Swimmer's query

After 15/16 lengths of the pool my arms go completely numb. I change stroke from breast to crawl and the feeling returns immediately.

What’s happening here?

I can’t explain in detail, I’m afraid, but it’s just nerve damage. It’s not unusual for certain activities or postures to cause more problems than others.

You’ll have to either:

(a) Learn to live with it

(b) Not swim so far with that particular stroke, or

(c) Switch permanently to crawl

Sorry if that doesn’t sound very sympathetic, but MS is restricting, in various ways.

If you’re still able to swim 15 lengths, would it be a huge sacrifice to modify your style, if you find one causes less problems than the other?

I would have thought keeping up your swimming would be the main goal here - whatever compromises that takes - and not insisting you have to do 15 lengths of one particular style.


No advice at all but a huge well done for even having a problem after 15/16 lengths.

My problem would be who could haul me from the bottom after entry into the water these days I think.

As Tina says the keeping swimming is the main thing and if you can get one over on your lodger by modifying styles then go for it.

All the best


Crikey! 15 lengths! That sure is some achievement.

I used to be a good swimmer, but now need to use a woggle float. My legs don`t do a thing…just like out of water.

I can do a few breast stroke widths of the baby pool…one width then rest before doing another.

Hope you can keep swimming so well.

luv Pollx

Hi, Mabe you could use a float + just kick yor legs, the better ones have hand grips + are easy to use. Julsiexx

Thanks for the replies.

Perhaps differernt nerves come into use depending on the type of stroke.


I too am impressed with your 15 lengths, I’d be too exhausted to manage that so well done you for a start.

Last year I went to swim in the sea on a beautiful day. I was with my grandson aged six. I walked in up to my waist and laid myself out to swim and found I couldn’t use my arms at all! It was agony. I’m a reasonable swimmer and have swum all my life. I found I wasn’t swimming but drowning. I was struggling to get myself upright. The whole thing was terrifying but thankfully my grandson was utterly oblivious, building his sandcastle on the shore. It was the most distressing thing. I love the feeling of weightlessness in the water, I cried bitterly over the loss of something that both gave me pleasure and exercise.

Almost one year on after being on gabapentin for some time, I tried swimming once again and to my great delight and relief I can! I can’t do crawl or backstroke or breast stroke but I can do side stroke fairly well. I can’t tell you how great I felt afterwards. I was telling everyone wether they wanted to know or not!

Enjoy what you can do, I am!

Take care

Trudie x