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Common Over-Use Injuries in Swimming

Swimming has long been known to be a great form of exercise for both the physical and mental state, however like any sport, the risk of injury is prevalent if the body is overworked and overused. In this article, we talk about the benefits of swimming as a sport and the common injuries that can occur alongside it…

The Benefits of Swimming:

Swimming is deemed as an amazing all-over workout due to moving the whole body through and against the resistance of the water. This is turn helps with keeping the heart rate up into the fat burn and cardiovascular zones and also takes off a lot of impact stress which can be inflicted on the body in other sports such as running.

Swimming also helps by:

  • Aiding in building overall endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Helping in maintaining a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs
  • Toning muscles and helps build overall physical strength
  • Using nearly all the body’s muscles whilst working out   
  • Alleviating stress
  • Improving the body’s coordination, balance, and posture
  • And helping to improve overall flexibility

Common Over-Use Injuries in Swimming:

Swimmer’s shoulder:

This is the most common type of swimming injury. It is primarily caused by the repetitive overhead movement required of almost every type of swimming stroke all the way from front crawl to butterfly. This, in turn, puts stress on the tissues surrounding the shoulder. This stress mainly affects the rotator cuff muscles which allow the arms to be raised or rotated. These set of muscles then become inflamed and tender, making it difficult or painful to move.

HTC - Blog - Swimmer's Shoulder

Low back pain: 

This occurs most often in those who do butterfly and breaststroke. These strokes require the head to be lifted while the hips and legs sink. Swimmers often overarch their lower back to compensate, putting stress on the back muscles and ligaments causing pain and discomfort.

HTC Blog - Lower back ache

Breaststroke knee:

When performing the breaststroke technique, facing the feet out while extending and kicking the legs can cause the knees to externally rotate. This goes against the leg’s natural movement pattern, which can lead to knee swelling, inflammation, and pain in the knees’ inner ligaments

HTC - Blog - Breast stoke

Foot and Ankle tendonitis:

This is the less common overuse injury that affects the tendons in the front of the foot and ankle due to the repetitive kicking motion in butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle.

HTC Blog - Foot and ankle tendonitis