Although swimming is classified as an impactful exercise, injuries can very easily occur if you are not careful.
“Home is where the pool is.”
The leading causes of swimming injuries are the over-demanding workout, poor technique or lack of sufficient recovery time. Here are the injuries to look out for while swimming and the prevention techniques you can adopt:
1. Neck Injuries: Neck has a great deal of functionality and is also subject to a lot of stress. The neck injuries people suffer from are most frequently due to the use of incorrect techniques while swimming. Precautions should be taken in order to prevent these unwanted neck injuries.
An effective method to prevent such injuries is to keep an eye on the different strokes that you try to execute.
When freestyle swimming or front crawl, always keep your head in line with the spine and keep your eyes straight down. Try not lifting your head or looking to the front as you’re doing the breaststroke.
It is advisable to avoid over-rotating your head as you take your breath. Instead, try rotating your entire body as this will deduct the need for your head to rotate excessively to clear the water.
In both the butterfly and breaststroke, it is important to keep your head aligned with your spine throughout and position your head downward-looking in order to keep your head in a neutral position.
Finally, while performing the backstroke, increase your swimming distances gradually so that the anterior neck muscles are given a suitable period of time to adjust and adapt. It is ideal to increase distances by 10% every 4 weeks.
2. Swimmers Knee: It is also known as the breaststroke knee and this injury can arise through the mechanics related to performing the breaststroke kick. Basically, when your legs extend and are immediately followed by it being brought back, the knee goes through the external rotation.
This propulsive phase of the kick produces a movement in the knee that it is naturally not designed for. The inner ligament of the knee is then subject to irregular stress.
You can effectively avoid swimmers knee by following these simple methods:
- Don’t just stick to only one swimming stroke.
- Take regular rest periods during the year where you exclude breaststroke altogether.
- Proper warmup and stretching exercises are essential.
- Carry out exercises that will strengthen your hamstrings and quadriceps.
3. Swimmers Shoulder: The swimmer’s knee is the most common swimming injury. It can occur due to a variety of reasons such as bad technique, excessive or quickly increased workload and can also be brought on by the use of swim paddles and/or pull buoys.
To avert such an injury, make sure you are practising the correct technique for all strokes that you perform. Do not overdo your swimming.
Overtraining or swimming with a lack of adequate recovery time results in the incorrect working of the stabilising muscles of your shoulders which in turn results in shoulder damage.
Do not suddenly increase the intensity or amount of your swim workouts as it can lead to injuries.
This is a list of the injuries that occur while you swim and a few prevention methods. Hopefully, this article helps you on your journey to healthy time in the water.