A study described on Yahoo! News, found via @aquaticsintl, talks about injury patterns and prevention strategies in college swimmers. The study, by researchers at the University of Iowa and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, presents and analyzes injury data from 44 male and 50 female collegiate swimmers from 2002-2007.
The results? Not surprising, swimmers had more injuries in the shoulder/upper arm area. Interestingly, non-freestyle stroke specialists had more problems. Overall freshmen suffered the most injuries, as well as the highest average number of injuries per swimmer.
The article suggests that swimmers transitioning into college might not have enough experience with cross training or weight training, leading to more injuries in freshmen. It was also noted that “38 percent of injuries were the result of team activities outside of practice or competition” (source).
I remember doing a lot of cross training, especially at the beginning of my freshman year. We did a “Hike for Health,” a “Run for Fun,” some “Track Fever,” along with stadium steps, and frisbee golf. I rolled my ankle running through the woods, and pulled my back doing a track start for the 100m dash. I guess I’m in no short supply of anecdotal evidence to support the findings of the described study.
More on shoulder injuries: Healing Swimmer’s Shoulder by Staying In The Water.
How to wrap an ice pack onto your shoulder: The official Sports Medicine International guide to a Shoulder Spica.