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Swimmers Shoulder Treatment: Prevention and Recovery

Swimmers Shoulder Treatment

Prevention and Recovery


swimmers shoulder treatment

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that offers numerous physical and mental benefits. However, like any sport, it comes with its share of potential injuries. Take for example for tennis injuries, it is common to have ankle sprain. For badminton injury, shoulder sprain in very common in players. One common ailment that swimmers often face is known as “swimmer’s shoulder.” This condition can hinder progress and enjoyment in the pool. In this article, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment options for swimmer’s shoulder, tailored to the aquatic enthusiasts of Singapore.

What do You Need to Know About Swimmers Shoulder

Swimmers shoulder, also referred to as shoulder impingement, is a term used to describe a range of painful shoulder conditions that arise due to repetitive overhead movements, common in swimming strokes. The rotator cuff tendons and muscles in the shoulder can become inflamed and irritated, leading to discomfort, pain, and limited range of motion.

Causes and Risk Factors

Swimmers shoulder can be attributed to various factors, including improper swimming techniques, overtraining, inadequate warm-up, and muscle imbalances. Singapore, with its warm climate and abundance of swimming facilities, witnesses a high number of swimmers. According to a study conducted by the Singapore Sports Council [1], the prevalence of swimmer’s shoulder in competitive swimmers is around 40%, highlighting the importance of awareness and prevention.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Shoulder

Identifying the symptoms of swimmers shoulder is crucial for early intervention. Swimmers in Singapore should watch out for:

  1. Pain: Persistent pain in the shoulder during or after swimming sessions.
  2. Weakness: Difficulty in lifting the arm or experiencing weakness while performing routine activities.
  3. Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty in moving the shoulder through its full range of motion.
  4. Clicking or Popping Sensation: Sensation of clicking or popping while moving the shoulder.

Prevention Strategies

Preventing swimmers shoulder is possible through a combination of proper techniques, training practices, and conditioning exercises. Here are some strategies that HydroSplash Swimming recommends:

  1. Proper Technique: Enroll in HydroSplash Swimming lessons, where our professional coaches emphasize correct swimming techniques. Proper form reduces unnecessary stress on the shoulders.
  2. Gradual Progression: Avoid overtraining and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your swim sessions to allow your muscles to adapt.
  3. Warm-up and Stretching: Always start with a thorough warm-up to increase blood flow to the muscles. Incorporate stretching exercises that focus on the shoulders and upper back.
  4. Strength Training: Engage in regular strength training exercises that target the muscles supporting the shoulders, such as rotator cuff exercises.
  5. Rest and Recovery: Give your shoulders adequate time to recover between sessions. Rest is as important as training itself.

Treatment Options

If you do experience symptoms of swimmers shoulder, early intervention can expedite recovery. Treatment options include:

  1. Rest: Allow your shoulders to rest and heal. Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain.
  2. Physical Therapy: Consult a physiotherapist who specializes in sports injuries. They can design a tailored rehabilitation program to improve strength and flexibility.
  3. Anti-inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  4. Modalities: Techniques like ice therapy and ultrasound can aid in pain relief and tissue healing.

For severe cases, your healthcare provider might recommend corticosteroid injections or, in rare cases, surgery.

Recovery and Returning to Swimming

Once you’ve successfully treated swimmers shoulder, it’s important to ease back into swimming gradually. HydroSplash Swimming suggests the following steps:

  1. Consultation: Before resuming regular swim sessions, consult your healthcare provider to ensure your shoulder is ready.
  2. Modified Techniques: Work closely with your swimming coach to modify strokes and techniques to minimize stress on the shoulder.
  3. Strengthening Exercises: Continue with the prescribed rehabilitation exercises to maintain shoulder strength and prevent recurrence.


Swimmer’s shoulder is a prevalent issue among swimmers, including the enthusiastic aquatic community in Singapore. By adhering to proper swimming techniques, following prevention strategies, and seeking timely treatment, you can effectively manage and recover from swimmer’s shoulder. Remember, HydroSplash Swimming is here not only to provide exceptional swimming lessons but also to promote the well-being of all swimmers.

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