Swimming is an extraordinary sport that merges strength, flexibility and endurance. It is considered one of the safest fitness activities and is usually recommended to help rehabilitate sports injuries.
However, there are some injuries caused by swimming itself experienced especially by elite or regular swimmers. These athletes set their joints through intense recurring movement. Depending on each stroke, most injuries involve knees, shoulders, hips or back.
The most common swimming injuries include:
–Swimmer’s knee: Primarily caused by breaststroke swimming. Usually the intense kicking and the stress of the rotation provokes the knees to swell, pain or fatigue.
–Swimmer’s back pain: Essentially caused by the repetitive nature of front strokes such as freestyle and breaststroke as well as the intensity of the force needed to prevent the lower part of the body from plunging. The lower back begins to be painful inside and outside of the pool.
–Swimmer’s shoulder: Most common swimming injury effectively caused by the overuse of the shoulder while rotating the arms in backstroke and freestyle. The pain is described as gradual during practice and even outside the water.
–Biceps and Triceps tendinitis: Also caused by the rotating movement or of the arms which results in an inflammation of the muscle which becomes weak and leads to gradual pain.
Therefore, in order to prevent and treat these injuries swimmers should:
– Correct their stroke technique
– Perform injury prevention exercises or alternative exercises such as core strengthening and cross training
– Manage pain by minimizing repetitive strokes
– Use resting periods to rehabilitate
– Use cooling therapies