With the glorious summer weather, many of us are taking to the water for fitness and recreation. Swimming is a fantastic exercise for all ages and all levels of athlete. While the risk of acute injury is relatively low for swimmers, repetitive strain injuries may develop with improper training and stroke technique. Common swimming injuries include: swimmer’s shoulder; low back pain; and Breastrokers’ knee. These injuries typically develop because of repeated faulty movement patterns which damage the muscles, tendons, and ligaments controlling a joint. Contributing factors include inadequate muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. An essential component to injury prevention is stretching, both before and after swimming. A good program can help to minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, increase exercise tolerance, and improve performance. If you are unsure of a proper stretching program, your Physiotherapist can work with you to design one that addresses your unique movement concerns. Listening to your body is another integral aspect of injury prevention. If a movement doesn’t feel right or causes pain, it may be your body’s way of telling you that you are at risk for injury. The problem may be related to muscle imbalances negatively affecting your stroke. By carefully evaluating your movement patterns, your Physiotherapist may be able to correct these
imbalances with manual therapy and a stretching and strengthening program. This will both treat your pain and improve your stroke. If you do experience a swimming injury, your Physiotherapist is ideally trained to help you recover. Symptoms of injuries that require attention include severe pain or minor pains that last more than 48 hours after activity. Early intervention by a Physiotherapist can help to reduce pain, speed recovery, and help you return safely to the pool. At Keystone Physiotherapy we are highly experienced with treating a broad range of swimming injuries. We work with you to achieve your goals and get you into top swimming condition. We offer early morning and evening appointments, allowing you to work around busy schedules. Call us today, and stay healthy in the pool!