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  • Nicki Ferramosca

Rowing Injuries & Prevention

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

Whether you enjoy rowing on one of our local rivers or pushing through the kilometers on an erg or rowing machine, there are a few injuries that we find are common among our rowers.

In this blog I discuss those common injuries and the signs for them, and the ways in which they can be supported.

Hip pain

A full stroke in rowing requires a lot of hip flexion and knee flexion as well. With the repetitive flexion/extension of the hip, you may experience a few aches and pain from that motion. You may find that you have hip pain that is in the front, side and even the front of your upper thigh. This could be a sign of hip flexor tendonitis, myofascial pain, or even a glute muscle strain. Surprisingly to most, a weakness in these muscles may actually be the cause. Are your hip flexors tight? Maybe. Either way, it is important to test your hip strength and incorporate hip strengthening exercises into your training. Our physical therapists use a variety of techniques to improve your mobility and strength including manual therapy techniques, trigger point dry needling and blood flow resistance strengthening.

Rib Pain

This is another common area of symptoms/injury and one we like to ask about to prevent it from getting much worse unnecessarily. Rib pain can be caused by an overuse injury of the latts, intercostal muscles, improper breathing patterns or improper form during your stroke. First thing to check is your form. Have your coach or rowing buddy check out your form and ensure you are using the correct technique during your stroke. Second, we would look at your breathing pattern. Are you using the accessory muscles to assist with breathing? Breathing through the shoulders instead of your belly? This can add to rib pain that can creep into the shoulder blade area as well. Pain along the lower ribs that spread towards the front can be more of a muscular overuse issue. Our physical therapist can help with that too! We work on reducing your pain, improving the mobility through your spine and ribs and increasing strength.

Staying on top of these issues of pain or discomfort can prevent things from getting worse and will keep you on the water or in the gym on your erg! If you’re dealing with some of these issues and looking for guidance on how to get better, you can book with one of our physical therapists today.

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