The Surf and Swimming seasons are already well under way and for some, the training load has started to increase. With swimming and surf fitness it is certainly a case of what you put in you get back out. It can be used to relax, lose weight, and develop strength, flexibility and stamina.
Because the shoulders and upper extremities help propel the body in water any small biomechanical problems can often accentuate issues. The repetitive nature of the strokes, high head position and the strain caused by the force required in the kicking motion to keep the hips and legs from dipping, can result in a number of problems.
Athletes may be starting to experience pain when they train or compete. This may be a sign of over-training, but it could also be a sign of unsuitable or incorrect stroke technique, a lack of strength and stability in certain muscles, tightness of certain muscles, reduced flexibility or hypermobility.
Injuries that swimmers may experience include:
- Shoulder impingement
- Rotator cuff tendonitis or tears (shoulder)
- Muscle tightness (hypertonicity)
- Bursitis (shoulder, knee)
- Capsular inflammation (shoulder)
- Labral tears (shoulder)
- Swimmers knee – commonly the MCL (medial ligament) these injuries are more common in breast strokers)
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Groin Pain
Some of the reasons why people may experience a swimming injury can include:
- Not enough rest between sessions
- Joint hypermobility
- Poor flexibility
- Poor stroke technique (this may only be evident when the athlete is fatigued)
- Poor strength in the rotator cuff or scapular stabilising muscles
- Not enough sleep
Surf athletes may also experience an injury because of:
- Trauma – such as being hit by a board or being dumped by a large wave
- Exertion (lifting a patient into an IRB or onto a board)
- Diving for flags
- Sprains/strains particularly knees and ankles from running on soft sand and in uneven sand in the shore break.
Treatment for Surf Sports and Swimming Injuries:
Prevention is always better than treatment. Taking part in a pre-season assessment may help to identify areas that may require strengthening, flexibility or mobility training to help reduce injury risk and may assist your performance. Our practitioners are professionally trained to identify and detect biomechanical faults, prescribe exercises and provide treatment which can help prevent and treat injuries.
If treatment is required our chiropractors have all actively participated in either Surf Life Saving and Swimming sports, and have experience assessing and treating elite and social athletes competing in these sports. Matt Pope’s daughter Olympia is a national and Australian record holder in age group breast stroke (@olympia.pope), he has been managing/treating her including at competition and between. All our practitioners are experienced when it comes to identifying, treating and prescribing exercises to help prevent and treat injuries.
Treatment may include soft tissue therapies, Active Release Technique, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation, rehabilitation excercises, strapping, bracing and acupuncture. These approaches are applied to injury management in the form of acute, subacute and chronic injury as well as in the prevention of injury with the aim of attempting to optimise athletic performance.
Call us on 0266744032 for more information or to schedule an appointment or to book online go to: www.tweedcoastchiropractic.com.au