Swimming has a reputation as a low-impact sport, ideal for the elderly and others with mobility issues. However, it is not without risks, especially for elite swimmers. Like all athletes, it is not uncommon for swimmers to over-train: professionals can swim for hours each day, and the constant repetition of the same movements can put stress on the joints, causing injuries which can lead to time away from the sport.
The risk of specific injuries depends partially on which stroke is used most often – breaststrokers will tend towards different issues than backstrokers, for example. The most common swimming injuries occur in the shoulders, knees, hips, and back, shoulder being the most prevalent. However, swimmers who use the dolphin kick often tend towards lower back problems, while breaststroke can cause knee and hip problems.
Treatment and Prevention
Whether you are recovering from an injury or trying to prevent a new injury from developing, the following tips are key for safe training:
- Be conscientious about using good stroke technique, even if you are fatigued. The majority of injuries are caused by improper form.
- Communicate with your coach or trainer about pain, fatigue, and technique.
- If a specific stroke is causing injury, use it as little as possible until the problem resolves.
- Cross-train, especially if you are injured.
- Take time away from the sport if needed.
- Seek chiropractic treatment sooner rather than later.
While some discomfort during training is normal, if pain is persistent, it needs to be attended to. Although athletes tend to be reluctant to seek treatment, the fact is that the sooner an issue is treated, the less severe it becomes – meaning that time away is minimized.
Even swimmers who have not yet developed an injury can benefit from chiropractic treatment; a chiropractor can assess which body parts are put under the most strain, evaluate posture, and make recommendations regarding balance, posture, movement, diet, and strength. Furthermore, your chiropractor can help catch injuries as soon as they occur, and place you on a chiropractic treatment regimen immediately.
-Thank you to southeastchiro.com for this article