Repetitive Swimming Strokes Result in Shoulder Injuries

Swimmer with a shoulder injury

Swimming is a popular low-impact sport in the United States. Depending on the stroke, injuries can affect a swimmer’s shoulders, knees, hips, or back. Injuries occur because swimming requires repetitive motions of the joints.

Shoulder injuries, in particular, occur fairly often because swimming requires the use of the shoulders and the upper extremities for movement. The injuries from swimming can be extreme, and it is important to treat them before they become worse.

If you experience a major injury, you can look into shoulder surgery or shoulder strengthening. Some common swimming injuries include shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tears, bicep tendonitis, and bursitis.

Shoulder Impingement

Swimmer’s shoulder occurs because of repetition of arm and shoulder muscle movements. Tissue damage can arise from the strain of these movements in most swimming techniques.

Many joints, tendons, and muscles make up the shoulder and allow for a good range of motion in your arm.

Shoulder impingement occurs when the space between your rotator cuff and acromion narrows. Irritation and pain can come from the continuous rubbing of the acromion against the tendon and other parts of the shoulder joint. As the problem progresses, symptoms also increase. Impingement can cause swelling and tenderness in the shoulder, as well as pain and stiffness when the arm is lifted.

Non-surgical options can be helpful but may only provide temporary or inadequate relief. Surgery, on the other hand, can create more space for the rotator cuff and help prevent further irritation and pain. This solution will require rehabilitation and post-operation recovery procedures.

Severe injuries can occur even with non-contact sports like swimming. Good stroke techniques are important for swimmers. They can avoid injuries by lessening repetitive strokes. Major shoulder injuries can be fixed with surgery, and injury prevention and treatment can be done with proper communication between an athlete, coach, and medical professional.