How to Treat Swimmer’s Shoulder
Swimming is a great form of exercise that benefits the entire body. However, like any sport, swimming can also lead to injuries, and one common injury among swimmers is shoulder pain, also known as swimmer’s shoulder. Swimmer’s shoulder is caused by repetitive overhead arm movements, which can strain the shoulder muscles and tendons. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain from swimming, here are some tips on how to treat swimmer’s shoulder and get back in the pool pain-free.
1. Rest: The first step in treating swimmer’s shoulder is to rest the affected shoulder. Avoid any activities that aggravate the pain and give your shoulder time to heal.
2. Ice: Apply ice to the affected shoulder for 15-20 minutes, several times a day. Ice helps reduce inflammation and pain.
3. Heat: After the initial acute phase, you can use heat therapy to relax the muscles and improve blood flow to the area. Apply a warm compress or take a warm shower.
4. Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and range of motion in the shoulder joint. Consult a physical therapist for specific exercises.
5. Strengthening exercises: Once the pain has subsided, it’s important to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder to prevent future injuries. This can include exercises like shoulder presses and rows.
6. Proper technique: Consult a swimming coach to ensure you’re using the correct technique and not putting excessive strain on your shoulders.
7. Gradual return to swimming: Start with low-impact activities like kicking or using a pull buoy before gradually reintroducing full swimming strokes.
8. Anti-inflammatory medication: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication.
9. Physical therapy: If the pain persists, seek the help of a physical therapist who can provide targeted treatments and exercises to alleviate the pain and improve shoulder function.
10. Massage therapy: Regular massage sessions can help relax and release tension in the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.
11. Posture correction: Poor posture can contribute to shoulder pain. Focus on maintaining good posture both in and out of the water.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. How long does swimmer’s shoulder take to heal? The healing time varies depending on the severity of the injury. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
2. Can I continue swimming with swimmer’s shoulder? It’s best to rest and avoid swimming until the pain subsides to prevent further damage.
3. Can swimmer’s shoulder be prevented? Proper technique, warm-up exercises, and shoulder strengthening can help reduce the risk of swimmer’s shoulder.
4. Should I see a doctor for swimmer’s shoulder? If the pain persists or worsens, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
5. Can I swim with swimmer’s shoulder pain if I modify my strokes? It’s best to avoid swimming until the pain subsides to prevent further aggravation.
6. Can swimmer’s shoulder affect other daily activities? Yes, swimmer’s shoulder can cause pain and limited range of motion, affecting daily activities like lifting or reaching.
7. Can swimmer’s shoulder lead to long-term complications? Without proper treatment, swimmer’s shoulder can lead to chronic pain and increased risk of further injuries.
8. Can swimming with swimmer’s shoulder make the condition worse? Yes, swimming with swimmer’s shoulder can exacerbate the condition and lead to more severe injuries.
9. Are there any exercises to avoid with swimmer’s shoulder? Activities that involve overhead arm movements should be avoided until the pain subsides.
10. Can physical therapy help with swimmer’s shoulder? Yes, physical therapy can be beneficial in treating swimmer’s shoulder by providing targeted exercises and treatments.
11. How can I prevent swimmer’s shoulder in the future? Maintaining good swimming technique, avoiding overtraining, and regularly stretching and strengthening the shoulder muscles can help prevent swimmer’s shoulder.