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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.6 - 2006

Posttraumatic injuries in swimmers

Mădălina-Victoria Ovricenco
Sport Club ,,Dinamo” Bucharest, Department of Sport Medicine


Due to thousands of repetitive daily movements and to specific biomechanics of different types of swimming styles, top swimmers are at increased risk to develop overuse injuries. Adding overhead throwing movements of the ball in a game of great engagement as water-polo, the injury risk increasis.
The aim of this study was to examine the incidence of posttraumatic injuries in top swimmers (swimming and water-polo) registered at Dinamo Sports Club between 2003-2005.
Methods: We have examined 76 posttraumatic injuries (63 males and 13 women aged between 11 and 29 years) in swimmers and water-polo players of Dinamo Sports Club, representing 8,8% of all the medical exams.
The athletes were assessed clinically and imagistically (radiographs, ultrasound, MRI).
Results: Most of the injuries were registered in water-polo players – 53 (69,7%) cases. The most common was shoulder involvement -38 (50%) cases with special accent on impingement syndrome -26 (34,2%) cases. Soft tissue problems around the knee (tendinitis and entesitis) and hand interphalangian joint's problems (sprains and disjunctions) were other important pathologies. The cases of low back pain of discal origin (2 cases) and of vertebral origin (1 case) represented a therapeutical chalange.
Conclusions: 1. Between swimmers, water-polo players are at high risk of posttraumatic injuries both because of the maximal amplitude repetitive movements in stroke cycle and of the throwing movement. 2. The most common was shoulder involvement, especially subacromial impingement syndrome, in the first half of the competitive season. 3. The water-polo players in centerforward position are susceptible to injuries with important consequences, especially if they have not the necessary strength training. 4. The necessity of good surveillance and of individualisation of training programs in junior swimmers invited to train together with seniors.

Key words:

swimmers, posttraumatic injuries

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