The summer is about to get into full swing, which inevitably brings pictures of people dipping in swimming pools or splashing about in the sea. However, swimming is much more than a leisure activity that peaks in the summer. It is a popular choice for a fitness regime and a major competitive sport. As with every sport, there is risk of injuries and swimmers need to be aware of their vulnerable spots, as well as preventive measures and treatment. Drawing on study data and contributions from experts, stopsportsinjuries.org gives an overview of swimming injury causes, the most common traumas and tips on their prevention.
Depending on stroke, swimmers can sustain shoulder, knee, hip or back injuries. Athletes put serious strain on their joints as a result of extreme repetitive motion, which is the underlying cause of swimming injuries. The most commonly affected joint is the shoulder, with injuries including rotator cuff impingement, biceps tendinitis and shoulder instability. In the case of knee injuries, it is usually the tendons and ligaments that are affected. Beaststrokers could also be afflicted with hip pain as a result of hip tendons inflammation. When a swimmer favours the dolphin kick, a possible outcome is intensified back problems.
A good stoke technique is one way of preventing swimming injuries, and another is a training regimen that introduces core strengthening and cross-training exercises in the pre-season or early-season routine. During recovery, the rehabilitation focus should be on rotator cuff and scapular strengthening in the case of shoulder injuries, while pelvic and hip strengthening exercises should be prioritised after hip and knee injuries. It is always best to consult with a sports medicine professional or an athletic trainer, not only when it comes to injuries but for prevention strategies as well.