Five common rowing injuries and how to prevent them

© Merijn Soeters –

Rowing is a great full-body workout that can provide many health benefits. However, it is important to be aware of the potential for injuries. Rowing injuries can occur due to overuse or improper technique.

Here are some of the most common rowing injuries:

  • Lumbar back pain: This is a common problem among rowers and can be caused by muscle strains or stress fractures. To prevent lumbar back pain, it is important to strengthen your core muscles and practice good rowing technique.
  • Shoulder impingement: This is a condition that occurs when the space between the humerus (upper arm bone) and the acromion (a bony protrusion on the shoulder blade) becomes too narrow. This can cause pain, inflammation, and weakness in the shoulder. To prevent shoulder impingement, it is important to warm up properly before rowing and to avoid excessive overhead rowing motions.
  • Stress fractures of the ribs: These are small cracks in the ribs that can occur due to repetitive stress. To prevent stress fractures of the ribs, it is important to avoid excessive rowing and to cross-train with other activities.
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome: This is a condition that occurs when the iliotibial band (a band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh) rubs against the kneecap. This can cause pain and inflammation on the outside of the knee. To prevent iliotibial band friction syndrome, it is important to warm up properly before rowing and to avoid excessive knee bending.
  • Extensor tenosynovitis of the wrist: This is an inflammation of the tendons that extend the fingers. It can be caused by repetitive stress on the wrists. To prevent extensor tenosynovitis of the wrist, it is important to warm up properly before rowing and to avoid excessive wrist flexion and extension.

If you experience any pain while rowing, it is important to stop and rest. If the pain persists, see Chiropractor.

Here are some tips to help prevent rowing injuries:

  • Warm up properly before rowing. This will help to prepare your muscles and joints for exercise.
  • Use proper rowing technique. This will help to reduce stress on your muscles and joints.
  • Cross-train with other activities. This will help to prevent overuse injuries.
  • Listen to your body. If you experience pain, stop rowing and rest.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of rowing injuries and enjoy the many benefits of this great sport.


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