common injuries of water sports
This morning, you are out in the lake in your canoe. All is silent and peaceful; you are very happy. The water is like glass. Everything is perfect, until- Uh oh! 3 giant boats are sailing by you, and the wind is picking up, and a GIGANTIC wave comes your way. Within seconds, your canoe tips upside down, and you plunge into the icy cold water. Yow! Good thing you know how to swim!
Do you want to paddle in a kayak, but don't have the guts or the know-how? Or, do you want to fight off that rip tide at the beach? Or, maybe you just want to show your friends what your made of in the pool.
Whatever the reason, swimming is for you! There are several different types of swimming: Freestyle, which is side to side.
Backstroke, which is on your back (no kidding!). There are also the butterfly stroke and breastroke (No, the butterflies don't stroke, that's for golf!). If you don't like swimming, then you can take up diving! Diving is actually more of an art than a sport. You must have beauty, grace, strength, and agility. You also must have complete body control (it's not a good idea to play football in the few seconds you are in the air from the diving board). You can dive on a 1 or 2 meter high diving board. If these have sparked your interest, but none of them appeal to you, then there aremore types of swimming, such as synchronized swimming, open water swimming, and life saving (don't expect to get candy when you try it, though). There are even water games, such as water polo. Now, doesn't that sound fun? Give water sports a try!
Every year, about 150,000 swimming-related injuries are treated. Swimming injuries can be either acute or caused by chronic overuse. Most often these injuries are muscle strains in either the shoulder, groin or knee. Swimmer’s shoulder injuries account for 60% of overuse injuries. The injury often depends on which stroke is used for example, breaststroker’s often complain of knee pain, and swimmers who do the butterfly stroke often have back pain. Diving has its own set of injuries and can cause neck and back pain.
The knee pain in swimmers is called swimmer’s knee and is often caused by MCL strains and sprains. The kick used in the butterfly stroke can be the cause. This stroke can also lead to back pain and spondylolisthesis which is when one vertebra slips forward onto the next vertebrae causing a gradual deformity of the spine. If there is more than 30 to 50% slippage, the condition could get worst and the athlete may need spinal fusion. If it is mild then physical therapy may help. The treatment for sprain and strains is rest, ice, NSAIDS, muscle strengthening exercises and gradual return to normal activities when there is no pain.
Swimmer’s shoulder can be caused by many different things. The most common is impingement (trapping of the soft tissue against the bone ), tendonitis, bursitis, or an unstable joint. Treatment for swimmer’s shoulder consists of rest, icing and strengthening exercises. Pain medication can help, usually NSAIDS are used. When there is no longer pain normal activity can restart. Varying strokes can reduced the amounts of injuries.
It is really important to warm up and stretch as studies show that cold muscles are more likely to be injured. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
One of the most serious water-related injuries is diving into shallow water. Every year about 1,000 serious neck and back injuries occur. People are left unable to use their arm or legs and must use a wheelchair for the rest of their life. If you do not know how deep the water is do not dive in.
Strengthening of the rotator cuff should be done at least three times a week.
Do not Over-stretch the shoulders.
Breaststrokers with knee pain should learn knee strengthening exercises and they should be done three times a week.
To avoid overuse injuries you should rest at least one day a week and cross train.