Swimming can lead to overuse injuries in the arms, elbows and shoulders. Overuse injuries tend to occur when tissue, such as muscles and tendons, is damaged by repetitive motion activities.
Without adequate time for recovery, the tissue cannot adapt to the demands placed on it and further damage is likely. Some common overuse shoulder injuries are:
- Swimmer’s Shoulder – an inflammation and pinching of the biceps tendon in the shoulder. This condition is treated with ice and modifying activity.
- Labral Tears – Small tearing of the cartilage in the shoulder caused by repeated overhead swimming strokes. This injury may require surgery to repair and prevent further tearing.
Symptoms of Overuse Injuries
The damage caused by repetitive stress leads to tissue inflammation that causes pain. Symptoms of overuse injuries, also considered chronic sports injuries, include:
- Pain when performing the activity or sport.
- Intermittent swelling.
- Decreasing performance.
- Dull pain even at rest.
If the symptoms persist after PRICE treatments, take your child to see a pediatrician or a pediatric sports medicine physician. In each consecutive season, repetitive maneuvers by certain body parts can lead to fatigue and long-term damage.