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  • David Williams

Recovering From Swimming Injuries With Physiotherapy: How Is It Possible?

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Swimming is a great sport that can be enjoyed by people of almost every age at each level of ability. Although it is a fun and unique fitness activity to learn, swimming can also cause many injuries. Most swimmers had at least an injury at some point in their lives. No matter how much experience someone has, it's impossible to avoid swimming injuries.

Most swimming injuries affect the shoulders, knees, hips, back, and neck. These injuries are mainly because of the repetitive movements done by a swimmer. 90% of swimming injuries are on the shoulders.

In assessing and treating swimming injuries, one of the many ways is physical therapy, or what we call physiotherapy. Therapists provide physiotherapy to help restore someone's body movement and function from certain physical injuries, illnesses, or disabilities. This treatment option helps treat a wide range of disabilities affecting the bones, joints, brain, lungs, and even body tissues.

How Is Physiotherapy Done & How Does It Help Treat Common Swimming Injuries?

Physiotherapy is done by medical professionals called physiotherapists. They specialize in treating injuries regarding the movement of the body and preventing further damage.

Physiotherapists use various methods to speed up healing and restore body movement. One of the main approaches that physiotherapists can provide is general education and advice about the daily risks of injuries and posture problems in our lives.

Tailored exercises are also provided by physiotherapists based on the patient's problem. They aim to improve movement and function in specific areas to be treated. Physiotherapists can also proceed with manual therapy to help relieve pain and stiffness and increase the range of movement within the body.

Can swimming injuries be helped with these methods? The answer is yes. Swimmers are prone to injuries like most athletes. That is why prevention and treatment are necessary to maintain proper movement and increased range of motion.

All swimming injuries can cause pain and discomfort, although they can affect different body parts. Some common injuries that can heal with physiotherapy are:

Swimmer's shoulder

This type of swimming injury is also called shoulder impingement. The tendons are inflamed and swollen, causing them to press on nearby muscles surrounding the shoulder and other tendons. This swimming injury can restrict movement within the shoulders and cause pain that can be experienced gradually through exercise.

With physiotherapy, pain caused by the swimmer's shoulder can be effectively treated with manual therapy and strengthening exercises. Physiotherapy can also restore mobility within the joints in no time with the help of tailored exercises provided by the physiotherapist.

Swimmer's knee

This injury is more common among breaststroke swimmers. This is caused by powerful repetitive kicks of the legs to perform breaststroke in the water. The knees receive stress as they kick through the water, causing pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion when moving on land. Pain can also be felt by doing exercises and gradually increasing without proper treatment.

Physiotherapists deal with swimmer's knee in various treatments; some are strengthening exercises, ice therapy, and friction massage. These can help with decreasing pain, optimizing healing for knee joints, and speeding up recovery.

Neck and back pain

Swimming can also cause neck and back pain and is one of the most common injuries caused by the said sport. This is because of the repetitive movement and rotation within the water.

Physiotherapy for neck and back pain is designed to reduce pain and stiffness within the muscles, improve the range of motion within the neck, and develop strategies to prevent such injury from happening again.

Most swimming injuries can be prevented if you address the factors to reduce your risk of having them. Even if you don't have a severe injury, you can still consult a physiotherapist to seek advice and suggestions for an improved swimming routine. You can also ask a physiotherapist to include mobility exercises into your swim routine to prevent problems within the shoulder, knees, hips, back, or neck.

As is said, swimming injuries are unavoidable. Even if you are experienced in swimming or just starting through swimming lessons, your risks of gaining swimming injuries are never zero. With physiotherapy, treatment and prevention for swimming injuries are accessible and available for everyone.

At District Performance & Physio, you can create plans with your physiotherapist and make modifications later on as much as needed. Other than swimming injuries, we help treat different problems and injuries in the body regarding movement and will be there for you every step of the way until you reach your goals. Whether severe or mild your pain is, we can help you determine the problem and help treat and prevent it from happening in the future.

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