Swimmer's Arm

Swimmer’s arm is a condition that occurs from repetitive motion of your elbow, commonly associated with swimming. It is simply an overuse injury and will not occur as the result of a specific injury. Although swimmer’s arm is common in swimmers, it can be experienced by anyone who participates in activities that require repetitive use of the arm; specifically the muscles and tendons in the elbow. Understanding swimmer’s arm causes and knowing what swimmer’s arm symptoms to look for, you will better know what type of treatment to seek so that you can be at the top of your game. We recommend swimmer’s elbow exercises to help with the pain.

Swimmer’s Arm Causes

Swimmer’s arm causes range from swimming to other activities that require the repetitive use of the elbow. Most commonly, the breast stroke and butterfly strokes will cause swimmer’s arm because of the “elbow-up” pull that is done for those strokes. Other swimmer’s arm causes may include repeatedly lifting weights or performing manual labor such as construction.


Swimmer’s Arm Symptoms

Swimmer’s arm might not present itself right away. The inflammation typically begins slowly and progresses over time. You may notice it first by feeling a painful sensation in your arm, around the elbow. As time goes on, you will feel more and more swimmer’s arm symptoms, such as extensive pain, as the inflammation of the muscles in your forearm becomes worse. Some common symptoms you might feel include:

  • A weakened grip
  • A burning sensation in your elbow and/or shoulder
  • A pain that is felt on the outside of the elbow, even when stabilized
  • Stiffness in the elbow
  • Pain when squeezing an object



Swimmer’s Arm Treatment

Swimmer’s arm treatment is the best way to ensure reduced pain and a speedy recovery, getting you back in the water or to your other activities as soon as possible. Studies show that 80-95 percent of swimmer’s arm patients find relief through conservative treatments that reduce inflammation and pain. Some medically approved swimmer’s arm treatment options include:


Short-Term Solutions


  • Cho-Pat® Upper Arm Strap – The Upper Arm Strap prevents further tearing or pulling of the muscles in the upper arm and is waterproof for use in the pool.

Long-Term Solutions


  • StretchRite® – This product allows you to experience the ultimate in full-body stretching. Designed to be comfortable and effective, it relieves the pain and increases flexibility and mobility.


  • Peanut Foam Roller- Is the ideal trigger point foam massage roller to alleviate muscle soreness and stiffness and can be used on areas like your glutes, upper back, and shoulders.
  • Hexi Foam Roller -It is the ideal trigger point massage tool to help alleviate muscle soreness, tightness, and tiredness. Small and compact, the Hexi foam roller features a textured 6-sided design with a solid foam core and can be used just like a standard-sized roller.


How to Prevent Swimmer’s Elbow

Sometimes it is impossible to achieve swimmer’s arm prevention, but there are some things you can do after you have begun to feel the pain to prevent further pain and more serious damage.  Some swimmer’s arm prevention methods you can try are:

  • Stretching before and after each swimming session or before and after whatever you are doing that will put strain on the elbow.
  • Apply ice to the elbows after repetitive movements that may cause inflammation.
  • Perfect your technique so you don’t put unnecessary strain on the elbow.
  • Wear the Cho-Pat® Upper Arm Strap while you participate in your activity.