The Effect of a Water-Based Training Program on Pain, Range of Motion and Joint Position Sense in Elite Female Swimmers with Impingement Syndrome

Document Type: Original research papers


1 Department of sport sciences, faculty of Humanities, University of Nahavand, Nahavand, iran.

2 Biomechanics and sports injuries, kharazmi university, Tehran Iran


One of the most common causes of shoulder problems in competitive swimmers is thought to be damage to the sub-acromial structures known as shoulder impingement syndrome. The present study aimed was to investigate the effect of a water-based training program on pain, range of motion, and joint position sense of the shoulder joint in elite female swimmers with shoulder impingement syndrome. Thirty elite female swimmers with an age range of aged 20-30 were randomly assigned to experimental or control groups. The experimental group performed a water-based training protocol, and the control group performed conventional swimming stretching exercises for eight-week. The progress of the exercises was adjusted according to the depth of the water and the type of exercise. Pain, range of motion (flexion, abduction, internal and external rotation), and shoulder joint position sense (45 and 80 degrees) were assessed before and after the intervention. The results showed a significant difference between the mean of variables in the two experimental and control groups before and after the exercise protocol (p˂ 0.001). The mean pain intensity in the experimental group decreased compared to pre-exercise, which was statistically significant (p˂ 0.001), and no significant statistical difference was observed in the control group. Besides, the range of motion, internal and external rotation, flexion, and abduction in the experimental group had increased compared to condition before the training, which was statistically significant (p˂ 0.001). In this section, no significant statistical difference was observed in the control group. The results also show a significant improvement in the joint position sense of in the experimental group compared to the control group (p˂ 0.001). According to the results, the eight-week program of water-based exercises was effective in improving pain, range of motion, and the joint position sense of women swimmers with shoulder impingement. This can be explained by the improvement of a muscle imbalance between the dynamic stabilizers of the shoulder complex and maintaining of the subacromial space in a way that prevents soft tissue impinge, reduces pain, and consequently increases range of motion and improves joint position sense in people with this complication.


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