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Old 07-04-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
animal0800
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Angry My Back hurts when I swim BreastStroke

I'm 50 now and came back to swimming a couple of years ago.

My free/fly are going fine, but whenever I swim BreastStroke I get a really bad sharp pain right at the bottom of my spine which shoots down my leg.

Now, back in the 70's when I was younger, fitter and better looking I was actually a breaststroker but I can't do more than half a length now without this pain.

Does anyone have any idea what this might be ? - i'm actually going to the doctor on Wednesday about this and i'm hoping he refers me to a physio of something.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:04 PM   #2
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do you get this pain all the time. Do you get a tingling (pins and needles) in your leg?

This could range from sciatica (apologies for spelling) or a disc problem.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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For all the popularity of breaststroke, I've never liked it. While I don't get an actual pain, it feels like it's putting strain on my back. And it just doesn't feel natural like other strokes do. As I've said recently, maybe I'll get to like it more when I'm more experienced at it, but it looks like you're having problems after previously mastering it.

A quick google search throws up this:

http://www.backpain-online.co.uk/exercises.html (Swimming is good exercise for the back, but avoid breaststroke).

http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.co...ing/oldrath_9/ ("Sport injuries and the older athlete" - "Head-up swimming motions, such as the breast stroke, cause back problems by arching the spine.")

http://www.belperbackpainclinic.co.uk/back2.htm ("On the whole swimming is a very good exercise. But if you have a back problem I do not recommend the Breast Stroke. This is because most people hold their head out of the water putting a strain onto the neck, Also the action of the legs in the “Frog Legs ” portion of the stroke can put a strain on the S/I joint and the whole of the lumbar area. The Crawl, Backstroke or any other strokes are all acceptable.)
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animal0800 View Post
Does anyone have any idea what this might be ? - i'm actually going to the doctor on Wednesday about this and i'm hoping he refers me to a physio of something.
I think it's probably poor posture more than anything, ask someone to watch you from the side and see if you are arching your back to much.
Are your legs low in the water?
Does your head come up high when you come up to breath?
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:38 PM   #5
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I have to update my comment on this thread. Tonight I didn't feel much of any "pressure" or "stress" in my back at all. In fact, if I hadn't been concentrating on what I felt back there, I don't think I would have noticed any stress at all.

I did get a really odd cramp though. It was in the muscles a bit above my knee, but not the main upper thigh muscle. The muscles tightened up, and I expected cramp. But the feeling faded and didn't come back.
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