What a fantastic Olympics the USA SWIMMING team is having so far. Cheers to Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps for their phenomenal achievement in winning gold medals.
Here at Bryn Mawr Wellness, we see swimming-related injuries increase in the summer months due to a surge in recreational swimmers. We have a feeling they’ll increase even more this month with the amazing USA swim team inspiring us to take to the water. Here are four of the most common swimming injuries:
If you experience shoulder pain during or after swimming you may have injured the group of tendons and muscles in the shoulder known as the rotator cuff. Swimmers Shoulder can be caused by any number of things including bad technique, fatigue, or repetitiveness of the same stroke. Whilst swimming be sure to concentrate on your form at all times and stop when it starts to slip.
Neck injuries can occur among competitive swimmers, especially due to the repetitive nature of the front crawl. In recreational swimmers, neck injuries are more down to holding the head out of the water during the breaststroke. It’s a good idea to remember to stretch and look after the neck muscles and swim with correct form – even if that means getting your hair wet.
Lower Back Injuries
Swimming relies on the mobility of the hips, thoracic, lumbar and cervical spine. One of the causes of lower back pain or stiffness could be tight hip flexors. Tightness can be brought on by the hip-extension motion during the kicking motion. Remember to stretch out your hip flexors after swimming.
If you’re experiencing pain in your knee, during or after swimming it will usually be down to poor technique during the breast stroke. The movement of the legs in the breast stroke result in an external rotation of the knee which it isn’t really designed for. We recommend switching to a different stroke.
Assessment, Treatment and Prevention
Active Release Techniques (ART) provide a way for chiropractors to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat repetitive strain injuries without relying on surgery. ART are a soft tissue system used to treat injuries of muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. ART allows the stretching, separation and release of these connective tissues in the body, allowing for an increase in range of motion and an increase in strength and flexibility. ART also helps to restore vascular circulation.
Now the answer, is not to stop swimming. No, absolutely not. Swimming is a fantastic form of low-impact cardio exercise. Just remember to swim with good technique, stretch and look after your muscles. GO FOR THE GOLD…