Shoulder1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Register
 Login
 Main Page
 Shoulder News
Feature Story
Shoulder Technology
Real Life Recoveries
 Education Center
Conditions
Procedures
 Shoulder  Hero™
Dr. Evan Flatow:
Innovating Shoulder Surgery
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
 Community
Shoulder1 Forums
Patient Stories
Shoulder Journals
 Reference
Ask an Expert
FAQ's
Locate a Doctor
Reference Library
Anatomy
Video Library
 Bookmark Us
 
advertisement
Search the Body1 Network
March 04, 2021  
SHOULDER NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Links/Reprints
  • Swimmer’s Shoulder Takes a Toll on Young Bodies

    Swimmer’s Shoulder Takes a Toll on Young Bodies


    July 05, 2005

    By: Jean Johnson for Shoulder1

    The condition known as swimmer’s shoulder was first described in 1974 two years after Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympic Games and inspired thousands of Americans to head off to their nearest lap pool. Termed a painful repetitive use syndrome, swimmers shoulder wears most heavily on the young – children who often start swimming careers as early as age 7.
    Take Action
    Watch for these symptoms of swimmer’s shoulder:

    1. Pain during freestyle and butterfly strokes

    2. Pain that is worse with backstroke and less intense with breaststroke

    3. Increased sensitivity when sleeping on the aggravated side

    4. Shoulder is tender to the touch

    5. In advanced cases, pain that occurs when not swimming or using the shoulder


    Scott M. Koehler M.D. and David C. Thorson M.D. note that “children naturally avoid activities that cause soreness and discomfort, but they are pushed beyond discomfort in competitive athletics when they have the motivation to succeed and pressure to please coaches and parents.” Further, the physicians note that adolescents’ relatively underdeveloped shoulder muscles often compounds problems.

    “Swimming brings the shoulder through at least one impingement position with each stroke,” according to Koehler and Thorson. “A 10,000-yd. training session may include 4,000 or more strokes with each arm, probably the most overhead arm strokes used in any sport.”

    Because the shoulder has a wide range of motion in both directions, it is of necessity a loosely constructed joint. Consequently, impingement in which the soft tissues in the joint are compressed between the upper arm bone or humerus and shoulder blade or scapula.

    Rotator cuff tendonitis is the most common injury seen in swimmer’s shoulder according to associate professor of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation at the University of Chicago, Sherwin S. W. Ho M.D. “As the shoulder is pushed to its limits in terms of strength and endurance, the rotator cuff muscles generally fatigue before the power muscles,” writes Ho. In addition to causing inflammation associated with swimmer’s shoulder, Ho points out the problem also “decreases stroke efficiency.”

    That’s precisely what brings swimmers to their physicians. Pain is one thing, but poor performance come race time gets everyone’s attention. “That’s why Tracy finally said something to us,” said Dorian Fletcher of Portland, mother of 12-year-old Tracy. “She’d been doing everything her coach said including hours of training outside the pool – all the weights and cardio workouts. This went on for months, of course. She started in September just after school began and kept up the regime just like she was supposed to all winter long clear into March. Who knows how far she would have pushed her body if her race times hadn’t started slipping and we began asking questions.”

    The best treatment for swimmer’s shoulder is rest, but physicians know that swimmers will only tolerate so much time off from their sport. Consequently, approaches try to supplement regular training that involves the shoulder with biking and kickboard pool workouts. Swimmers with shoulder problems are also tutored in both warm-up exercises that include careful stretching and the mechanics of stroke technique. These techniques combined with icing and massaging routines as well as in some cases physical therapy generally allow the shoulder to recover and often swimmers find they are able to increase their race times despite training with less overall yardage.

    Last updated: 05-Jul-05

    Comments

  • Add Comment
  •    
    Interact on Shoulder1

    Discuss this topic with others.
     
    Feature Archives

    Protein Appears to Protect Against Bone Loss in Arthritis

    Risk Factors Identified for Little League Shoulder

    Orthopedic outcomes affected by activity level

    Understanding the Full Impact of Treatments is Important for Patients with Rotator Cuff Injury

    Joint Replacement Surgery Could Become A Thing Of The Past With New Theory On Genesis Of Osteoarthritis

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
       
     
    Related Multimedia

    Interview with Dr. Andrews

    The Advent of the Arthroscope 3 - Interview with Dr. Andrews

    Interview with Dr. Andrews

    More Features ...
     
    Related Content
    Swimmers and Their Shoulders

    Arthritis Cases in Missouri Up Dramatically

    Griese Expected to Return

    New Drug Shows Promise Against Arthritis

    Arthritis Foundation Announces Top 10 Arthritis Research Advances of 2003

    More Features ...
     
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    advertisement
    © 2021 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.