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Old 01-07-2011
marylandswimmer marylandswimmer is offline
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marylandswimmer
Default Neck and Shoulder Issues

I was wondering if anyone had any insight on some issues I've been having with my neck and shoulder.
To start with, I've been swimming TI for about 2 years now and am very happy with the results. I am very careful not to "pull" myself through the water, but to propel through the TI methods that have been discussed on this forum many times. I feel as though I execute the stroke effortlessly and efficiently, but am experiencing pain on a chronic basis.

To describe the process, I can say it happens in this manner every time:

-I go to the pool and warm up my shoulders and neck region.
-I begin my workout in the water which includes swimming about a mile without stopping followed by drills described in the latest video by Total Immersion. This takes approximately 1hr, 15minutes (sometimes I do the drills first and the distance second)
-I loosen up after swimming and hit the shower
-About 30 minutes later, I feel tightening in the back of my neck and down the muscles that lead to my shoulders.
-This tightening gets worse throughout the day and eventually causes pain in my right shoulder.

To combat this, I have used lots of Ice in that region and have also tried to do additonal stretching later in the day. Despite this the pain persists and generally diminishes when I stay away from swimming for a while.

If anybody has experience with this or can offer any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2011
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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One possibility is that you swim with a raised head, so that your neck is in constant tension. There are of course others. I would suggest getting some video feedback arranged and having a close look at your stroke.
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Old 01-07-2011
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
One possibility is that you swim with a raised head, so that your neck is in constant tension. There are of course others. I would suggest getting some video feedback arranged and having a close look at your stroke.
I agree with Lawrence that head/neck position is the most likely culprit.

The tension in the neck can cause your top rib to move slightly out of alignment. That can cause pain in the shoulder area as well as the neck.

If you're used to tipping your head up when you swim, that probably feels natural to you. In other words, you probably don't think you're looking up.

A few focal points you can try:
-When you breathe, look back over your shoulder. If you want, you can practice this in front of a mirror. Look straight ahead, neither up nor down. Then, turn your head straight to one side. You'll notice that when you turn your head, you're actually looking behind you.
-When you breathe, make sure you see the sky or the ceiling.
-When you are swimming with your head in proper position, you won't see the wall in front of you or the other swimmers in the pool.

Some people practice this by doing the Superman Glide and letting their head "sink into support". That alone wasn't enough for me because the action of looking up while turning my head to breathe was so ingrained. I could feel the neutral head position when I was flat on my stomach, but when I rotated my neck to breathe, I automatically looked up.

Good luck with this. If head position is the culprit, you'll feel better right away once you fix it.

Swimming with improper head position hurts my neck. Swimming with the proper position actually cures my sore neck.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2011
marylandswimmer marylandswimmer is offline
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marylandswimmer
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Thank you for the quick input. Although I am conscious of my head position (or how it is supposed to be), I will focus on that more in depth during my training and drills.
The mirror technique is a great way to analyze my head position! Thanks
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