Most Common Injuries
The similiar, repetivie movements performed by the competitive swimmer over years of training
are associated with a variety of characteristic inuries. These primarily effect the shoulder but
they also can involve the lower limb and back. As in all sports, the competitive swimmer's
ultimate goal is maximum performance. This goal is shared by all of those involved in the athlete's
care and development, and as training programs are orgainized and implemented, prevention
of injuries must be a primary focus. These are the most common injuries in swimming:
- Pulled muscle. (Known as strains, these injuries can limit or end participation and may be
caused by poor warm-up or fatique.)
- Hip and back pain. (Causes are most often complicated and serious.)
The following first aid should be used for almost all athletic injuries: pulled muscles,
sprained liagaments or broken bones. These guidelines should NOT be used instead of visting
- Rest- Stop using the injured bosy part the minute it is hurt. Use a sling, crutches or splint.
- Ice- The more blood that collects at the injury site the longer it will take to heal. Keep ice on
for 20 minutes per half hour for the first 24 to 72 hours. Place a damp towel or dressing between
the ice and skin.
- Compression- Wrap an elastic bandage firmly over the ice and around the injured body part. If
cramping or throbbing occurs, unwrap at once.
- Elevation- Raise the injured part above your heart.
The R.I.C.E. program should be used for the first 24 to 72 hours after injury.
When you should see a doctor?
You know your body best. If intuition tells you that something is wrong, see your doctor. If
you are in doubt, see your doctor.
- Pain. Pain is natures way of saying don't do something. When it speaks, listen.
- All joint injuries. All injuries to a joint or its ligaments should be examined by a physician.
If they are not treated quickly, these injuries can become more serious.
- Loss of function. If you cannot move an arm, leg, or any part of either, then you have lost function.
Pain and/or deformity may be present.
- Pain that lasts for more than two weeks. Persistent pain indicates something serious. If the degree
of pain is constant or slightly improved, see your doctor.
Prevention of injury should include a gradual increase of swimming distance, gradual
increase of severity, proper warm-up and warm-down, and warming up after kicking sets.
Also, one should include strengthening exercises for vaiour muscles of the body. Finally,
proper mechanics should be instituted, particularly during fatigue situations. Regular
stretching may also reduce injuries.
Keys to Proper Warm-up
- Before stretching do a few light exercises to increase the blood flow within muscles.
- Stretch-Examples of Stretching