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Swimming's most common injuries

April 14, 2020

Swimming is often recommended as a low-risk sport in terms of injury occurrence. It’s a non-weight bearing sport and therefore entails less impact on the joints than running and team sports. Despite the reduced impact, swimmers are exposed to myriad of different physical demands meaning there is plenty of scope for potential injuries that can compromise performance.

Injury trends in swimming differ significantly from field sports. The types of injury typically sustained by swimmers’ contrast with land-based athletes for numerous reasons. Perhaps the most obvious of these is that there is no player to player contact in swimming, meaning the mechanism of injury is due to repetitive strain on a joint, muscle or tendon. Compare rugby, for example, where most injuries occur during a tackle. Swimming injuries are also distinctive in that most sports involve generating propulsive force from the lower limbs whereas swimmers produce momentum using primarly the upper body muscles.

The most common swimming injuries are shoulder injuries, knee injuries and back injuries respectively. In this blog series we will further explore each of the most common complaints that swimmers present with along with the preventative measures that can be put into place for the welfare of swimmers.