Monday, July 16, 2012

Yes, even swimming can injure

Is it safe to go in the pool? Well, sure—basically. You always think of swimming as easy on the joints and if you can avoid breathing water, you’re good to go.

Stuart Elkowitz, MD, Somers Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Group, in Carmel, NY, does remind us that swimming is repetitive motion. Especially if you swim competitively.

Swimmer’s shoulder is the most common injury, due to overuse or poor technique. You can use the shoulder 2,000 times in a 5-8 mile workout.

The biggest strains come from freestyle, butterfly and backstroke.

Correct technique is vital. Have an experienced swimmer watch you and highlight mistakes.

Don’t abruptly increase workouts or length of workouts.

Also look out for swimmer’s knee—this is usually from the breaststroke kick—that frog kick, which can create excessive external rotation. To avoid this, change up and do different strokes. Even take part of the year off from the breaststroke.

Another injury is to the neck. Don’t over rotate—just enough to clear the surface so you can get a breath.

Elkowitz also says never swim alone or when tired. Do core strengthening exercises. Warm up and cool down.

Swimming is great exercise—and it’s pretty easy to prevent injury.

I wish I were doing it right now!

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