Swimming for Sport and Fitness – Benefits and Pitfalls

Swimming is one of the best sport for health and fitness

Tustin Chiropractic and Sports Therapy Clinic Treats Swimmers

Many people think swimming is one of the best exercises. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, physical strength and overall stamina. There are many benefits to swimming. However, there are some pitfalls to look out for. Swimming injuries can affect the neck, shoulders, elbows and knees.

Excellent cardio fitness

One big benefit to swimming is cardio fitness. Cardiovascular fitness can help prevention and recovery of physical injuries. First, it improves circulation and gives energy. Second, it pumps more healing cells to repair the injured areas. Third, it helps to decrease painful stiffness and swelling.

Swimming increases overall strength

Swimming increases the tone and overall strength of the body. The arms and shoulders develop long and beautiful muscles. The chest and back get a great workout.

You can develop great leg strength with a regular swim program. Another positive note is all the core and abdominal muscles get stronger. This can strengthen the lower back and aid in recovery from back pain. All your muscles develop great strength as a result of this amazing exercise.

Swimming gives you mental strength and stamina

Building physical stamina has a positive effect on your mental stamina. Many people get excited about new ideas and new projects. However, they may find it difficult to follow through. They may easily become distracted and lose focus. Staying on track in a fitness program helps to keep you on track in life goals. These are good reasons to develop your stamina so you can accomplish your goals.

Swim injuries – the downside to the perfect exercise

Most swimmers recognize that the shoulders can be overused.

One shoulder injury is called shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement causes pain in the front and top of the shoulder. The nerves and muscles are crushed when the arm is raised overhead.

A bursa is a sac that protects the bones from rubbing against each other. Bursitis is a painful and inflammatory process that needs proper care.

The rotator cuff consists of tendons that attach the shoulder muscles to the bones. Inflammation of the tendons can occur in the shoulder as in the case of shoulder tendinitis or a rotator cuff tear.

Swimmers may also injure the elbow and knees.

Inflammation of the tendons can occur of the elbow. One example is the case of swimmers elbow can which can be very debilitating.

Injuries of the knee can be serious with the breaststroke kick. This type of swimming technique places the knee under high tension and force. This can result in injuries to the ligaments and cartilage.

The neck and back can be stressed with poor swimming technique. Stress on the neck build up and cause injuries. This can happen even with a slight misalignment of the head.

Understanding swimming mechanics leads to better treatment of swimming injuries

Understanding the mechanism of the swim injury is key. Having been a competitive swimmer, swim instructor and coach allows for more insight to this topic. Personalized treatment protocols can be developed with that knowledge.

The shoulder blade or scapula connects the shoulder to the upper back. Shoulder injuries can occur with restricted mobility of the scapula or upper back.

Patients can benefit from a precise treatment program. Good understanding of the various swimming strokes leads to better treatments for the swimmer.

Dr. Shouka
The Swimmers’ Doctor

Mo Shouka, DC, QME
13031 Newport Ave, Suite 116
Tustin, CA 92780



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