How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Swimmers Shoulder?

by | Sep 27, 2022 | News Articles

While many Oakville swimmers enjoyed some well-needed recovery time during the summer, another season is just getting started with the first meet right around the corner. As these swimmers start to ramp up their training, inevitably a number of them will start to develop pain and injuries. Swimming requires highly repetitive motions, which tend to lead to muscle imbalances in strength and flexibility. As such, the majority of swimming injuries are related to overuse, poor posture and chronic overload, which can all be prevented with proper training and stroke mechanics. Shoulder injuries are the most common area of injury, with roughly 40-91% of swimmers suffering from shoulder pain at some point during their training. In this post Sheddon’s Chiropractor Dr. Keirsyn Moran is going to take you through some simple steps for effective shoulder treatment. There are no tricks or secrets, just some essentials to get you back in the pool pain-free.

Can a chiropractor help with swimmers shoulder?

Absolutely. Chiropractors go through extensive schooling to learn everything about the musculoskeletal system and how it interacts with the nervous system. This means they know everything there is to know about the how the muscles and joints are interacting with each and if there are any muscle imbalances. By releasing tight muscles and giving education on how to strengthen weaker muscles, we can not only get rid of pain, but also prevent it in the future.

Step 1: Chiropractic Care

There are many different techniques that chiropractors use. After a thorough health history and physical examination the doctor will work with the patient to determine a plan of management that will get them feeling their best and help prevent future injury. Some treatment techniques that chiropractors use are as follows:

  • Soft tissue therapy (Myofascial Release Therapy also known as MRT);
  • Joint Mobilizations (this includes all joints – not just the spine);
  • Functional exercise prescription;
  • Education on body awareness and how to maintain good health/decrease risk of future injury.

Step 2: Proper Warm Up

Before beginning a workout, it is important to make sure you get a good warm up. This helps prevent injury and gets the body ready to work at its optimal level. The amount of time spent on the warm up is dependent on how intense the workout will be. For more intense workouts you will want to make sure you are warm and the main muscles groups are activated properly.

Before workouts we want to spend time doing dynamic stretching, because it is a great way to prepare for the impact the body is about to endure. Dynamic stretching simply means we are moving through a stretch from one end range to another. In some circumstances we can hold for a few seconds and continue through the motion. Here are some examples of great dynamic stretches before jumping in the pool.

  • Arm Circles: forward, backward, diagonally, across the body;
  • Swim Bands;
  • Internal/external rotation;
  • Cat/camel;
  • Thread the needle.

Check out some other great shoulder mobility exercises here.

Step 3: Preseason Screening

A great way to go into the season is to come in and have a full body assessment to determine any muscle imbalances. A series of special tests will be done by the chiropractor to determine areas that need to be released and areas that need to be strengthened. This allows for the patient to start their season off strong and know we are here for anything that may arise during the long season to come.

Click here to see a sample of some tests that we may look at during your assessment.

What can you do now?

If you or someone you know is suffering from any shoulder pain this article is a great first step to helping with pain or prevention in the future. Swimmers shoulder is a condition that can be prevented with adequate preseason screening that can identify impairments and training errors that may lead to symptoms. If a swimmer does become symptomatic during the season, a chiropractor can identify the most likely impairments and work with the coach to help progress the athlete back into safe training. Keirstyn is available at our Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic location on Cornwall as well as Sports Specific Training (SST) in Oakville.


If you have any questions, contact our main location on Cornwall at 905-849-4576, or Book An Appointment today – click here

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