Also called shoulder impingement, swimmer’s shoulder is a condition that affects the muscles and joint of the shoulder, and it’s common in, as you may have guessed already, swimmers. The condition is typically caused by the repetitive motions the shoulder makes during swimming, but it can also result from muscle imbalances, poor swimming technique and overtraining. No matter what causes it, there are three swimmer’s shoulder symptoms that most people with this condition experience.
1. Increased shoulder pain
Probably the most common symptom of swimmer’s shoulder is pain. The pain tends to feel like it’s deep in the shoulder muscles, and it can feel like it’s radiating along the back of the shoulder. In some cases, you may also feel the same type of pain in the front of the shoulder. The pain is typically aggravated by the overhead movements of swimming, and the longer you swim, the greater the pain will grow.
2. Reduction in shoulder range of motion
Range of motion is a measurement of how far your joints can move in any given direction. Reduced range of motion is common in many types of shoulder injuries, and it’s one of the top three symptoms of swimmer’s shoulder. Many people with this injury find that their swimming technique worsens because they can’t move their shoulder normally, and limited range of motion can also affect your ability to do normal activities. For instance, you can have more difficulty reaching over your head to get a can from a high shelf.
3. Decreased shoulder strength
Since swimmer’s shoulder affects the shoulder muscles, it’s not surprising that another of its common symptoms is a decrease in shoulder strength. The muscles of the shoulder are particularly important for raising and lowering the arm, and when they’re weakened by swimmer’s shoulder, you may find it harder to move your arm. This is especially true when you’re trying to lift an object that has weight to it. For example, your shoulder may be too weak to lift a bag of groceries onto the counter if you’re recovering from swimmer’s shoulder.
Swimmer’s shoulder symptoms are no match for the team at Armor Physical Therapy
At Armor Physical Therapy, our experienced physical therapists can help you treat swimmer’s shoulder and other sources of shoulder pain. To begin your treatment, we’ll perform an initial screening, and the goal of this will be to gather information about your injury and how it’s affecting you. Once we meet this goal, we’ll build you a personalized therapy plan, which will be designed to:
- Reduce pain
- Improve range of motion
- Increase strength
- Restore ability to do normal activities
Are you ready to start your journey toward recovery at Armor Physical Therapy? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment.