Swimming is one of the best ways to stay active and beat the summer heat at the same time. However, like all sports, swimming can result in injury if the proper precautions aren't taken to avoid it.
Here are some of the most common injuries to avoid while swimming this summer:
1. Neck Injuries
Swimming works and strengthens your neck muscles, meaning it can be easy to strain those muscles as a result of improper form or overuse. While swimming, your head should be in line with your spine during your stroke. If you lift or rotate your head too much, it can lead to stiffness, pain, and strained muscles.
2. Swimmer's Shoulder
Swimmer's Shoulder, also known as shoulder impingement, is an overuse injury that results from repeated strain to the tendons and muscles of the shoulder joint. The tendons of the rotator cuff, the muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder joint stable, can become inflamed or even develop partial tears. If Swimmer's Shoulder is left untreated, it can lead to more serious shoulder injuries like labral tears and rotator cuff tears.
3. Lower Back Injuries
Swimming with improper form can also lead to stress on the lower back, causing back pain. This stress is often a result of a failure to roll your body correctly while swimming, creating tension at the point where the lumbar spine and pelvis meet.
Stress and tension on the lower back can lead to degeneration of the lower back over time, so it is important to address these issues early
4. Swimmer's Knee
Knee injuries are also common among swimmers. One such injury is Swimmer's Knee, which involves damage to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). It is often called breaststroke swimmer's knee because it is usually incurred as a result of the stress placed on the ligament by the frog-kick used for the breaststroke. Repetitive stress on the MCL causes swelling and pain in the knee.
5. Hip Injuries
Because of the repetitive kicking motion, swimming can put a lot of stress on the hip flexor muscles, leading to tightness, inflammation, and pain. Over time, this pain can develop into injuries related to hip impingement and muscle strains and sprains.
Preventing Swimming Injuries
Most swimming injuries can be prevented with proper technique, equipment, and stretching. Here are some of the most important injury prevention techniques to remember when you’re in the pool:
- Warm up: Warming up properly prepares your muscles for physical activity and reduces your risk of strains, sprains, and tears.
- Use proper technique: Improper technique puts unnecessary stress on your muscles and joints. Make sure to focus on the position of your body while you perform each stroke.
- Train outside of the water: Strengthening exercises, especially those that target the core, quadriceps, and hamstrings can help prevent pain while swimming and reduce the risk of injuries
- Know when to quit: Overuse injuries are common among swimmers, so make sure to avoid pushing yourself too hard and to take time to recover.
Visit Pittsburgh’s Top Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist
While you're hitting the pool this season, make sure to take the necessary steps to prevent injury. If you are injured, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Luckily, Dr. Brian Kelly is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who can provide you with the treatment you need to recover and live pain-free. For comprehensive care in sports medicine, with Dr. Kelly today.
is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor experienced in treating a variety of injuries. Dr. Kelly and his expert team of physicians will make sure that you get the treatment you need to get back in the game. If you have sustained a sports injury, at the offices of Dr. Brian Kelly today.