Swimmer's Shoulder: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More!

Pain from Swimmer's Shoulder


Swimmer’s shoulder, also called shoulder impingement, occurs from overuse of the shoulder joint. Swimmers are constantly using their shoulders, which is why it is likely for them to experience this condition.


What Causes Swimmer’s Shoulder?

When the shoulder is doing repeated motions, it can cause inflammation. This may lead to swelling and friction in the surrounding tissue, and bone spurs.


Who Can Get Swimmer’s Shoulder?

Swimmers are commonly affected by swimmer’s shoulder; however, they are not the only ones. Anyone who uses their shoulders often may be affected such as tennis players, baseball players, warehouse workers, and construction workers.


What are the Symptoms of Swimmer’s Shoulder?

If you have swimmer’s shoulder, you may have one of more of the following symptoms:


How is Swimmer’s Shoulder Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, seek help from one of our shoulder specialists. They will ask you questions about your symptoms and any repeated shoulder activity you may be doing. They will also perform a physical examination. Our shoulder doctors may need to use utilize X-ray or MRI imaging to determine the proper diagnosis for your condition.


How is Swimmer’s Shoulder Treated?

Most of the time, especially in the early stages of swimmer's shoulder, surgery is not needed. Your shoulder doctor may recommend ice, rest, activity modification, medication, injections, and physical therapy.

If conservative treatment does not help, it may mean that surgery is needed. At Elite Sports Medicine, we practice minimally invasive techniques whenever possible to allow for optimal healing.


Swimmer’s Shoulder Prevention Tips

If you have suffered from shoulder injuries in the past, or you are in a sport or a job that involves using your shoulders often, you are at a higher risk of developing swimmer’s shoulder. Try these tips to prevent swimmer’s shoulder and other shoulder injuries:


When do I Need to See a Doctor for My Shoulder Pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it could be happening for a variety of reasons. If you experience popping in the shoulder, severe pain that makes it difficult to sleep, or shoulder pain that will not go away after two weeks, seek help from a shoulder specialist near you. 


Our Shoulder Specialists in Nashville and Franklin

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, seek help from some of the best shoulder doctors in Tennessee: 

Dr. Burton Elrod

Dr. David Moore

Dr. Thomas Dovan

Dr. Chad Price

Dr. Samuel Crosby

Dr. Amanda Martin

Dr. Brian Dierckman



Marina von Rutenberg Marina is the Marketing Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marina-von-rutenberg/

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