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Shoulder Pain and Swimming

Swimming is a great sport that not only exercises all the muscle groups in the body, but also gives you a great aerobic workout.

Its cardiovascular conditioning is probably unmatched by any other sport.

But swimming is also less harmful than most other activities. Since you are in water, your body weighs approximately 1/10th of what it normally does.

This means that there are no sudden jerks caused by bobbing up and down. Also, there are no sudden impacts from external objects like balls that can cause your joints to over exert.

Special Benefits for the Shoulders

It has special benefits for the shoulders. Swimming requires continuous movement of the arm overhead, and if done correctly, it can strengthen the important muscles and ligaments that make up the shoulder joint.

Other sports that require overhead action, like volleyball and tennis, require a sudden jerk to the shoulder as the arm comes down on an obstacle to which it imparts momentum.

In addition, the jerk will not be uniform in one direction, as the goal of the game is to direct the object into a particular path.

This not only causes tremendous strain to the muscles and ligaments, it also leads to unnatural positions, which if not controlled, can cause serious damage to the shoulder.

Swimming however, comes with none of these side effects. There is no obstacle to cause a sudden jerk to the shoulder's movement, and there is no reason to stretch the shoulder out of it's natural swing.

Also, as you keep moving the shoulder properly during your swim, your body will learn to adjust itself in order to properly accommodate the stroke, and this will allow you to learn healthy ways to move.

This is called bio feedback, and can be a tremendous benefit of choosing swimming over other sports.

The Best Strokes for Swimming

It's important to remember that poor swimming technique can lead to injury as well.

'Swimmer's Shoulder' is a common injury caused due to improper swimming technique, as the soft tissues of the shoulder impinge on the bony structures.

Consult an experienced physical therapist, or an expert swimming coach on proper technique before you start.

Swimming Strokes

Since the purpose is to increase shoulder mobility, it is assumed that you are not a professional swimmer, and this means that strokes like the butterfly are beyond you.

In addition, you must not choose a style that requires excessive shoulder movement. What we are looking for, is gentle movement, that will coax your shoulder back to health.

Two strokes that immediately come to mind are the breast stroke, and the backstroke. The breaststroke allows the forward propulsion to be complemented by leg movement, and is therefore one of the easiest styles.

Also, you will be almost exclusively underwater, and this means there is even less strain on the shoulder.

Another stroke that is relaxing, is the backstroke. Since this eliminates the problem of breathing, you will not have to turn your head from side to side, unlike the freestyle which can cause excessive shoulder strain.

Once again, it is important to repeat that you must steer clear of strokes like the butterfly, which can damage your shoulder due to the stress involved.

For more information, contact your physical therapist to find out which stoke is best for you and claim my FREE Special Report below....

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