Thursday, January 13, 2011

Repetitive Strain Injuries - Swimming

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) occur as a result of undertaking a repetitive task, sustained or awkward positions, vibrations or mechanical compressions. It may include occupational tasks such as typing or twisting or sporting movements such as swimming, tennis or running.

Swimming involves continual repetitive movements that can cause injury to the athlete. Due to the rotation of the knee in breaststroke kick it is put under a large amount of stress. The combination of this rotation and the force generated in the legs to perform the ‘whip kick’ creates a high pressure on the knee joint and the medial collateral ligament in particular. Once the ligament has become strained, continuous exercise will exacerbate the situation.

Repetitive strain injuries may present with pain, swelling, inflammation and limited movement with treatment generally consisting of resting the affected joint. Medication may be required to manage inflammation and pain. Specific knee stability and strengthening exercises can help with correct technique and minimise the risk of injury.

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