MESSAGE FROM MUSTAPHA LARFAOUI
It is my pleasure to welcome all the delegates in Manchester (GBR) for the 16th FINA World Sports Medicine Congress, to be held on April 7-8, 2008.
Since the first FINA Sports Medicine Congress, which took place in 1969 in London, the conferences and presentations submitted during the last 15 editions represent a source of information that continues to be useful to our athletes, coaches, clubs and Federations.
Three goals preside to this initiative:
- To preserve and if possible to improve the athletes’ health;
- To ensure their physical and mental condition through a harmonious activity;
- To maintain, whenever possible, the equality of chances between competitors
Our Federation is proud of being one of the few International Sport Federations that, for so many years, carried out a policy of information and exchange of knowledge and ideas in the wide field of sports medicine.
Being also one of the FINA’s goals to disseminate and accelerate the participation of young competitors in our sport, it is of relevant importance to detect, correct and prevent the health or injuries problems that are inevitably associated with the practice of any physical activity.
This year, I particularly salute Professor Arne Ljungqvist, IOC Member in Sweden, WADA Vice-President, and Chairman of both the IOC Medical Commission and the WADA Health, Medical & Research Committee. We thank him for accepting being the presenter of the 2008 Bleasdale Memorial Lecture.
I also address FINA’s gratitude to the Organisers of this Congress in Manchester (GBR), but also to all members of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee under the efficient leadership of Dr Margo Mountjoy.
I am sure that our 194 FINA Member National Federations will benefit from this debate. Our main goal is to be useful to them.
To all of you I wish a fruitful Congress and a nice stay in this lively city.
Management of shoulder problems in swimming
Dr Scott Rodeo
Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, USA
Dr. Rodeo is a clinician-scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery, with appointments in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service) and the Research Department (Laboratory for Soft Tissue Research). He is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College and Co-Chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at The Hospital for Special Surgery. His specializes in sports medicine injuries of the knee, shoulder, ankle, and elbow. He also performs arthritis surgery of the knee and shoulder, including joint replacement surgery. He has specific expertise in complex knee reconstruction (including meniscus transplantation, cartilage resurfacing, osteotomy, and ligament reconstruction), treatment of shoulder instability, and rotator cuff tendon repair. His research focuses on the basic biology of tendon and ligament healing, meniscal allograft transplantation, and rotator cuff repair. Dr. Rodeo is a former competitive swimmer and provides care for local swimming programs.
He is associate team physician of the New York Giants Football Team, and he also served as Team Physician for the 2004 U.S.A. Olympic Team.
Management of shoulder problems in swimming
Shoulder pain and injuries are common in swimming since over 90% of the propulsive power in swimming comes from the upper extremity. Contributing factors for swimmer’s shoulder are felt to include 1) overuse and subsequent fatigue of the muscles around the shoulder, scapula, and upper back, 2) glenohumeral laxity, and 3) the mechanics of the swimming stroke, in which impingement can occur in various positions during the swimming stroke. Other associated findings include muscle imbalances and inflexibility, such as tightness of the pectoral muscles, and sometimes inflexibility of the posterior rotator cuff and posterior capsule. Because of their continuous activity during the swimming stroke, the serratus anterior and subscapularis are susceptible to fatigue Although muscle fatigue and/or shoulder instability with excessive glenohumeral translation can by themselves cause pain, it is likely that some element of impingement and subsequent rotator cuff tendinitis is the final common pathway causing shoulder pain in swimmers. Impingement may be caused by the particular mechanics of the swimming stroke as well as altered glenohumeral kinematics due to muscle fatigue and/or glenohumeral laxity. Recent studies demonstrates supraspinatus tendinopathy in swimmers with shoulder pain.
As in any injury, an accurate diagnosis begins with a careful history and examination. A comprehensive examination is performed with specific attention to glenohumeral laxity, strength of the rotator cuff and periscapular muscles, impingement signs, localizing tenderness, labral signs, and signs indicative of acromioclavicular joint pathology. Insight into the cause of pain may be gained from careful analysis of the swimming stroke. MRI may demonstrate thickening of the capsule (supporting evidence of previous instability episodes) and signal change in the rotator cuff consistent with tendinosis (suggestive of tendon overload). Diagnostic injection may be helpful to confirm the source of pain. Treatment begins with relative rest, avoidance of strokes and training exercises that exacerbate the pain, use of ice, and a short course of NSAIDs. Modalities such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound are useful to control pain and inflammation in the initial treatment phase. The most important part of the rehabilitation program is identification of any deficits in muscle strength, endurance, balance, and flexibilty. Operative management is generally indicated only after a comprehensive course of conservative treatment. Surgical intervention is most commonly required to address instability and secondary impingement.
Prevention is the most important factor in management of shoulder pain in swimmers. A comprehensive program to develop strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility of the muscles is recommended. These exercises address three important areas: 1) the rotator cuff, 2) the muscles that stabilize the scapula, and 3) the muscles of the low back, abdomen, and pelvis that make up the “core” of the body. A comprehensive program for the shoulder and periscapular muscles is required, with emphasis placed on endurance training/strengthening for the serratus anterior, rhomboids, lower trapezius, and subscapularis.