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Swimming Injury Risk Factors

There are intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for injury. Intrinsic factors are a child’s individual musculoskeletal issues, which can include skeletal immaturity (bones and joints that are still developing) or muscle weakness. Extrinsic factors are the environment in which an athlete performs, which can include the level of competition: how much, how hard and how long play lasts.

Other common risk factors for swimming injuries include:

  • The shoulder joint is at the greatest risk for swimming related injuries.
  • Common shoulder injuries include instability, rotator cuff impingement, and biceps tendinitis.
  • Knee injuries in swimming generally damage the ligaments and tendons
  • The breaststroke causes the highest occurrence of knee injury.
  • The kick in breaststroke also puts the hip at risk for injury.
  • Spondylolisis is a common injury to the lower back, which is often related to the dolphin kick during the butterfly, in addition to the severe arching of the back during a start for the blocks or when arching the back during pushing off from the wall for a turn.