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Injury Prevention and Recovery

Medical Advice Disclaimer:

This document does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something mentioned in this document or told to you by a coach. If you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Injuries occur due to one of three reasons:

1. An individual is not mobile enough.

2. An individual is not strong enough.

3. An individual is training too much.

Every injury can be traced back to these basic points.

What is an injury?

Injury - Noun; suffer physical harm or damage. Most injuries occur at joints (shoulder, back, hips, knee, etc.) and involve tendons and ligaments. Torn muscles can also occur but are less likely in swimming. Joint injuries occur from bad form (lack of mobility/strength) or not giving the ligaments and tendons enough time to adapt to the training. Muscles adapt more quickly, and if we overload the muscles too soon, it puts the ligaments and tendons at a disadvantage.

Muscle Soreness vs. Injury Pain

Muscle Soreness:

Exercise soreness sometimes results from starting to use muscles that you have not used stressfully in a long time. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. This soreness is a result of small, unharmful "tearing/stress" on these unused muscle fibers. As the body repairs these small tears, muscles become stronger. Short-term muscle soreness is a healthy and expected result of exercise. Normal muscle soreness and fatigue peak between 24 and 72 hours after a muscle-stressing activity. It should go away on its own after a few days.

The amount of soreness you have will depend on the time and intensity of your exercise. It also will depend on whether the activity was new to you and how intense your workout was. It can take longer for your body to adapt to new activities. This is especially true for more intense activities that are longer or use movements you are not used to doing.

What To Do if You Have Muscle Soreness:

During the recovery period, while you have soreness, it is important to:

  • Give the muscles you worked time to recover. This is why we cycle fast, HR, and Tech days.

  • Stay active and keep moving until the soreness decreases or goes away. DOMS often improves with easy stretching and light movement.

  • Vary your activities. This is why we are introducing variety into dryland and why swim practice has so much variety.


Pain can be more intense and more constant than muscle soreness. It may vary from a constant “ache” (even without movement) to a sharp pain during movement or exercise, or afterward with a particular movement. It can keep you awake at night. With pain, your joints or muscles may become very stiff if you rest or sit for a long time. Injury pain may not go away on its own.

Pain can also change how you move. If you limp because of pain or favor one shoulder over the other, it may be a sign of an injury.

What To Do if You Have Pain:

  • Stop any painful activities and change what you do.

  • Don't push through the pain. Doing so can cause the problem to get worse and lead to further injury.

  • Seek help from a healthcare provider.

What are some things we can do to prevent injury?

  • Proper Warm-Up

  • Corrective Exercise

  • Using Proper Technique In and Out of Water

  • Stretching After Every Workout

  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet

How do we recover from an injury?


  • R - Rest

  • I - Ice

  • C - Compression

  • E - Elevation

Light movement exercise. Rolled ankle? Studies show light movement (i.e., kicking) can actually aid in the recovery process. If after 7-10 days, RICE and light movement exercises do not resolve or significantly improve the issue, we recommend seeking help from your healthcare provider.

Okay, you got injured...

Can I still swim and do dry land?

Yes and yes (with caveats).

Here’s what we do to REST the injured area while still swimming:

- Any injury related to the arms? We can still kick.

- Any injury related to the legs? We can still pull.

Here’s what we do to REST the injured area while still participating in dry land:

- Any injury related to the arms? We can still do lower body and iso-lateral upper body exercises, granted it does not increase pain.

- Any injury related to the legs? We can still do upper body and iso-lateral lower body exercises, granted it does not increase pain.

Iso-Lateral means you can still exercise with your non-injured limb, granted it does not cause any pain on your injured limb. Science shows that working on the non-injured limb leads to strength and mobility retention of the injured limb.

Paseo's Functional Movement Screenings (FMS) Play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. The FMS is a screening tool that measures seven fundamental movement patterns in every day life. Using FMS scoring results, movement principles are put into action to make individual land-based programming decisions and guide purpose-driven exercise selection. The FMS is an ongoing feedback tool that makes the entire training process -- both short-term and long-term -- more safe, effective, and efficient.

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