Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Breast Stroke Caution - Swimmer's Knee

You may have noted in this blog a sad limitation in content - that is I've focused almost entirely on freestyle technique, leaving out all the other strokes. There's a good reason for at least one of these being missing - related to a health problem I've had with breast stroke. A health problem? Yes! I don't really know if there really is such a thing, but I know I get what I call Swimmer's Knee when I do the breast stroke over an extended period of time and it isn't fun. The symptom isn't painful, but certainly can lead to other problems. What is "swimmer's knee"? To me, it's simply loose, wobbly knee. It presents itself most clearly out of the water - when I go down stairs. The muscles around my knees stay loose (from the exercise, I guess) and don't hold the knee in place to support my stepping down. The result is the center of my leg at the knee joint, flops over to the side, involuntarily, and I tumble if I don't grab a stair rail or wall fast. Frankly, it's scary when it happens because it could lead to a sprained knee or a fall down the stairs. To keep from incurring a personal disaster, I stopped doing much breast stroke. This may be limited to me, but I caution anyone else with long legs who does much breast stroke. Hold the railings when you go down flights of stairs, or you may go down much faster than you ever expected.

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