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Old 01-02-2017
johynr]]] johynr]]] is offline
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Default neck stiffness/pain

Sometimes, and increasingly so, I have neck ache/pain after a swim.

Amongst other things I've tried relaxing the head, looking straight down and I was wondering what other general advice or tips people can give me to try.

Thank you in advance.

John
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2017
borate borate is offline
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Are you straining by lifting your head to breathe? Try instead tilting it to the rear slightly and pursing the lips - Popeye style - to grab that quick bite of air.
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Old 01-02-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello John,

there must sneak in some tension in your neck at any time. How about to integrate a short stop every (two-three-four) laps. Stay at pools edge for a moment just to do a relaxed nod and a relaxed left right turn of your head and be aware if there has been any tension left. If so, go on and spy where it will appear again. If not, do some laps more with the same neck-relax-stops.

Does the pain appear if you did such interrupted pooltimes?

Best regards,
Werner
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Old 01-02-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Here is a simple suggestion, which may or may not help. Try spearing deeper when you swim. When I did this, it helped me a lot. It turned out that I was trying to spear too shallow and my shoulder flexibility didn't allow it. As a result, I was arching my back and raising my head. When I speared deeper, all of a sudden all of these problems went away.

More generally, a local problem, like head or neck position, can be a symptom for a more global problem whose cause may lie somewhere else entirely. That makes tracking down the cause more difficult, but it always pays to keep an open mind and experiment.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi John,

Looking straight down can trigger tension in the neck - the swimmer is often unaware. It is common for the human to push head down when looking straight down, thinking they are 'hanging the head'. Perceived reality vs reality issue.

A good way to find and feel a true neutral head/spine posture is to feel both extremes. Do this in torpedo drill (superman with arms molded to front of body), light flutter kick. In torpedo, start by intentionally pressing face toward bottom of pool from the neck (not from chest or waist), hold for a couple seconds - then release ALL tension in neck allowing the head to pop up to the surface and rest in equilibrium (naturally float no neck tension). This is a neutral posture. Repeat this a few times until all tension in neck is gone and you discovered your true neutral posture.

Also try in freestyle, Start off the first few strokes with a (perceived) neutral posture, then follow with 4 or more strokes pressing face down, then final strokes to pool edge, correct the posture and release all tension in neck back to a neutral head/spine posture. Feel the difference in body position and tension in shoulders and neck with both postures. Using a snorkel will also aid in this discovery so you don't interrupt with rolling to air.

You can do the same exercise looking forward for a few strokes, then drop the head no neck tension. Feel the difference in body position and tension (or no tension) in shoulders/neck in both positions. I use this one to reset my head position during and after long open water swims.

Stuart
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Old 01-02-2017
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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When you are 'on land', what movements trigger the neck pain? Is it a general dull ache? Or is it elicited by a certain movement -- as in, turning to look behind when backing up in the car, or by looking down or by looking up?
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Old 01-03-2017
johynr]]] johynr]]] is offline
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Thanks to all for the suggestions, I will try them all out.

novaswimmer: I don't feel it whilst I swim but afterwards, it hurts when I turn to look around, particulary to the right.
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