Swimmers are most often affected by injuries or overuse of the shoulder. As swimmers react to overuse injury, they may become overly fatigued and fail to continue using proper stroke techniques.

These injuries range from rotator cuff impingement (pressure on the rotator cuff from the shoulder blade as the arm is lifted), biceps tendinitis (inflammation of the bicep tendon), and shoulder instability (the surrounding areas of the shoulder joint don’t work properly to keep the ball in its socket).

All of these injuries can result from fatigue and weakness of the rotator cuff and the muscles surrounding the scapula. Performing core-strengthening and cross-training exercises during pre-season routines can help prevent shoulder damage. If already injured, consider alternative training techniques to lessen the use of a damaged shoulder.

As much as you may want to return to play, remember to properly rest your shoulder to recover. Focus rehab efforts on rotator cuff and scapular strengthening. Remember to talk to your physician and trainer about the best training routine or treatment regimen for you.

The Bone & Joint Center is always here to help. Call us today to make an appointment.

Reference: USA Swimming, “Shoulder Injury Prevention,” April 2002. http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1645&mid=702&ItemId=700

Reference: Stop Sports Injuries, “Preventing Swimming Injuries”. http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/swimming-injury-prevention.aspx

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