Health Corner



If you are a swimmer, either for sport or fitness, chances are that at some stage you’ve had a sore shoulder from swimming. Shoulder or upper arm pain in swimmers is very imaginatively called Swimmer’s Shoulder, and can keep you from performing specific strokes, or can even keep you out of the pool altogether.

Swimmers shoulder is actually an umbrella term that covers a range of possible pathologies, including rotator cuff impingements or tendinopathies, sub-acromial bursitis, shoulder joint instability, labral tears and nerve pain, or some combination of the above.

Swimmer’s shoulder can occur when one or more of the following are present:

  • Poor or incorrect swimming technique
  • Tight chest muscles
  • Weak or imbalanced rotator cuff muscles
  • Stiff thoracic spine
  • Nerve tightness / impingement
  • Not enough / too many people peeing in the pool

OK, so maybe that last point wasn’t true. (Side Note: Did you know, though, that chlorine actually doesn’t have a strong smell, but a bi-product of chlorine called chloramine does? Interesting, huh? You don’t want to know why chloramine might be present in a public pool – though you might guess!  Ew.)

swimming pool
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

So do you have to stop swimming for it to get better? The answer is definitely, maybe. It will entirely depend on the individual case, and there are many factors which would influence your physio’s recommendation. The first step in getting your shoulder back to 100% would be making an appointment with your physio, and going from there.

In almost any conceivable swimmer’s shoulder presentation, there would be a good case to be made for a combination of stretching tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles and some form of hands-on therapeutic treatment.

So contact LifeForce health solutions in Golden Grove to start swimming laps in the proverbial pool of injury rehabilitation with your friendly physio. I’m not getting in the pool with you though, until people stop peeing in the pool! Gross!


Call 8289 2800 to make a physiotherapy appointment at LifeForce health solutions at Golden Grove, to see what one of our experienced and friendly physiotherapists can do to help with your sport-related condition. Alternatively, send us a message or comment on Facebook or via our website, and we’ll be in touch!



Gossman W, Nickerson M, Varacallo M. Swimmer’s Shoulder. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2019

Naderi, N Bagheri, S, Resvani, M. 2018, Comparison of Shoulder Posture and Scapular Kinematic among Swimmers with and Without Shoulder Pain,  International Journal of Health Studies, Vol 5, no 2, pp 31-34