Preventing Swimmer’s Shoulder

This is an inflammatory condition of the shoulder which occurs due to overuse of training equipment, unilateral breathing, overstraining and poor swimming technique. Also, this is primarily caused by a mechanical friction of the soft tissue between the corocoid and acromion process of scapula (acromion forms the tip of the shoulder and corocoid forms the curve below the collarbone). Even the repetitive freestyle’s stroke arm motion may cause this ailment. But there are ways to prevent this overuse injury. Read how to avoid and

prevent swimmer’s shoulder


Proper Swimming Technique

One of the major causes of this overuse injury is poor swimming technique. A friction is created in the biceps tendon if the swimmer exceeds mid-line upon hand entry. Also, if the swimmer’s hand touches the water with the palm pointing outwards and thumb pointing down, this may cause pain in the shoulder. Hence, a proper technique to enter the water will prevent swimmer’s shoulder.

Avoid Overtraining

This may also cause pain and inflammation in the swimmer’s shoulder. The condition worsens if the swimmer continues training with fatigued muscles. The muscles work less efficiently when they are overused. This results in adverse conditions. The fatigued muscles put extra effort to work. Also, the swimmer has to do extra strokes to cover the same distance. These factors lead to swimmer’s shoulder.

Avoid Unilateral Breathing

This condition may also result in swimmer’s shoulder. Those swimmers who frequently turn their heads to one side are more susceptible to shoulder pain. This pain occurs in the opposite shoulder. This load is equally distributed to both the arms by bilateral breathing.

Other Preventive Measures

  • One thing which swimmers should completely avoid is rapidly increasing their training frequency and training distances. This leads to muscle fatigue and makes them more prone to shoulder pain and inflammation.
  • Another point which will prevent swimmer’s shoulder is strengthening upper back and shoulder muscles.
  • Also, stretching neck, chest and shoulder muscles prevents this overuse injury.

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