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Is Swimmer's Shoulder Preventable? Uncovering the Top Strategies to Avoid This Common Injury

Is Swimmer's Shoulder Preventable? Uncovering the Top Strategies to Avoid This Common Injury

Is Swimmer's Shoulder Preventable? Uncovering the Top Strategies to Avoid This Common Injury

The North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy's research implies that about a third of competitive swimmers experience Swimmer's Shoulder, a term for an inflamed shoulder due to overuse. This constant irritation can limit a swimmer's training both in and out of the water.

Imagine that you take 12 strokes to finish 25 yards, and your workout covers 3500 yards. This means you'd be rotating your shoulder approximately 1680 times! If you swim six times a week, you'd be performing around 10,080 strokes weekly on average. If you ever suffer from shoulder pain, it's crucial to visit a nearby physiotherapist. Getting an early and accurate diagnosis is essential for receiving the best treatment and returning to the pool as quickly as possible.

To help you avoid the notorious Swimmer's Shoulder, consider these three preventive measures:

Improve Your Stroke Technique

By refining your stroke, you can enhance your efficiency in the water while also preventing shoulder injury. Yoshihiro Fujimori, a Japanese National Team Coach, suggests that one simple way to boost your swim and avoid shoulder injury is to keep your shoulders relaxed and un-shrugged throughout the stroke.

    Shrugging your shoulders while pulling adds unnecessary tension to the small, essential muscles in your shoulders. Insufficient body roll in freestyle could also cause excessive pulling on the tendons. Many swimmers let their thumb and pointer finger enter the water first, leading to excessive internal rotation and shoulder impingement. Consider how you pull through the water, and avoid crossing over your body's midline, pulling water with a straight arm or a dropped elbow, as these actions could put extra pressure on your inner rotator cuffs.

    Prioritize Stretching and Recovery

    Over-training without adequate recovery time might increase your risk of developing Swimmer's Shoulder. Proper recovery is as crucial as the actual workout in any sport. Joshua Brown, an upcoming Princeton University swimmer, believes that getting a good night's sleep and stretching are the best ways to recover from practice. Stretching can help relieve muscle tension, and flexibility is vital for swimming faster. If you can't nap between morning and afternoon workouts, focus on excellent pre-workout nutrition, post-workout protein, and consuming potassium-rich foods daily.

    Strengthen Your Inner Rotator Cuffs

    Don't assume that just working on your biceps and triceps will make you a better swimmer. Your inner rotator cuffs help you move and flex those larger muscles. When exercising your inner rotator cuffs, be cautious, as they are delicate muscles. External shoulder rotation using a light elastic band and external rotation at a 90-degree abduction are beneficial preventative exercises that strengthen the tendons inside your shoulder.

      Technique/Training: Ensure that all swimming and dryland training and instruction are performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor and in circumstances that guarantee participant safety.

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