Friday, 3 January 2014

Swimmers shoulder

How often do you rotate your arms?

Think about it... when in life do you ever actually rotate your arms? 

Unless you're a swimmer, into competitive skipping or maybe have a really odd dancing style, the answer is almost certain to be never!

Up until 4 months ago my answer would definitely have been never. I had no reason to rotate my arms. I'm trying to think of a reason why I would but I'm struggling. When do people rotate their arms? The only occasions I can think of that people swing their arms around in circles are swimming and skipping... & GOLF! Anyone for a round of golf? But then that's only half way around isn't it!

But that was then and this now. Asked today and my answer would be very different.

Time for some maths: 

I swim 160 lengths minus 8 lengths of breaststroke.
160 - 8 = 152 

On average I swim 22 strokes per length
152 x 22 = 3244 

And I swim 4 times a week
3244 x 4 = 13376

Therefore in a few short months I have gone from never rotating my arms to rotating them 13,376 times in a week! A slight increase I think you'll agree and so it shouldn't really come as much of a surprise that I'm having problems with one of my shoulders. In fairness it should probably be a surprise that it's not a problem with both shoulders.

The pain started just before Christmas which - if it had to happen - was probably good timing as I would be taking a short hiatus from swimming anyway, which would give my shoulder a little breather and hopefully during the rest period the problem would sort itself out.

I had 10 whole days off over Christmas - more than I had planned - of relaxing, constant eating and absolutely no swimming! It was great and although it is obviously too soon to tell if it has done the trick. I had zero pain on my first swim back on New Years Day- which was even harder than I had anticipated. I have never wanted to swim less in all my life. However, even though the after affects of the 10 day rest added a whole 10 minutes to my swim. I did it. The whole thing! The whole 160 lengths and that's enough for me - YAY! Pain free and long may it continue.

Although, unfortunately for me the bad news was that when I googled 'how to cure swimmers shoulder' the first result suggested that the best way to get rid of the problem permanently is to... change my technique!!! which would be a huge pain in the arse so hopefully it doesn't have to come to that :(

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