Swimming is considered one of the best types of exercises for individuals who need an activity that is easy on the joints. However, most people are not aware of the shoulder injuries that can occur from swimming. The most common is known as swimmer’s shoulder, usually caused by repetitive use of the shoulder joint from swim strokes. In fact, up to 70% of competitive swimmers are affected by swimmer’s shoulder.
Here are some tips you can follow to decrease the chances of shoulder pain and injury from swimming:
- Minimize injury by dealing with shoulder pain immediately. Take a break from swimming and ice the area to minimize inflammation. (Recommended: DonJoy Dura*Soft Shoulder Wrap)
- Don’t swim if you’re sick, tired or cold. These symptoms are your body telling you that you may not be fully ready to swim, which could lead to injury.
- Warm up before getting in the water. You can do some light jogging, walking or even jumping jacks. Anything that gets your blood pumping.
- Stretch after warming up. Focus on your shoulders, but don’t forget to stretch your back, legs, and arms as well.
- Perform exercises that strengthen the muscles, such as weightlifting. Build up the muscles in your shoulders and upper back.
- Make sure you are using the proper swimming techniques. If necessary, take a class with a certified swim instructor.
As with any activity, health comes first. If you do find that you have persistent shoulder pain, make sure to consult your doctor.