Chances are you’ve experienced shoulder pain or discomfort at some point in your swimming life. If this has ever prevented you from swimming, you will appreciate just how frustrating this can be. Many people spend a lot of money every year visiting a physiotherapist in an effort to manage a shoulder injury but overlook what is actually causing that pain in the first place. Most of the swimmers suffer shoulder, lower back or knee problems at some part of their swimming career. Injuries are seldom with kids under 10 years old but increase dramatically after that. Reasons for injuries are mainly 2.
1. Incorrect swimming technique and lack of basic skills
2. Not enough warm up/cool down at pool deck and lack of injury preventing movements
Swimmers, like athletes who throw a lot, put a great deal of stress on their shoulders with thousands of meters in the pool each day.
Shoulder injuries are common among swimmers because a swimmer might use the shoulder more than 2000 times in a single swim workout of 5-8 kilometer. Additionally, the shoulders are your body’s engine in the water, providing nearly 90% of a swimmer’s forward motion. Movements what swimmers are doing at water are monotonic and need to be done with right technique. Because of monotonic nature of movements some muscles and muscle groups get more developed and tired than others what might cause imbalance at your body.
Can these injuries be prevented?
No amount of exercise can ever guarantee staying injury-free, but keeping the important muscles of the shoulder strong can greatly decrease the chances of problems in the future. Too much trauma to these critical areas of the shoulder joint can result in shoulder pain, and in the worst case, structural damage.
How do you stay in the water and swim injury free?
Start with easy exercises every day and move forward when you are comfortable with movements. Important is that you will start to do injury preventing movements at early age so when you come to puberty you already have right moving patterns in head. Preventing movements are not only shoulder movements but core muscles have as important part at injury prevention than shoulder muscles. It is never too late to start to do injury preventing movements but do it before anything happens.
We have got a injury prevention program from Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center planned directly for swimmers. You can download the pdf here and print it. If you own an iphone/ipad you can download the program app and get nice videos showing how to do the exercises here: https://itunes.apple.com/no/app/get-set-train-smarter/id894609112?mt=8
Android phone/tablet users can download their version of the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.olympic.app.getset&hl=en
Remember these exercises are meant to help you with your swimming career! Exercises can be done before or after training or at totally own session.
Start to work today to stay healthy and keep on training!