Saturday, October 06, 2007

New Season, Pain In The Neck

The body is slowly getting back into the demands of training. A few aches from muscles that are adapting the stimulus of getting back out in the single scull and on the rowing machine. It has become obvious just how tight and stiff I get between the shoulder blades. My mid thoracic has really played up over the years and I have struggled to find great activities to eliminate the stiffness in my up spinal joints and how that effects my neck.

When we are overseas it really helps to get regular massage and physiotherapy. Still though it seems that irritation of the joints and were the ribs attach to the vertebrae seem to be impacted a great deal from rowing. That's not to say that I don't have days when it all feels pretty good, it's just that I have become use to the discomfort of the years. Contrast that to time when training loads drop. So in the last two week as I have been getting back into more consistent session and with the intensity increase it struck me yesterday that I must stay on top of keep the function of the area of my back.

Referral from a tight area like the thoracic comes in the from of increased load in my lower back and a great need for range in my neck. I mention this because this morning I woke up and have a dull ache in my neck. It is amazing how everything is connected and each like ache I find contributes to some change else where in my body. What seems to be key in starting out a new season is to have time to adjust slowly and to practice other activities that create great function to enable any easier rowing movement long term.

The activities I will be practicing particularly over the next month will involve a variety of yoga postures. Master Yung Yung has suggested a class that he attends, so I figure I will get back into some group classes. Another thing I will spend time on is performing back arches on the floor. While laying on my stomach I find that creating a subtle back arch and lifting my arms off the floor engages the area between my shoulders and it stimulates improved function.

The other thing I notice with getting back into training is that I like to challenge my body to move in new ways and by targeting improvements in range of movement it can be uncomfortable. My body has resistance to not wanting to move in certain ways. So with out forcing it I like to subtly challenge the range of movement that I believe will improve my rowing. This can actually make my nick and lower back sore. It gets me in the hips also and even in the last year I have found the odd sense of nerve pain around the top of my shoulders and neck. I know bike riding also contributes to this as well. So while starting back into it it is actually more important to get on top of managing my body and to be diligent with regards to finding optimal function that will enable long term health and sustained performances.

Each new season starts out with a great sense of optimism and staying health and on track of improvements required is critical to being able to continue year after year and it keeps the enjoyment levels up too when things come more easily later in the season.

2 comments:

RoCoach said...

Try slowly rolling the length of your back on a foam roller, it may help release the vertebrae.

rowman said...

hope your back is all good for Beijing!!! Have you asked Duncan how he got back all good for Lucern after his troubles at Henley?

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