Schedule Appointment

Planning to Hit the Pool this Summer?

Are you planning to hit the pool this summer?  Swimmers’ shoulder is a very broad term used to refer to a wide range of painful overuse injuries that occur in swimmers. There are various parts of the shoulder that can be injured due to swimming stroke so symptoms can be anything from localized pain near the shoulder joint, to pain that spreads and travels up your shoulder and neck or pain that travels down into your arm.

Swimmers’ shoulder is a common condition that can affect swimmers of all ages and levels of competition. The shoulder is a very mobile joint due to its ball and socket design, which gives it a large range of motion. Therefore, it needs to be stabilized by the muscles and ligaments that surround the joint. Many factors can result in these muscles and ligaments being overworked including:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue or muscle endurance limitations
  • Over training
  • Poor technique with stroke, especially with freestyle
  • Muscle Tightness

Over time, injuries such rotator cuff impingement tendonitis occur. If not addressed, these issues can lead to more serious problems.

What is rotator cuff impingement and tendontiis? Impingement generally refers to the pinching of the rotator cuff against the bone every time you life you arms overhead. Over time, the tendon becomes inflamed and results in constant pain, which is known as tendonitis. Shoulder impingement and tendonitis are the result of overuse, not a traumatic event, and can generally be resolved with rest, strengthening and proper stroke technique. 

Some Swimming Facts:

  • 90% of the propulsive forces comes from the upper extremities
  • Competitive swimmers can swim 6-8 miles in a day (6-7 days a week)
  • Swimming strikes are done in sequence giving little time for muscles to rest
  • 66% of swimmers report a shoulder injury

Due to the repetitive nature and the instability of the joint structure in the shoulder, it is easy to see why many swimmers suffer from overuse injuries. How can physical therapy help with shoulder problems?

At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, our clinicians are experienced in treating all kinds of shoulder problems, whether you’re a swimmer, a ball player, a parent trying to lift their baby without pain, or just someone who woke up one day with shoulder pain. By scheduling a full evaluation with one of out therapists, they will run through a variety of tests to assess the supportive structures of your shoulder to determine what is causing your pain or problem. They will design a treatment plan specific to you and your goals. Don’t shrug off shoulder problems. Call our office TODAY at 703-450-4300 and start handling your shoulder pain.

By Angie Austin, LPTA

CLICK HERE for three tests you can try for some common shoulder injuries.  

Tags: , , , , , ,