Temecula Chiropractor – Swimmers Shoulder

Any person who has ever done a sport involving overhead shoulder movements know that if you do it long enough with improper form that you will get shoulder pain.  Many athletes experience shoulder pain at one point in their lives.  There are many swimmer’s in Temecula that are suffering from shoulder pain and do not know how to fix it.  Let’s first define what Swimmer’s Shoulder is.  Swimmer’s Shoulder is a generic diagnosis for pain associated with swimming.  Swimming requires control and strength of the shoulder within extreme ranges of motion unparalleled in most other sports.  So what is the cause and how do you fix Swimmer’s Shoulder?Temecula Chiropractor Swimmers Shoulder

One fact you have to understand about the shoulder is its extreme ranges of motion are only possible because of the lack of a complex bony joint at the shoulder.  As a ball and socket joint, the head of the humerus almost floats on top of the glenoid fossa, only being held together by the rotator cuff muscles and joint capsule.  Most joints have firmer ligament stability but the shoulder doesn’t.  The shoulder joint is mainly supported by the rotator cuff.

If you have ever performed a biceps curl at the gym you would notice it is much harder at the bottom of the motion (when the muscle is lengthen fully) than in the middle of the motion.  The same occurs when the shoulder is totally lengthened, which is needed while swimming.  As the arm is being pulled through the water, the rotator cuff is required to produce forceful, concentric (shortening) contractions to move the body through the water at a high rate of speed.  It is a lot of work, especially when the muscle is completely stretched.

What Do We Do with this Information?

Now that we know the rotator cuff is prone to injury with extreme ranges of motion and increased muscular demand, we can theorize small tears will occur due to normal wear and tear, just as a rope tends to look old after years of use.
These tears fill with scar tissue, will weaken the muscle and create a tendency for overuse injuries such as Swimmer’s Shoulder.

How to Correct Swimmer’s Shoulder?

The steps are simple but precise:

1. Break up the scar tissue utilizing Active Release Techniques and restore motion
2. Re-strengthen the muscles
3. Correct swimming form, as recommended by a swim coach

If you or someone you know is suffering from swimmer’s shoulder, contact us today and Dr. Horst will help you take your swimming to the next level!