American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2016, 4(3), 57-73
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-4-3-1
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Review of Shoulder Injuries and Shoulder Problems in Competitive Swimmers

Bradley J1, , Kerr S2, Bowmaker D2 and Gomez J-F3

1Department of Education, University College Cork, Cork, T20 YN60, Republic of Ireland

2LifeFit Physiotherapy, Falkirk, FK1 1RA, Scotland, UK

3Mardyke Arena, University College Cork, Cork, T20 YN60, Republic of Ireland

Pub. Date: June 16, 2016

Cite this paper:
Bradley J, Kerr S, Bowmaker D and Gomez J-F. Review of Shoulder Injuries and Shoulder Problems in Competitive Swimmers. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2016; 4(3):57-73. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-4-3-1


Swimming is a popular sport, both recreationally and competitively. The repetitive nature of the swim stroke places unique demands on the body. Competitive swimmers spend a considerable amount of time training for their sport, and can swim 110km or more a week. As a consequence of this amount of swimming and the repetitive nature of the swimming stroke, swimmers can develop injuries, most commonly localised to the shoulder. This manuscript will focus on shoulder problems in swimmers and present a review of the factors that may predispose an individual to injury. The EBCSOhost Research Database was initially searched using the keywords: “(Swimming OR Swimmers”) AND “(Competitive OR Shoulder)” AND “(Injury OR Pain)”. This was supplemented by cross-referencing to publications cited by the authors of the initial literature search. Effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were calculated to compare the different factors associated with shoulder injury. A review of literature split factors associated with shoulder problems into six groups: biomechanics of the shoulder; general swimmer characteristics; injury history; shoulder laxity and range of movement; shoulder strength; general strength. The impact of each factor upon swimming and shoulder injury is discussed and the effect sizes show which factors have the greatest association with shoulder injury in swimmers.

swimming competitive shoulder pain effect size

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