Swimmer’s shoulder is a condition in which one or both shoulders are painful to the touch. It can be caused by overuse and/or injury to the rotator cuff muscles, which are located on the back of the shoulders.

The most common cause of swimmer’s shoulder is overuse. Swimmers tend to use their arms more than other athletes, and they may not stretch out their arms before swimming. This causes an imbalance in the muscles of the shoulder, causing pain. Injury can also cause swimmer’s shoulder, usually from a fall or from hitting your arm on something while swimming.

Common symptoms


Pain in the front of your shoulder


Swelling and stiffness in the arm


Inflammation in the joint


Redness in the shoulder area


Weakness in the arm, shoulder, and elbow

Limited Movement

Difficulty moving the arm

Common treatment methods

Resting and taking time off from physical activity to let your body heal itself without any further damage.

Icing can help reduce inflammation

Anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve the pain and inflammation caused by the injury

Physical therapy can also be used as a treatment for this condition, and it should be done for about 3 weeks to allow the body to heal itself.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I have swimmer’s shoulder?

If the movement of your arm becomes restricted, resulting in pain in different parts of your arm along with decreased mobility — it all indicates to a swimmer’s shoulder, and you should get a professional medical opinion.

What is the difference between swimmer’s shoulder and frozen shoulder?

Swimmer’s shoulder limits the range of an arm’s motion while a frozen shoulder leaves an stiff and with no ability to move.

How long does it take to recover from a swimmer’s shoulder injury?

Many spend weeks or even months recovering from this injury and can take six to nine months on average for the most severe cases of damage to fully heal.

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