February 10, 2016

Swimming-Related Injuries: A literature review with injury risk screening

Michael Rosenblat


There are a number of assessment screening tools that are used to assess the risk of developing an injury in competitive and recreational sports. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was one of the first tools created for this purpose. However, a recent systematic review with meta-analysis has shown that there is little correlation with FMS scores and injury risk (4). This may be due to the fact that the FMS was not created to assess sport specific risk factors. It was created as a general tool to assess common movement patterns.

In order to develop a valid outcome measure that can be used to assess the risk of developing swimming-related injuries, it is necessary to determine which injuries have the highest prevalence and incidence in swimming. It is also beneficial to have a greater understanding of how certain characteristics, including stroke specialty, mechanism of injury, etc. are associated with the described swimming-related injuries.

Once there is a clear understanding of the common swimming-related injuries, it is possible to determine the risk factors that are directly related to each injury. The appropriate variables/risk factors were collected and incorporated into a structured orthopaedic assessment tool.

The tools provided below have not been assessed for validity or reliability. Additional research would be beneficial to determine the psychometric properties of the assessment tools.


Incidence of Injury by Stroke Specialty

Prevalence of Injury by Location

Incidence of Injury by Location

Injury by Location Resulting in Missed Time

Incidence of Injury by Condition

Mechanism of Injury

Pain Pattern

Clinical Findings in Swimmers with Shoulder Pain


Shoulder Pain

Low-Back Pain

Knee Pain 

Freestyle Pathomechanics

Breast Stroke Pathomechanics 


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