Epidemiology of injuries and prevention strategies in competitive swimmers

Sports Health. 2012 May;4(3):246-51. doi: 10.1177/1941738112442132.


Context: Competitive swimmers are predisposed to musculoskeletal injuries of the upper limb, knee, and spine. This review discusses the epidemiology of these injuries, in addition to prevention strategies that may assist the physician in formulating rehabilitation programs for the swimmer following an injury.

Evidence acquisition: A literature search was performed by a review of Google Scholar, OVID, and PubMed articles published from 1972 to 2011.

Results: This study highlights the epidemiology of injuries common to competitive swimmers and provides prevention strategies for the sports health professional.

Conclusions: An understanding of swimming biomechanics and typical injuries in swimming aids in early recognition of injury, initiation of treatment, and design of optimal prevention and rehabilitation strategies.

Keywords: competitive swimmer; injury; knee; prevention; shoulder; spine.