Shoulder injuries are thought to affect between 40% to 91% of professional swimmers. This isn’t a surprising statistic considering that competitive swimmers, training for a number of hours, six or seven days a week, will perform many thousands of shoulder revolutions and this continuous movement places great strain upon the joint.
However, while the risk of developing a shoulder injury due to overuse is high for competitive swimmers, studies show there are ways to minimise the risk. In particular, stretching could be the key to prevention.
1. Rotator cuff impingement/tendonitis
The rotator cuff is responsible for keeping your arm within the socket. Made up of numerous tendons and muscles, the rotator cuff is one of the most commonly injured parts of the shoulder.
Rotator cuff impingement occurs when the acromion part of the shoulder rubs against the muscle, causing pain and irritation. It occurs when the arm is lifted to shoulder height. Rotator cuff tendonitis is diagnosed when the tendons are damaged or irritated.