What are the common injuries in swimming?

Swimming is fun and healthy but it is also risky as swimming-related injuries are common. According to a National Collegiate Athletic Association survey, elite swimmer injury rates stand at about 4 injuries per 1,000 hours of training. 

Swimmers often need a special haircare like for example swimmers shampoo to keep their hair healthy, keep enjoying the move without thinking about the possible problems.

swimming underwaterthere are many common injuries for swimmers

While some of these injuries are minor, some can have serious repercussions, including missed swimming lessons and long recovery periods. In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the most common injuries in swimming:

Swimmer’s Ear

Though not an injury, swimmer’s ear is a condition that occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal, leading to inflammation and infection. Its symptoms include itching, redness, and swelling of the outer ear and ear canal. Moreover, some swimmers also report fever, pain, and hearing difficulties. 

The condition usually disappears on its own but, in some cases, medications, such as ear drops and antifungal creams may be needed. The best way to prevent swimmer's ear is to use earplugs or a swim cap.

Swimmer's Shoulder

Swimmer's shoulder is a common injury that occurs in the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles, typically as a result of repetitive strain and overuse. It is characterized by pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles and can be very painful.

The condition may include bicep tendonitis, rotator cuff impingement, bursitis, and rotator cuff tears. Plus, it may also result in tissue damage that can take a few weeks to heal. The best way to prevent shoulder injuries is to perfect your stroke, avoid unnecessary strain, and give yourself rest between laps.

Overtraining, muscle imbalances, and poor technique are some of the main causes of swimmer’s shoulder. Though not always serious, it requires rest to heal. In some cases, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed.

Elbow Strain

Elbow strain is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the elbow joint and surrounding muscles, caused by repetitive strain and overuse. Hence, it doesn't come as a surprise that elbow-related injuries are common among swimmers.

The condition results in pain, inflammation, and limited range of motion in the elbow. It usually occurs over time resulting in the elbow becoming fatigued and inflamed.

The best way to reduce the risk is to maintain proper technique and form, and to take regular breaks to rest and stretch the muscles in the elbow.

Swimmer's Knee

Swimmer's knee, also known as breaststroke knee, is a condition that affects swimmers. Said to be more common among swimmers who engage in breaststroke swimming, this condition is characterized by pain in the knee joint, usually on the inner side, which can be caused by a variety of factors.

The problem is largely attributed to repetitive stress; however, poor technique, and weak knee muscles can also cause it. Known for being painful and difficult to deal with, the condition causes inflammation and irritation of the soft tissues in the knee, including the cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Other symptoms include pain in the knee, especially during or after swimming, stiffness, limited range of motion, swelling and redness.

It is best to take steps to stop the condition from worsening by taking a break from swimming and giving your knee some rest. It may take several months to recover and the patient may have to undergo treatment, including medication, ice and heat therapy, and flexibility training. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any damage to the knee joint.

You can prevent this condition by working on your knee joint, taking regular breaks, and warming up before swimming sessions.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that affects the heel and bottom of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. 

Though not directly linked to swimming, the condition is common among swimmers as the sport involves repetitive flexion and extension of the foot, which can put stress on the plantar fascia. Additionally, swimming can cause the foot to slide forward in the shoe, which can also put stress on the plantar fascia.

Some of the most common signs of the disease include pain in the heel or arch of the foot, especially after rest or activity, as well as stiffness and limited range of motion in the foot. 

It’s  important that you seek medical treatment if you have any of these signs. The best way to prevent the condition from worsening is to give yourself some rest. Moreover, your doctor may suggest physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. Preventive measures include stretching and strengthening exercises, wearing supportive shoes or orthotics, and taking regular breaks to rest the feet.

Broken Bones

Technically speaking, swimming itself does not cause broken bones; however, swimming pool fall and slip incidents can result in fractures, lacerations, and severe head injuries. Many of these injuries are severe and require a trip to the emergency room and long-term care. 

As a swimmer, it is important that you take care of the environment and pay attention to your surroundings. Mistakes such as wearing the wrong shoes, diving incorrectly, and stepping on a slippery surface can cause serious injuries, including bone and tissue damage. 

Such injuries are more common among children as they are known for not being careful. In fact, emergency rooms treat about 6,300 children for non-fatal drownings every year. The best way to reduce the risk is to secure the pool area and to wear non slippery shoes around it.

Common Swimming Injuries: Conclusion 

These were some of the most common swimming-related injuries. For your safety, always be careful in and around the pool and take all the precautions such as wearing safety gear, taking regular breaks, stretching before swimming, and not exerting too much pressure on your body. Also, visit a professional if you sustain a swimming-related injury to reduce the risk of damage.

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