Most common swimming injuries and tips to prevent them

Most common swimming injuries and tips to prevent them

April 14, 2023

“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” – Woodrow Wilson

Your swimming injury risk depends strongly both on the number of hours you spend in the pool, ocean, or lake and the type of swimming you undertake. The risk of lower back injuries is higher for swimmers who specialize in the butterfly or breaststroke, and the risk of knee injuries is higher for breaststrokers. Concussion risk is higher in people who swim more frequently in natural bodies of water, compete in triathlons, or participate in synchronized swimming.

Swimmer’s shoulder, a disease that can result in swelling and impingement within the shoulder joint, is by far the most frequent injury sustained during competitive swimming.

Most common swimming injuries

1. Rotator cuff tears

  • The shoulder blade and upper arm are connected by a quartet of muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff. These tendons and muscles support the shoulder joint and lift the arm.
  • Swimmers frequently suffer from rotator cuff tears, particularly those who use poor technique. A tear may eventually result from this.
  • Make sure you’re swimming properly to avoid rotator cuff damage. When pulling your arm through the water, keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle and avoid much internal shoulder rotation. Additionally, you should concentrate on rotator cuff muscle strengthening activities like shoulder presses and lateral rises.

2. Shoulder Impingement

  • One more of the most frequent ailments to the swimming shoulder is shoulder impingement. It happens when the tendons and muscles of the rotator cuff in the shoulder joint are caught or compressed.
  • This can occur when the swimmer’s arm is raised overhead for an extended period of time, which happens frequently when swimming. Incorrect swimming technique or repetitive actions can also result in shoulder impingement.
  • Maintaining appropriate shoulder range of motion is key to avoiding shoulder impingement. Do some modest stretching and warm-up exercises before you swim, and avoid overhead maneuvers that place too much stress on the shoulder joint. You should also focus on employing the right swimming technique required for each stroke you’re performing: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly.

3. Knee Injuries

  • Although swimmers are more likely to sustain shoulder injuries, you might be surprised to learn that knee issues can also happen to swimmers. Because swimming has moderate impact, it is easy on the joints. That does not preclude knee injuries, though. Overuse, poor swimming technique, or weak muscles around the joint are all common causes of knee injury.
  • Most swimming strokes involve kicking, therefore it’s critical to concentrate on utilizing the right technique to prevent undue strain on those joints.
  • As a swimmer, there are various things you can take to avoid knee injury. First, check that you’re utilizing good technique with both your legs and arms. That includes:
    1. Maintaining your knees straight when you kick and avoiding undue flexion at the hip.
    2. Second, concentrate on bolstering the knee-supporting muscles with squats and lunges.
    3. Third, pay attention to any joint pain or discomfort you have and stop if necessary.

4. Lower Back Pain

  • All swimmers, from beginners to elite athletes, frequently experience lower back pain. There are a few distinct reasons why this can be the case:
    First, swimming is frequently performed bent over, which can strain the lower back.
    Second, swimming can cause muscular imbalances and tension in the lower back due to its repetitive actions.
    Finally, a lack of use can cause the core muscles that support the lower back to weaken.
  • To avoid lower back pain, focus on keeping proper posture and alignment when you’re swimming. To stabilize your spine, keep your chin up, keep your back straight, and concentrate on engaging your core muscles. Additionally, you should be aware of any muscle imbalances and make sure that all of the muscles in your back are being stretched and strengthened, not just the ones that are tight or weak.

How can injuries be prevented?

  • First, warm up!
  • Use the right method
  • Exercise each of your muscle groups.
  • Observe your surroundings carefully.
  • If you are not healthy, avoid swimming.

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