Swimming

Question: Has anyone found sports like swimming to be beneficial. I used to do weight lifting (for fitness), but I think that’s out!

Answer 1: Absolutely! I am convinced that exercise is an essential element of a cure. Look for sports that involve use of large muscle groups (it is a body use balance thing) and, as always, are generally smooth and rhythmic. I have started rowing, which meets these criteria.

Answer 2: Watch out with swimming – some strokes involving stretching out the arms, e.g. breaststroke, front crawl, sidestroke on the afflicted side, can make it much worse! I swim on my back and on my left side, twice a week, which is fine.

Answer 3: Interesting. I think that this is the first time I have heard anyone say that stretching could per se be problematic. Has anyone else had a similar experience? When I had my original attack I stopped doing yoga, because my wrists and arms hurt in some of the postures. I now think that a better move would have been to have simply adapted the postures, and/or changed to a different style of yoga. Many people have found yoga (which, for the purposes of this discussion, is mostly about stretching) beneficial with RSI. What I am now beginning to understand is that RSI problems (at least in my experience) come not so much from what you do, but from how you do it. This is a much subtler, and more difficult, thing to change.

Answer 4: I did damage to my neck/RSI by swimming breaststroke with head out of water. I used to swim 40 lengths in this manner during my lunch hour as a “break” from computer work. Don’t do it! Also yoga, beware, I’ve just been told some of the postures involving neck and shoulders can exacerbate RSI.

Answer 5: Yes, from Physiotherapy stretching exercises. In my case it had the effect of “picking scabs off.” Anything that was carried out (by the most senior physio) simply instigated far greater levels of pain than if I had been left alone. I would personally never attempt swimming, but my causation was not through keyboards and is different to other people’s. If I tried to swim, it would cause burning “heat” pains in my arms, followed possibly by “needles and pins” followed by tremors or a variety of other symptoms. Any kind of wide generalised movement causes these problems, as well as from detailed movements.


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