Swimming is a very enjoyable, therapeutic and competitive sport, however the strokes and movements in the pool are very repetitive causing them to have a toll on the health of your joints and muscles. If you take your swimming seriously and train regularly then it is very important that you look after and maintain your body as best possible.
Common injuries can include:
- Swimmers shoulder – the shoulder joint is the area most commonly affected through swimming and overuse. Shoulder injuries can include shoulder impingement (normally of the rotator cuff), biceps tendonitis and shoulder instability.
- Knee injuries – the ligaments and tendons in the knees are common injury spots for swimmers who do breast stroke. This abnormal movement can increase pressure on this soft tissue causing injury.
- Lower back – using dolphin kick and breast stroke can place extra pressure on spinal discs and on the pelvis causing misalignments and spinal slippages.
- Muscle strains – these can include injuries in the rotator cuff, trapezius, deltoids, pectorals, lower back and groin. These can largely be avoided by warming up with some easy lengths before going for any speed or distance.
The main causes of swimming related injuries are:
- Poor technique
- Weak muscles
- Spinal misalignments
- Not warming up properly
- Previous injuries
- Trauma – from falls, bumps and slips (normally when out of the pool)
Symptoms of swimming injuries include:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Shoulder pain
- Reduced range of motion
- Leg pain
- Muscle spasms
How to avoid these injuries:
- A good fitness regime to strengthen your core muscles and improve your overall fitness level.
- An efficient warm-up and stretching routine to prepare your muscles before swimming. This will lower the chance of straining your muscles.
- Get some coaching! Even if you are an experienced swimmer, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. A swimming coach will pick up any flaws in your technique and recommend ways in which you can improve your stroke.
- Chiropractic care to maintain your spinal health.
Many swimming injuries respond very well to Chiropractic adjustments which aim to encourage efficient joint motion, increase flexibility, reduce muscle tightness and improve alignment.