Physical Therapy Is Key Treatment for ‘Swimmer’s Shoulder’

“A non-weight-bearing, low-impact way to condition the entire cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, swimming continues to be one of the more popular sports activities in the U.S. It’s also one of the safest and most effective workouts,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

“However, swimmers are still not off the hook when it comes to overuse injuries… The repetitive overhead motions… puts the shoulder at risk for a condition known as swimmer’s shoulder.”

“Unlike a fall or a motor vehicle accident, which are isolated macro-traumatic events, swimmers shoulder is a micro-traumatic condition of gradual onset brought on by cumulative ‘wear and tear’ of the rotator cuff tendons. Over a period of time, these events give rise to pain, weakness and restricted range of motion, culminating in dysfunctional movement patterns, poor stroke efficiency and reduced speed. Predisposing factors of swimmer’s shoulder include: overuse, faulty stroke mechanics, the excessive use of training implements that cause additional strain (e.g., hand paddles), and disuse due to extended breaks from training.”