Swimmer’s Shoulder and How to Handle It

Swimmer’s Shoulder and How to Handle It

Competitive Swimming
Injuries are common in competitive swimming.

Swimmers are susceptible to many aches and pains that are associated with the stress of swimming. Even though swimming is generally easier on the joints than other forms of exercise, injuries can still occur. One of the common conditions that can occur for swimmers is known as swimmer’s shoulder. If you experience this type of injury, it is important to know what you can do to resolve it so you can continue swimming.

What Is Swimmer’s Shoulder?

Swimmer’s shoulder refers to pain and discomfort in the shoulder due to overuse. There can be many causes of this injury, making it difficult for some swimmers to avoid. It is important for all swimmers to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of the injury so they can take care of it right away. Some of the common symptoms of this ailment include:

  • Pain during or after working out in the pool.
  • Pain that affects shoulder movements.
  • Pain that keeps the swimmer from swimming altogether.

What Are the Causes?

While swimmer’s shoulder isn’t something that can be completely avoided, it is important to evaluate the causes so you can reduce the risks of developing this painful condition. In general, the condition is caused by repetitive motions and overworking the joint, often with swim training tools. The condition is called swimmer’s shoulder, but it typically has another underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Tendonitis
  • Instability
  • Impingement

This is why it is so critical for swimmer’s to see their trainer or doctor to treat the condition.


The treatment for swimmer’s shoulder will vary depending on the severity of the injury and its underlying cause. In most cases, individuals must rest their shoulder and avoid exercise for a period of time. When it is time to start swimming again, swimmers must take it slowly and listen to their body. Overexertion is likely to aggravate the injury and cause pain.

Swimmer’s shoulder often results in pain for the swimmer, both during and after spending time in the pool. If you have begun experiencing pain in your shoulder, it is important to talk to your coach and see a medical professional so you can start down the road of healing. Once you understand this condition, you will be better able to identify the problem. Tackling the pain in its early stages will ensure a shorter recovery time.

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