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   Swimmers rely heavily on their shoulders, and should take care of them accordingly.  Swimming Health : Hunter Greene, M.D.    Often swimming thousands...

   Swimmers rely heavily on their shoulders, and should take care of them accordingly. 

Swimming Health : Hunter Greene, M.D.

   Often swimming thousands of yards in the pool each day, swimmers put a great deal of stress on their shoulders. As a result, shoulder injuries are very common among swimmers. 

   What causes shoulder injuries?

   A swimmer might use the shoulder nearly 2,000 times in a single workout of about five miles. Additionally, the shoulders are the body’s engine in the water, providing nearly 90 percent of a swimmer’s forward motion.

   With overuse comes fatigue and poor stroke technique. Often swimmers demonstrate tremendous flexibility or joint laxity, which can be normal. Slight injuries and micro-trauma can cause the shoulders to become unstable and lead to shoulder pain and tendinitis.

   Shoulder injuries may include rotator cuff impingement “” pressure on the rotator cuff from part of the shoulder blade or scapula as the arm is lifted. Biceps tendinitis (painful inflammation of the biceps tendon) and shoulder instability, in which structures that surround the shoulder joint do not work to maintain the ball within its socket, can all result from fatigue and weakness of the rotator cuff and muscles surrounding the shoulder blade.

   How can shoulder injuries be prevented and treated?

   No amount of exercise can 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.

   Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:

   >> Use good stroke technique

   >> Lessen repetitive strokes that are causing the injury

   >> Perform core strengthening and cross training exercises as part of pre- and early-season routines

   >> Consider alternative training techniques rather than training through an injury

   >> Talk with a sports medicine professional if you have any concerns about injuries or prevention strategies.

  >> Only return to competition when clearance is granted by a health care professional.

Check out this article in the digital edition of SportStars Magazine… Protect Your Water Wings

Previous Article… Heavy Pedal 


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