Swimming is a fantastic exercise that can be enjoyed by people with a variety of skill levels. That said, when it comes to serious competition, it would be wise to take precautions. In today’s blog, we’ll explore how to avoid injuries from competitive swimming.
Serious Swimming is Serious Business
Now, on this safety blog, we often extol the virtues and health benefits of swimming
. It’s a terrific, full-body cardio workout. Even better, swimming tends to be easier on the joints than other exercises, such as jogging. Of course, that doesn’t mean it is without risk.
When it comes to injuries from competitive swimming, typically the shoulders and back are problem areas. For example, here is a study that focuses on over 265 Danish swimmers
. The research shows an injury rate of 0.9% per 1,000 hours of swimming.
This isn’t an isolated study either. Numerous reports from around the world show alarming levels of injuries resulting from competitive swimming.
Common Types of Injuries from Competitive Swimming
“Swimmer’s shoulder” refers to a group of pains around the arm and shoulder area. This can include rotator cuff tears, bicep injuries and more. Typically, this is the most common injury from competitive swimming. To avoid these shoulder injuries, be sure to practice proper posture and technique. If you do experience pain, take a break before returning to the water. Intense swimming sessions will only exacerbate the pain and problems.
Another extremely common type of injury can come from the neck. This is often caused by improper form and head placement. Being out of alignment can have nasty repercussions. Predictably, having your face in the wrong place can lead to exaggerated twists and turns of the neck. To help avoid neck injuries of this nature, always try to keep your head aligned with your spine. Additionally, try to vary your swimming routine. Don’t use the same strokes over and over. This way, you’ll be able to cut down on some repetitive movements.
Another injury that plagues swimmers is Swimmer’s Ear
. This often occurs when a swimmer gets dirty water trapped in their ear. While a shower or bath can instigate this infection, it most often occurs when a person has been swimming in contaminated water. Mild cases can become worse if untreated. If you are experiencing sharp or prolonged pain, see a medical professional immediately.
Preparation is the Best Practice
The point of this post isn’t to scare our dear readers. Far from it, competitive swimming is a wonderful sport that can offer thrills and incredible health benefits. That said, it is always crucial to be aware of the potential risks.
It should be possible to dramatically reduce the rates of these aches, pains and damage. As is often the case, the key to safety lies in preparation. Participants should prepare ahead of time to avoid potential injuries from competitive swimming.
Knowing and exhibiting proper posture, both in and out of the water, can go a long way toward preventing pain. Additionally, it pays to set some limits. Overexertion can easily lead to injuries. Take breaks and if you are suffering from an injury, be sure to take enough time off to recuperate.
To learn more, here’s a handy video about swimming injury safety: