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Top 5 Swimming Injuries

Top 5 Swimming Injuries

This guide looks to explain the most common swimmer's injuries and how to treat & prevent them.


What is Swimmer's Knee?

Swimming is often perceived as one of the safest sports to participate in, however there a number of common injuries and ailments associated with taking to the water. The primary cause of Swimmer's Knee is the breaststroke which is why it is also known as Breaststroker's Knee.

During breaststroke the leg whips out helping to increase the speed of the body through water. As the tension increases during this kicking phase the force generated on the inside of the knee can cause problems to the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL).

Symptoms of Swimmer's Knee are:

  • General knee pain.
  • Inflamed and/or fatigued knee tissue.
  • Swelling of the knee.
  • A sharp pain when placing the knee under stress.
  • Long term breaststroke swimmers may become knock-kneed.

Interesting Fact: Twenty-five per cent of all swimmer's injuries are related to the knee.

What can you do to prevent Swimmer's Knee?

Improper technique has been cited as the common cause of Swimmer's Knee. The knee is subjected to external rotation which it isn’t designed to do and the repetitive nature of swimming places the joint under constant stress. In the first instance swimmers are advised to rest, but on return, and in addition to technical guidance from a coach to help improve the biomechanical factors associated with this injury, swimmers can undertake a number of injury prevention exercises.

What should you do if you suffer from Swimmer's Knee?

As mentioned, exercise is a great preventative for Swimmer's Knee but it can also form part of a recovery process. A prescribed rehabilitation programme from a medical practitioner will often involve leg strengthening and stretching exercises, focussing on but not solely the quadriceps and hamstrings.

Perform squats and lunges using the PhysioRoom.com Balance Wobble Board, not only will this increase the supporting muscles in the leg but it can also help improve proprioceptive qualities and core strength.

The PhysioRoom.com Elite Foam Roller is excellent for use within massage therapy as a pre-event (warming the muscles before exercise) or as a post event accompaniment to help prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Pain management and the ability to minimise swelling is key during this phase of recovery and the Aircast Knee Cryo/Cuff is a convenient application of cold therapy. On return to the pool swimmers may often choose a suitable support during those early stages for peace of mind and the Vulkan 5mm Neoprene Knee Support is an ideal low-cost option suitable for this type of environment.

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