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2959 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 2, 2011 4:39 AM by Damien Howell
Mark Manasse Rookie 1 posts since
Nov 28, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 1, 2011 1:43 PM

Upper Leg Pain While Swimming

Last March, I got a very strong cramp? strain? in both my legs while I was swimming after a long bike ride.  The pain ran from the middle of my arches up into the middle of my inner upper leg...

 

Since then, this pain will just not go away.  It doesn't really bother me when I bike/run....but as soon as I get in the pool, I feel like it is going to happen again in my inner upper legs.

 

I thought it might have something to do with my bike fit, so I changed that.  I have also tried resting, yoga, ART, lymph node release, massage, and physical therapy, and nothing is working.  I only get this pain while I am swimming.

 

I *think* it might have something to do with biking although I don't feel it while I am biking.

 

I am trying to get ready for an Ironman...so I really want to take care of this!

 

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

  • Damien Howell Legend 312 posts since
    Feb 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 1, 2011 3:10 PM (in response to Mark Manasse)
    Re: Upper Leg Pain While Swimming

    The location of inner upper legs would suggest to me that your healthcare professional (Physical Therapist) should rule out your hip joint as a source of your symptoms.  Muscle cramping often is related to a muscle which crosses two joints (hip joint and knee joint) being asked to contract when the muscle is in a relatively shortened length.  When the muscle is in a shortened position it puts a particular challenge to the "muscle length tension relationship".  Ask your healthcare professional if any of your hip muscles are too long/lax and perhaps subject to "stretch muscle weakness".  It is not directly related but this short article does discuss the concept of "muscle stretch weakness" Stretch Weakness.  Stretch weakness can be diagnosised with manual muscle testing "break test" when the break test is performed with the muscle is positioned at it's shortest length.  A more remote explanation is the pain in upper thigh can be referred from the L3 - L4 motion segment of the lumbar spine.  Biking on the down bars or aerobars on a bike tends to lead to excessive flexibility of the lumbar spine in the direction of flexion and the action of swimming requires lumbar extension.  Again your health care professional should be able to help sort this out.

    Damien Howell PT, DPT, OCS - www.damienhowellpt.com

  • BT.ROB Legend 271 posts since
    May 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 1, 2011 3:56 PM (in response to Damien Howell)
    Re: Upper Leg Pain While Swimming

    Nice article Damien. It is my understanding that the IT Band is the only two-joint muscle in the body (hip and knee). Your training is certainly more than mine. My massage therapist has been working on my IT and gluteus medius for awhile (as I have with a foam roller, vaiour stretches, etc). I have no idea about the OP problem with inner thigh pain during swimming.

     

    BT

  • Damien Howell Legend 312 posts since
    Feb 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 2, 2011 4:39 AM (in response to BT.ROB)
    Re: Upper Leg Pain While Swimming

    BT Rob there are many two joint muscles which cross the hip and knee joint in addition to the IT band.  On the inner aspect of the thigh there is the semitendinosus, semimembranosus (medial hamstrings), sartorius, and adductor magnus muscle, they cross both the hip joint and knee joint.

    Damien Howell PT, DPT, OCS - www.damienhowellpt.com

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