Pure Physio Blog

Swimmer’s Shoulder Prevention

Published on
06 Mar 2020

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Sarah_Large

Written by
Sarah Anderson
Manual Physiotherapist

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Our team members Zoe and Sarah recently attended a SportsMap course on Advanced Upper Limb Rehabilitation in Sport.

The presenters were experts in the field including Kylie Holt, Senior Sports Physiotherapist who works for Swimming Australia.  

In our March professional development session, Zoe and Sarah shared their new found knowledge from Kylie’s presenters on the Swimmer’s Shoulder. 

Swimmer’s shoulder is a condition where swimmers often aggravate their shoulders while they swim due to the constant joint rotation. If you’re an enthusiastic swimmer, it’s likely you’ve had or will have swimmer’s shoulder.

Swimmer’s Shoulder is tendinopathy of the rotator cuff which is highly prevalent, occurring in 70% of swimmers, yet there is a lack of quality research available. Likely causes include training load changes, scapular dysfunction, strength imbalance and insufficient glenohumeral stability. 

If you are a swimmer, you should be aware of sudden changes in training load, for example if you usually train twice a week, then move to four times a week this increases the load on muscles which in turn can lead to pain.

To help prevent this overload you need to monitor loads and ensure adequate strength, whilst looking at your programming of sessions, avoiding hyper elevated positions and watching your movement patterns.

If you are concerned or about to increase your training load, book in to see one of our expert team. We will provide you with the latest researched rehabilitation program to get you back in the pool sooner and performing at your best.

About the Author

Sarah Anderson — Manual Physiotherapist

Sarah graduated from Bond University, Gold Coast with a Bachelor of Health Science and Australian Catholic University, Brisbane with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy. Since graduating, Sarah has worked in a range of sports and private practice settings gaining valuable hands on experience.

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