HSS physicians have treated the USA Swimming team through multiple Olympic games and are at the forefront of treating both professional and everyday athletes for swimming-related injuries and conditions. For swimmers, maintaining good technique is an integral part of avoiding injury since many of the motions are repetitive and can lead to overuse injuries. Swimming can also be adopted as part of a rehabilitation program for the legs, back and spine.
Although swimming is a sport that requires total body strength and movement, shoulder injuries are most likely to be experienced by competitive swimmers. Often referred to as "swimmer’s shoulder," this common condition involves pain due to inflammation of the rotator cuff and is usually a result of overuse, improper stroke technique or a combination of both.
Low back injuries can also occur during the butterfly and breaststroke due to repetitive hyperextension. This injury can also occur in the weight room while training.
Working with a coach to adopt sound stroke technique is one way to help prevent injuries, as is a regimen of core and shoulder strengthening exercises. Swimmers should also communicate instances of pain to their parents/coaches and physical therapists so that changes in training can be made or a rehabilitation program can be started. Communicating the location, duration and intensity of your pain to a healthcare professional will help determine the type of injury you have and how best to treat it.