• Dr Kendra Clifford ND

5 Common Swimming Injuries

With the warm weather arriving many are heading to the pool or lake to cool off. While swimming is often thought of as a low impact sport that doesn't mean that you can't get injured. Here are five of the most common swimming injuries.

Swimmer's Shoulder

  • It is estimated that almost everyone who swims regularly will experience some form of shoulder pain

  • Typically occurs from the freestyle stroke - poor technique is typically the culprit

  • Can also occur from improper use of swim paddles or excessive workload

  • Typical shoulder injuries include: rotator cuff impingement/tears, bicep tendonitis, bursitis

Swimmer's Knee (AKA Breaststroke Knee)

  • Most commonly occurs during the breaststroke kick

  • Results in external rotation of the knee joint - this stresses the ligaments on the inside of the knee (the medial collateral ligament or MCL)

  • Limiting the external rotation of the knee will help prevent this common injury

Lower Back Injuries

  • A high head position &/or sinking hips and legs can lead to overarching of the back

  • Lifting the upper body out of the water with the back instead of a whole body movement puts strain on the ligaments and muscles

Neck Injuries

  • Often occur during the freestyle stroke as swimmers over rotate their heads

  • Can also occur when swimmers performing the breaststroke contort their head to keep it above the water

  • Keeping the neck in line with the spine is important to prevent neck injuries


  • Can occur from: impact with another swimmer, impact with a pool wall (or other solid structure in the water), or falling on the deck

Most swim injuries can prevented with:

  • Good stroke technique (for more info click HERE)

  • Less repetition - practice more than one stroke to prevent the overuse of any one muscle

  • Strengthening of the core muscles

  • Having proper rest/recovery periods

This post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice.



Tel: 905-852-7704


26 Brock St East
Uxbridge ON
L9P 1P1

Monday: 9 am - 12 pm, 2 pm - 5 pm

Tuesday: 9 am - 12 pm, 2 pm - 7 pm

Wednesday: CLOSED

Thursday: 9 am - 12 pm, 2 pm - 7 pm

Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon