How To Fix Swimmer’s Shoulder?

How To Fix Swimmer’s Shoulder?

Swimming is a popular summertime activity enjoyed by many, but it is often the cause of shoulder pain. Swimmer’s shoulder, or shoulder impingement, occurs when swimmers aggravate their shoulders due to constant joint rotation. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we are well-versed in treating swimmer’s shoulder. Our specialists are dedicated to helping you alleviate your pain and getting you back in the pool. Continue reading to learn more!

What Is Swimmer’s Shoulder?

Swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise with numerous health benefits, but swimmer’s shoulder is a joint injury that can put a damper on the fun. This injury can occur in recreational and competitive swimmers but is also common among athletes who perform repetitive movements with their shoulders. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body that permits a broad range of motion. Repetitive action can cause inflammation in the rotator cuff, which reduces blood flow, compresses the tendons, and causes swimmer’s shoulder. 

Symptoms Of Swimmer’s Shoulder

The symptoms of swimmer’s shoulder are often mistaken as soreness, but there is a difference between muscle fatigue and swimmer’s shoulder. Pain that radiates deep in the muscles and pain along the front of your shoulder are telltale signs of this condition. Some of the most common symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Increased joint laxity in the shoulder. 
  • Reduced strength in one shoulder. 
  • Decreased range of motion. 
  • Worsening pain when lying down. 
  • Pain that extends from your shoulder to the neck. 
  • Pain when the arm is raised overhead. 
  • Localized inflammation and pain. 

If you start experiencing pain when swimming, it’s essential to consult our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute to prevent the issue from worsening. 

Treating Swimmer’s Shoulder

Swimmer’s shoulder can interfere with your ability to perform daily activities and cause you to miss out on summer fun. However, our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute is here to help. Our staff will evaluate your condition and devise an innovative solution to restore function and mobility to your shoulder. Conservative treatments typically resolve shoulder pain and help inflamed tendons heal. Some of the common treatments for swimmer’s shoulder include:

  • Exercises – Therapeutic exercises can help you stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons around your shoulder.
  • Rest – It is essential to adequately rest your shoulder to allow the inflammation to subside. You may need to take breaks from swimming or other overhead activities.
  • Ice – Applying ice to the affected shoulder can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and inflammation.

If conservative treatments do not provide adequate relief, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the damaged tendons. Shoulder surgery is typically only recommended for severe cases of swimmer’s shoulder. A subacromial decompression procedure can remove inflamed tissue and bone spurs in the shoulder. There are also minimally invasive surgical approaches for treatment. Our team will determine the best course of action to tackle your shoulder injury. 

Preventing Swimmer’s Shoulder

While you may not be able to avoid swimmer’s shoulder altogether, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition. Some of the ways you can prevent swimmer’s shoulder may include:

  • Practice proper technique when swimming or performing overhead arm movements. 
  • Avoid placing repeated stress on your shoulder whenever possible. 
  • Listen to your body and rest when your shoulder feels fatigued or overused. 
  • Stretch and warm-up before swimming. 

Contact Us

Swimmer’s shoulder may not cause alarm, but if shoulder pain keeps you from staying active, it’s crucial to seek care. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we are dedicated to helping you find relief from shoulder pain. We offer a variety of treatment options that are tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.