Research has shown that that up to 70% of competitive swimmers will experience a problem with their shoulder at some point in their careers. This is not surprising when you consider a competitive swimmer may swim up to 10km per day and easily perform up to one million strokes per year. This, combined with the fact that the shoulder complex has sacrificed stability for mobility, makes it that it is not surprising that overuse syndromes and other biomechanical abnormalities are so common in the shoulder.
Some Causes of Swimmers Shoulder:
Swimmer’s shoulder can simply occur from the repeated action of swimming. As mentioned above, it is not unusual for competitive swimmers to swim many kilometres per day. This repetitive strain is a constant wear and tear of the shoulder whilst in the water. If this is coupled with incomplete or incorrect stretching before and after exercise, the problem is even more likely to occur.
Physiotherapy treatment will always begin by testing how far your shoulder and shoulder joint can move before it starts to ache. This establishes the range of movement that you can do and also plots an eventual end goal of how far you should be able to move when pain free. In conjunction with physiotherapy treatment and possibly massage therapy, it is recommended to perform a suite of rehab exercises as prescribed. This is a great treatment method for sports enthusiast such as swimmers as the exercises both combat the pain by strengthening the affected areas and also act as a subtle stretching techniques to keep you limber outside of the water.
What we can do for you:
At PhysioCare we focus on quality patient care and outcomes and so when treating an injury such as swimmer’s shoulder, we know to test your range of movement before we tailor a treatment plan to see what you are capable of withstanding and completing. When we eventually help you to get and feel better, we can discuss working with our personal trainers in our private rehabilitation gyms for some sessions to strengthen and rebuild the affected shoulder if necessary. Swimmers shoulder is not an uncommon problem and should be treated as soon as it flares up to get you back in the water as soon as possible.