“Coach, I just did my thousand warm up and my shoulder is killing me, what should I do?”
There are a lot of factors that go into determining why a swimmer is injured. I wanted to give you some tips and ideas on what you can do to try and treat these injuries on your own.
Tip 1: The best strategy is to avoid injury before it comes! You must have a solid flexibility, strengthening, and endurance training program under your belt that you are performing consistently!
Tip 2: Careful monitoring of training volume, intensity, and duration will go a long way in calming down an injury. Complete rest is rarely indicated because of the de-conditioning that develops. Certainly looking at adjusting the above parameters for a short time will give the athlete time to allow the healing process to be effective.
Tip 3: Specifically for the shoulder, avoidance of using hand paddles is a good idea as these put more stress on the shoulder. Avoiding or limiting the painful stroke is also a good idea. Modification of the dry land training program will prevent continued stress to the injured area.
Tip 4: Application of ice to the affected area helps to reduce pain and inflammation as well as proper use of anti-inflammatory drugs when appropriate will help reduce pain and improve function.
Tip 5: Have your coach take a look at your swim mechanics. Ensuring that you are swimming with correct technique goes a long way in avoiding increased stress to structures in your body that can cause pain.
I hope these tips are helpful for you and keep you swimming and performing at your best.