Common Upper Extremity Injuries

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An individual swimmer may move his or her upper extremities through 2 million strokes during the training of 1 year.48 This amount of repetitive motion would itself be considered traumatic in comparison with normal wear and tear, and it often results in repeated microtrauma to the entire musculoskeletal structure: muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. The shoulder in particular is put through its maximal range of motion during each swimming stroke, which causes microtrauma, frequently leads to mechanical breakdown of the biomechanics of the shoulder complex, and results in various kinds of shoulder pain.45

Shoulder pain is the most common muscu-loskeletal injury among competitive swimmers. Numerous studies have demonstrated that basic impingement syndrome is the most common cause of shoulder pain in swimmers and that the underlying instability of the glenohumeral joint is a predisposition for inflammation of the subacromial bursa and tears of the glenoid labrum.49

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