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Do swimmers typically experience acute or overuse injuries?
Many think the word “acute”, as it pertains to an injury, is a description of the intensity of pain. According to Medicinenet.com, an acute injury is the “…abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care.”
Swimmers typically don’t suffer from “acute injuries” that are in need of urgent care. Rather, they experience insidious (slow onset) injuries of muscles and joints. These issues are typically classified as “overuse” problems. Physical therapists regularly treat swimmers that are diagnosed with:
Shoulder impingement – this condition is defined in detail here. It usually results from muscle imbalances and flexibility issues. Physical therapy is often helpful along with modification or correction of freestyle or fly swimming technique.
Chronic neck pain – a condition often related to repetitive use of the neck and upper shoulder muscles. Improper technique is often the cause. Working with a well-qualified swim coach along with training modification and the application of ice to the painful area can be helpful.
Patellofemoral pain – this is a problem with the kneecap and is typically seen in breaststroke swimmers. In most cases kick modification, strengthening, and sometimes bracing is helpful.
The information in this video is intended for informational and educational purposes only and in no way should be taken to be the provision or practice of physical therapy, medical, or professional healthcare advice or services. The information should not be considered complete or exhaustive and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes without first consulting with your physical therapist, occupational therapist, physician or other healthcare provider. The owners of this website accept no responsibility for the misuse of information contained within this website.