Swimming Neck Pain

Swimming neck pain is a common shoulder problem. Swimming is a powerful sport that provides a total-body workout with its powerful strokes, kicks, and techniques. Because the shoulder is so important in this activity, it is frequently injured, especially as we get older.

Neck pain and injury can also be caused by poor stroke technique. The Butterfly stroke places the most strain on the shoulder and is thus the most likely to cause neck problems.

Neck Tendinitis and Swimming

Neck, or tendon inflammation, is one of the most common neck conditions caused by swimming. Tendinitis develops in these cases as a result of swimming's repetitive pinching of a nerve or surrounding structures.

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Tendons, or flexible fibers that connect muscle to bone, act as levers, pulling on the muscles to create movement. Swimming can cause tendonitis, bursitis, and impingement, all of which are closely related.

Tendons fray and lose flexibility as people age due to overexertion, stress, health issues, and wear, resulting in tendinitis. Swimming, as well as other movements like stirring or pitching, causes our tendons to inflame or tear. Tendinitis in the neck occurs when the rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon swell.

The severity of this will vary depending on the extent to which the rotator cuff is affected. The swimmers I've treated for tendonitis were typically 40 years old or older and led an active lifestyle.

Tendinitis is most common in the neck. The neck, ball, and socket joints are one of the most injured parts of the body due to their constant motion. The rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon become inflamed as a result of a nerve or surrounding structures being pinched.

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Because of the location and severity of the rotator cuff swelling, the pain can range from mild to severe. The rotator cuff swells and thickens in many tendinitis cases, trapping itself beneath the acromion and causing impingement.

Swimming Neck Pain Treatment

Rest is the first step in treating neck pain. Take a break from the stress and hassle of everyday life and devote some time to yourself. Your body requires it. In addition, get at least 8 hours of sleep per day.

Take it if you think you need it. Just don't put your body through an exhausting work schedule while it tries to repair itself. It is unhealthy, and it frequently leads to larger issues.

Before going to the doctor, there are several things you can do to alleviate your chronic neck pain. Ice is the first and most effective. In just 5 minutes, its coolness refreshes the senses and calms the neck. If you leave it on for any longer, your arm will stiffen.

Ice should be applied twice daily, once during the peak of your pain and once before bedtime. You can sometimes get a good night's sleep by icing your neck at night. Many people prefer to exercise when their neck is cold or numb.

As a result, their neck will be less painful while still increasing their flexibility and performing their daily workout routine. Just remember to keep the ice on for a short period of time.

Your pain may worsen if you are not cautious and committed to your recovery. Avoid these issues from the start by learning and practicing neck exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff. The range of motion exercise is the first and easiest to learn.

Bend over, facing the floor, and allow your aching arm to go limp. Maintain a straight back and begin slowly rotating your inflamed arm in small circles above the floor. Draw larger and wider circles as your arm strength increases.

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If you need more support, place your hand on the opposite thigh. If the exercise becomes monotonous, add soup cans or one-pound weights to put your endurance to the test.


Swimming strokes come in a variety of styles, each with its own set of form challenges. During the breaststroke, frog kick, and crawl, for example, it is easy to overextend your back, causing it to arch inward.

While water exercise is typically recommended for people with joint problems, a hyperextended back can exacerbate joint problems.

Proper form when taking breaths is essential during any front or side stroke. If you're moving quickly and need air, you may find yourself jerking your head up or to the side frequently.

Any jerking motions can injure both the neck and the back. When going up for air, keep your head in line with your body. Also, try to exhale evenly to reduce the number of times you need to come up for air.

Though not always a form issue, neck pain can cause beginners to attempt the backstroke. This is due to the muscles in the front of the neck working to keep the head out of the water during this stroke. They can become fatigued if they are not used to being worked this hard. Begin slowly with the backstroke.

When performing a flip turn underwater, keep your head tucked in close to your body. Holding it away from your body causes the water to push you backward, putting strain on your muscles, ligaments, and joints.

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Different Strokes

Swimming backstrokes and sidestrokes may be preferable if you have neck pain. These styles are easier on the back. Strokes involving screw kicks or knee and ankle rotation should be avoided because they can strain the lower back and sacroiliac joints.

If your neck pain begins or worsens while swimming, try to find a trained coach or physical therapist to observe you. He or she can identify form issues and assist you in finding a pain-free style. If this does not help, stop swimming and seek a further diagnosis.

When done correctly, swimming is an excellent neck pain exercise. Learning about the risks will help you avoid them.

A Word From GetMe Treated

Swimming neck pain is not something that you have to put up with. Swimming can be pain-free with proper treatment, neck exercise, and improved swimming technique.


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