Swimmer shoulders and physical therapy

It is a condition in which your shoulder joint is affected. In this condition, the tendon muscle and ligaments around the shoulder joint are affected and the degree of mobilization of the shoulder joint is compromised. It is caused by normal rubbing off structures in your shoulder. It is most common in people who swim because of excessive use of shoulder joints.

It mostly involves tendons the tendons are inflamed and press against these surrounding structures which lead to difficulty in movement and pain as well

Structure of shoulder

The shoulder joint is a complex synovial joint because they show all degrees of movement such as extension flexion adduction and abduction circumduction and rotatory movement as well. It is made up of three bones: the clavicle bone, scapula bone,e, and the humerus.

In addition to that several muscles are attached to the shoulder bone the most important muscle among them is the rotator cuff muscle. These muscles lie deep in the shoulder joint and help to maintain the connection of the shoulder joint with the other when we raise over the arm


The most common symptoms which are observed in the patient with swimmer shoulders disease are

  • Pain in shoulder and adjacent areas
  • Lying off the shoulder and adjacent areas off shoulder
  • Difficulty to lift affected arm
  • Inability to move your arm properly
  • Inability to lift things


The most common causes of swimmer’s shoulder are

  • Fatigue
  • Sudden jerk
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive use of arms
  • The poor technique of swimming
  • Hypermobility


The most common treatment suggested to patients with swimmer’s shoulders is physical therapy 

Applying ice to the effective area so that ligaments tendon and muscles are relaxed and inflammation is reduced. A physical therapist performs a set of exercises such as shoulder stretches which enhances the stretching capacity of the rotator cuff muscles

Other relaxation techniques used by an expert physical therapist during swimmer’s shoulder treatment are applying current using ultrasound therapy using hand massage techniques, ultrasound techniques, trigger point techniques, and several sets of exercises are practiced for improved rotator cuff motion.


In this injury pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines only reduce the symptoms they have no role in stabilizing the range of motion and extensive physical therapy treatment however can be much helpful in regaining the range of motion and strengthening rotator cuff muscles as well as developing flexibility