Swimming is an excellent physical activity that can aid in cardiovascular endurance. This type of physical activity is often considered harmless because it is a low-impact sport. However, swimming injuries are possible, since the sport uses repetitive movements. Whether you swim casually or are a professional athlete, it’s important to keep yourself safe when swimming. This article delves into some of the most common injuries from swimming and how to avoid them. 

Common Injuries from Swimming

Whether due to overtraining, poor technique, or another issue, swimming can result in injuries. The following are some of the most common injuries from swimming:

  • Swimmer’s shoulder is the most common musculoskeletal swimming injury and is present in 27%-87% of competitive swimmers. It can result from several strokes which add stress to the shoulder, including butterfly and freestyle strokes.
  • Swimmers specializing in breaststroke may suffer from knee injuries, including swimmer’s knee. 
  • Neck injuries from swimming are common in freestyle swimmers.
  • The butterfly and the breaststroke often result in lower back pain and lower back injuries. 

How to Avoid Swimming Injuries 

Since swimming consists of repetitive movements, swimming injuries are always a possibility. However, they’re not inevitable, and swimmers can take precautions to avoid injuries that may either bench them for a long time or even require orthopaedic surgery. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid injuries from swimming.

Warm Up and Stretch Before and After Swimming

Warming up and stretching are some of the best things you can do to avoid swimming injuries. Cold muscles are more prone to injuries from swimming, making it essential to warm up or stretch for at least 3-5 minutes beforehand. Taking care of your body after your swimming session is also critical. Instead of stopping a rigorous session abruptly, cool down with some stretches to ease the transition. 

Try Strength Training 

Taking part in strength training trains your muscles and prevents swimming injuries. Some of the muscles swimmers can benefit from focusing on are the quadriceps, rotator cuff scapular muscles, core muscles, and abdominal muscles. 

Use Proper Technique

No matter the stroke you’re using, there is a proper technique that you must follow to avoid swimming injuries. For example, during the backstroke, swimmers must rotate their bodies properly with each stroke since failing to do so can result in neck and shoulder pain. As this continues, swimmers may develop excessive neck soreness and require orthopaedic care.

Don’t Overdo It 

Many swimmers simply don’t listen to their bodies and continue to exert themselves, even when feeling under the weather or overly sore. If you’re feeling unwell or have a fever, ear infection, or respiratory infection, do not continue to swim. Additionally, when you’re training, it’s important to gradually increase length and intensity instead of doing so at once. Resting your body and increasing intensity slowly will minimize swimming injuries. Yet another part of not overdoing it means avoiding overstressing a specific part of your body, i.e., alternating between different swimming strokes. 

Invest in Orthopaedic Care

When it comes to swimming injuries, shoulders, knees, and backs are some of the most affected areas. Keep swimming injuries at bay by getting high-quality orthopaedic care from Dr. Brad Larson, MD. Dr. Larson has 30+ years of experience in sports medicine and joint care and specializes in knee, hip, and joint pain. Put your orthopaedic care in the right hands by calling 435-774-8512 or scheduling a consultation here.