Sports injuries and diseases of the shoulder
The shoulder in water sports:
In all kinds of water sports, whether it´s crowl swimming or diving, waterpolo or butterfly, the shoulder is one of the most weight bearing areas. In waterpolo shoulder weight bearing is enormous.
Swimming and shoulder instability:
Most chronic shoulder problems in swimming are due to shoulder instabilities. Acute or complete dislocations are rare events in swimmers. Quite more frequent an overuse for years or decades results in a chronic instability due to microtraumata causing a labral and capsular wear. Shoulder pain and snapping, while swimming, at daily activities or at rest, are the complaints. First method of choice is a nonoperative treatment with rest from swimming, special sportsphysiotherapeutic exercises, antiinflammatory medication and muscle training. If this is not successful an arthroscopic or open shoulder operation has to be discussed. Stabilizing procedures like capsular plication will be performed. Depending on the individual situation of the swimmer an open operative procedure might be more successful than an arthroscopic operation, sometimes.
Swimming and impingement of the shoulder:
Another shoulder disease in swimming might be an impingement syndrome. Not that often it´s a classical subacromial impingement. More often it is an internal impingement, similar to a throwing shoulder.
Swimming and unclear shoulder pain:
A typical situation are unclear / unknown shoulder pain or snapping problems. In those cases a partial tear of the rotator cuff, a SLAP lesion or posterosuperior impingement might be the cause. Partial tears of the supraspinatus ( PASTA lesions ) occur quite frequently in swimming.
What can I on my own suffering from a "swimmer´s shoulder" ?
The following can be recommended:
1. Take a rest. Avoid all painful activities.
2. Antiinflammatory drugs for about 2 weeks, combined with local cooling, makes sense. Talk to your physician about it.
3. Before starting your swimm training take care to stretch your posterior shoulder capsule. Stretching of the anterior capsule is not that much important and might accelerate your shoulder pain, especially if an underlying instability is one of the problems.
4. You should train the muscles of your rotator cuff under supervision of a physiotherapist. Especially the external rotators have to be trained.
Other themes & sites arround the shoulder: