2012 16:22
Thanks B! Good posture in and out of the pool will be an aim for me too. I am excited about working on this and the fact that I'll soon(ish) be able to try other stokes too!
by guest: , Sep 4th 2012 16:15
Yay! Good news, long may it continue...just be sure to ease yourself back.
Antonioby member: Antonio, Sep 14th 2012 20:06
Cortisone? You sure that wasn't too strong? Well, guess if it works its fine :) I had a recurring injury in my left Achilles tendon, was about to get a cortisone injection but then one doctor told me to try something which if my memory doesn't fail he called mesotherapy. Basically a cocktail of medicines that were given just under the skin with some sort of injection gun.
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