Swimming is a popular choice of exercise because of the low-impact it has on your joints. What many people don’t understand, however, is that having poor body mechanics while swimming can leave you with some pretty bad injuries. We’ll cover some of the injuries that are commonly associated with swimming as well as how to prevent these types of injuries from happening.
This exercise is very focused on your upper body, so it makes sense that the injuries most commonly associated with swimming are neck and shoulder injuries. injuries include:
- Irritation and inflammation in the shoulders
- Rotator cuff tendonitis or tears
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Tears in the cartilage around the shoulder socket
- Neck and lower back pain
- Bicep tendonitis
These kinds of injuries can make your daily activities unbearable. Our goal is to provide you with knowledge to prevent these kinds of injuries, so you don’t have to take a break from your everyday life. If you do find that you’re experiencing pain and your mobility is limited, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re experienced in potential causes of shoulder injuries and in diagnosing these. Treating these injuries is our specialty, we’re ready to get you back to your life.
As you exercise, listen to your body. Many injuries can be prevented by feeling and acknowledging the aches and pains your experience during your swim. If it feels like you’re pushing your body too far, take a breather and reevaluate your workout plan. The most common injuries are caused by the following:
- Swimming too much. This includes swimming more yardage or time than your body can stand. You should be slowly working up to the yardage and time you want as your body gets used to this type of exercise.
- Swimming too soon after an injury. If you don’t allow your body time to recover, injuries will be sustained.
- Swimming too fast. This includes swimming more aggressively/intensely than your body is ready for.
It’s also important to keep in mind the following body mechanics tips. It’s extremely important to keep your head in line with your neck as you come up for air. This lessens the pressure put on your back and neck and prevents future neck injuries. As you twist your neck for air, twist your body as well so your neck isn’t overextending in one direction. Breathe evenly from both sides, so that your neck doesn’t get strained on one side. Make sure your arm enters the water with your fingertips, the rest following and pushing directly behind you.
Swimming can be a high-intensity exercise that can help you reach your fitness goals, as long as you take these precautions and learn the proper body mechanics. If you don’t, you may find yourself taking more time off of your exercise regimen to heal properly.
Be safe and enjoy being injury-free this summer! And if you do hurt yourself, we’re here for you.