If you are a swimmer and have pain in your shoulders, you may be dealing with swimmer's shoulder. Swimmers use their shoulders repetitively as they stroke. These major joints work extra hard and make swimmers more prone to injury. Swimmer's shoulder can be painful, but there are ways to treat it. Here are some options to consider:
Take Some Time Off
If you train constantly, your first step may be to reduce some of your time training until you heal. You can still train daily, but maybe consider only working your legs or reducing your distance for a period of time. You can also use flippers to help propel you more as you rest your shoulders. This period of rest is often enough to get past your shoulder problems.
Ice the Area
Another way to treat swimmer's shoulder is to ice the area frequently. You should apply an ice pack every half hour or so between training for a few hours at a time until you begin feeling some relief.
If you still are not having improvements, consider taking medication. Your doctor or trainer may advise that you take an anti-inflammatory for some time until the pain begins to dissipate.
Go to Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is also an option to help get relief from shoulder pain. Treatments such as massage, ultrasound, joint mobilizations, stretches, and exercise are some of the ways a physical therapist can treat the issue and get you on the road to recovery.
To help reduce the inflammation in the shoulder, your doctor may advise corticosteroid injections. These injections are another form of anti-inflammatory that is placed directly into the muscle tissue. However, they can weaken the joint temporarily.
Work Out Your Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is an important part of the shoulder's anatomy. You may benefit from strengthening the rotator cuff to help relieve the pain and inflammation in the shoulder. You can do this with resistance exercises using bands and other low-impact equipment.
Change Your Stroke
Another thing to check is your stroke technique. You may have your elbow or your body in such a position that it is causing you to overuse your shoulders. Check with your coach about your technique and look for ways you can improve to help decrease shoulder pain.
If none of these options work, you may have to consider shoulder surgery. Work with your doctor and coach to determine which option is best for you.
To learn more, contact a shoulder pain treatment center in your area — such as Sports and Orthopedic Specialists.