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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    You might not be a PT, but you can play one on the internet!

    So I up and joined the YMCA in December, and have been going six days a week ever since.

    I alternate my workouts. Some days I swim, some days I just treadmill, and some days I treadmill and do the circuit training machines (ten in total).

    I DON'T overtrain. When I began, I could swim four lengths of the pool (50 meters) and have worked up to about 16 lengths, pausing after each one to catch my breath. With the machines, they're all set for the lowest weight so far, and I do three sets of 15 reps per machine. And I do the treadmill at about 3 mph for 30 minutes.

    After each workout, I take a jacuzzi for about 15 minutes, and spend about 5 minutes in the sauna.

    I've developed persistent pains in my back just below the shoulder blades. I have a long-dormant history of pain in my LOWER back, but this is different. It's in the middle of my back, near the sides.

    So - is this from swimming? Or the machines (one of them is a machine to twist the torso)? Or just a coincidence?

    It's not debilitating pain, it's annoying pain. Sometimes when I swim it goes away, sometimes a couple of hours after I swim it's worse. Some days it goes away completely.

    Just wondering what might be the cause and what might be the recommendations.
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    Whoa! I have always thought the abbreviation "PT" meant Physical Therapist. What do you mean?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  3. #3
    Rabid Member KillerBeagle's Avatar
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    I think he did mean physical therapist, but in this case an MD might be more useful for diagnostic skills.

    I'd stay away from the twisty machine for a while. Other than that I have no ideas. My wife says to see a chiropractor but personally I don't believe in them.
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  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    I've developed persistent pains in my back just below the shoulder blades. I have a long-dormant history of pain in my LOWER back, but this is different. It's in the middle of my back, near the sides.

    So - is this from swimming? Or the machines (one of them is a machine to twist the torso)? Or just a coincidence?

    It's not debilitating pain, it's annoying pain. Sometimes when I swim it goes away, sometimes a couple of hours after I swim it's worse. Some days it goes away completely.

    Just wondering what might be the cause and what might be the recommendations.
    It's very possible ,based your description, that you have muscles in your back over your ribs that are not sliding over the ribs right. It's got something to do with the body not lubing that area right as we get older.

    I had this condition once and the doctor gave a shot in that muscle and I've been fine since then but he did say it might come back once in awhile.

    Either way go to a doctor to get checked out.
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  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    You have YMCA Syndrome.

    Guessing that it's not related to the treadmill but could be related to the swimming or the machines.
    I would guess (GUESS) that this is not 'back pain' but 'musculoskeletal' pain more related to arms/shoulders etc.
    You could try limiting yourself to only the treadmill to see if the discomfort goes away. Then add one activity at a time.
    Are these all new activities for you since December?
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  6. #6
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    As a retired Personal Trainer (aka PT, Gym Nazi, Crazy Woman, etc.) I'd recommend you stay off the twisty machine and consult a Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist who can observe what you do, and how you do it.

    There's a song with a lyric along the lines of "...it ain't what you do but the way that you do it..." and that's what I think is your issue.

    YMMV.
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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    It is not the torso machine.

    Unless you are using another weight machine that has you start with your arms straight out and you move the weight by swinging the arms at shoulder height back to your sides;
    then the cause is your swimming.

    Few people ever use those shoulder blade muscles unless they are swimmers. If needed, shorten your swim until you have built up the muscles more.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
    As a retired Personal Trainer (aka PT, Gym Nazi, Crazy Woman, etc.) I'd recommend you stay off the twisty machine and consult a Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist who can observe what you do, and how you do it.

    There's a song with a lyric along the lines of "...it ain't what you do but the way that you do it..." and that's what I think is your issue.

    YMMV.
    +1

    Shoulder blade (scapula) function plays an important role in shoulder and back stability and strength. Getting the best and safest results from the gym machines requires using perfect form.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillerBeagle View Post
    My wife says to see a chiropractor but personally I don't believe in them.
    Consumer Reports recently published results from a large survey of people with back problems. Chiropractors were rated as the most effective treatment.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    The jacuzzi and sauna will get you every time. <G>

    If it were me, I'd drop the torso twister for a couple weeks and make sure to swim slow relaxed. If that didn't help after a couple weeks I'd start dropping a machine in the circuit until the culprit is found.

    Also, if it were me, I'd probably regret not having realized the Y has associated trainers who could have solved my problem in a flash.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  11. #11
    Rabid Member KillerBeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    Consumer Reports recently published results from a large survey of people with back problems. Chiropractors were rated as the most effective treatment.
    Sure, if you believe a chiropractor will help, they probably will. I don't believe in their mumbo-jumbo and they haven't helped me. My conclusion: placebo effect. I see a real MD if I have a real problem.
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  12. #12
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I think the culprit might be the swimming, so I will cut back on that for a while and see what happens.
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  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I reckon it's the treadmill. 30 minutes at 3mph is going to be bad--Cut the time back to walking for 10 minutes at 6 mph and you will be glad to get off the thing and into the pool for a relaxing 20 minutes floating. Tales all the strain off the back.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    Thanks everyone. I think the culprit might be the swimming, so I will cut back on that for a while and see what happens.
    Although from what you have posted that would have been my last thought one never knows. So, it pays to do a bit of experimentation to get a handle on cause and effect. Just be sure to include all options, pay attention to pain levels and do things in small bites. And, of course, to be honest with yourself.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  15. #15
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    Although from what you have posted that would have been my last thought one never knows. So, it pays to do a bit of experimentation to get a handle on cause and effect. Just be sure to include all options, pay attention to pain levels and do things in small bites. And, of course, to be honest with yourself.
    Roger will do. The swimming is my suspect because it is something I haven't done in years and I fairly quickly ramped it up to 16 laps, which is a lot for me. I'll cut that in half for now and see what happens. The machines are my second guess, I suppose, but I'm barely exerting myself on them - just getting used to having some weight and doing the exercises. I did move from 3 sets of 10 reps to 3 sets of 15 reps, but again, without adding weight. I do not really suspect the torso twister machine, but I won't rule it out.

    Problem is, of all the things I've been doing, I enjoy the swimming most! Nonetheless, I'll cut back there and see what happens.
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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    Problem is, of all the things I've been doing, I enjoy the swimming most! Nonetheless, I'll cut back there and see what happens.
    Your cardio system is already in good shape, so once your muscles get use to the activity, you will be back to 16 laps and then onto 20 laps.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  17. #17
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    DG,
    Are you stretching well before you begin and at appropriate intervals? I have the same pain area in my mid-back and I use stretches to get looser in that area. I know spinal pain well from a severe disc injury and surgeries so I can tell this isn't spinal in nature but a musculo-skeletal problem. Best of Luck with figuring this out, I would follow the advice from gcottay about using an expert from the Y for a look see as to what they can detect since they are there.

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    Digital Gee:

    Your stated location made me curious so I looked up Pitcairn Island. What I saw said the population is 50. Is that so? Also, the island is pretty small. Where do you ride?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Get a massage.

    There are two quite different types of massage parlors. A city like San Diego will have both kinds. Make sure that you choose the right one.

  20. #20
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    Digital Gee:

    Your stated location made me curious so I looked up Pitcairn Island. What I saw said the population is 50. Is that so? Also, the island is pretty small. Where do you ride?
    Psssst.... I'm in the Witness Protection Program. I'm not really on Pitcairn Island. And Digital Gee isn't my real name, either. That's all I can say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    Psssst.... I'm in the Witness Protection Program. I'm not really on Pitcairn Island. And Digital Gee isn't my real name, either. That's all I can say.
    Suspicions confirmed. But, I thought everyone here used their real name. Is it too late for me to go anonymous?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  22. #22
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    Suspicions confirmed. But, I thought everyone here used their real name. Is it too late for me to go anonymous?
    Sorry, Lat. Too late.
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    Then go get one of the other massages

  24. #24
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    DG - can't you just swim without using your arms? Just kick, keeping your arms at your sides. A real good workout.
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  25. #25
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    DG - can't you just swim without using your arms? Just kick, keeping your arms at your sides. A real good workout.
    Cycling does a pretty good job of working the legs. Swimming or weights are a good change to get an upper body workout.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

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