Do you rotate when you Swim?
I have cervical stenosis and a retrolisthesis and have been recommended a fusion surgery by two different surgeons.
I agree neck discomfort can be an issue in freestyle but my breathing is actuall less stressful than not breathing. When I breath my head stays in the same position relative to my torso smothers is no additional movement.
When my neck is bothering me I have to use breaststroke or fly and not free