Swimming through injury pain can delay recovery and in many cases may cause more damage. Swimming through conditioning pain, on the other hand, is part of training. Because of these differences, it is critical to identify the cause of shoulder pain.

Characteristics of pain caused by injury are:

  • Localized pain that can be pinpointed at the front of the shoulder
  • Tenderness in a specific area when gently palpated with the thumb
  • A dramatic increase in pain when the arm is lifted overhead and inwardly rotated
  • Noticeable restriction in range of motion

Characteristics of pain caused by conditioning are:

  • General soreness throughout an entire muscle
  • Pain that does not severely increase as the arm is elevated and inwardly rotated
  • Little or no restriction in the range of motion

Coming soon: Swimming Without Pain by Rod Havriluk, Ph.D., p.88

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a possible injury or persistent pain.