A Shoulder Injury Prevention Program in Youth Swimming: 24-week In-season Training Program Effectiveness and Understanding of Pain and Injury Prevention Amongst Athletes



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Shoulder pain and overuse injury are the primary physical ailments hindering the career of competitive swimmers. Currently the best injury prevention program to mitigate pain and injury has not been determined. Designing and implementing a pre-habilitation strength-training program based on the principles of rehabilitation could be an effective approach to this problem. The purpose of this study was to determine feasibility and impact of an in-season strength training and stretching program in adolescent, year-round, competitive swimmers. A total of 29 athletes were included for analysis; comparison group n=13, intervention group n=16. All intervention exercises were completed in a 30-minute period prior to the in-water training 3 days a week. Significant group by testing session strength differences were seen at mid-season for external rotation and internal rotation bilaterally, and on the left side only for horizontal abduction (p<0.05). Significant strength differences post-season were seen for internal rotation bilaterally, in the right arm for external rotation and left arm for horizontal abduction, (p<0.05). Additionally, this study surveyed a small sample (n=13) to determine their attitudes and beliefs about shoulder pain and injury prevention programs. Based on the survey data, it appears that previous history of pain and injury could change the way an athlete views swimming with pain. Additionally, it appears that the swimmers themselves would be receptive to implementing a shoulder injury prevention program, removing what is often perceived as a potential barrier to success. Together these results indicate that a shoulder injury prevention program is feasible and impactful for adolescent swimmers and that the swimmers themselves would be receptive to program implementation. Coaches should consider implementing evidence based injury prevention programs as a part of their dry-land training.



Swimming, Shoulder Injury, Injury Prevention