View Full Version : Can you get shoulder injuries even if backstroking correctly

November 20th, 2008, 08:26 PM
If you swim backstroke very frequently say every day, even if your movements are correct, can you still get shoulder injuries due to too many repeated rotations? Have most backstrokes had shoulder injuries or not?

jim thornton
November 20th, 2008, 10:44 PM
Backstroke can be very hard on the shoulders. The great Lenny Krazelberg, for instance, had numerous surgeries to repair various types of damage over the years, and his form was superb.

There are a bunch of shoulder discussions on this forum, which you might want to read. If you have access to a college team, ask the coach to recommend a doctor for swimmers shoulder. The key, for the vast majority of these problems, is some active rest and exercises designed specifically to stabilize the myriads of other muscles that helps stabilize the inherently unstable shoulder joint in its capsule.

Lenny, by the way, spent much of his time training for his final Olympics by only kicking, sometimes with tennis shoes on. You can modify activity in many ways and not have to give up swimming with your team while the shoulder calms down.

Good luck.

November 20th, 2008, 10:59 PM
Thanks a lot. Thought I was overworried, now glad to have asked!

jim thornton
November 20th, 2008, 11:19 PM
It's quite possible both things are true. We swimmers overworry about our shoulders something fierce, each odd twang or ache precipitates premonitions of disaster and decrepitude.

Shoulder hypochondria runs rampant in this organization, and sometimes it even coincides with some minor injury.

Joking aside, if you really love swimming, and find yourself dependent upon the sport for psychological equanimity and self-esteem, it is extremely common to get whigged out about shoulders since these are so critical to our sports. Almost all of us go through episodes of pain. My best advice is to get some fins and work on kicking. As your shoulder quiets down, gradually start letting it go through the range of swimming motions but without pulling hard. Over time, you can slowly up the pulling pressure, and soon you'll be back as good as new.

November 20th, 2008, 11:39 PM
My best advice is to get some fins and work on kicking.

Great advice, especially as kicking is just what I need to work on!