Water Polo Injuries
Article by Zoe Russell
Water Polo injuries are mainly related to swimming injuries, ball impacts, throwing injuries or players tussles.
Water Polo originated as an aquatic form of rugby union football, and combines the unique combination of swimming and throwing.
The combinations of bursts of high intensity activity, with lower intensity intervals make it a physically demanding sport, and the increasing physical nature is making a multitude of injuries for players, including:
- Facial Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Upper Extremity Injuries
- Lower Extremity Injuries.
These injuries can be either acute (such as sprains, strains and abrasions) as well as overuse injuries (such as rotator cuff injury).
The type of injuries in this region of the body from Water Polo include:
- Facial Contusions
- Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)
- Ear Drum Trauma
- Eye Injuries
- Corneal Abrasions or Scratch to the Cornea
- Fracture of the Eye Socket
Water Polo players can sustain injury to all three regions of the spine. However, injuries are most common in the Cervical (Neck) and Lumbar (Lower Back) Regions, due to the repetitive rotation of the Neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar) regions during training and practice:
Upper Extremity Injuries
Injuries to the upper extremity, that is the Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist & Hand, in Water Polo players tend to arise as a result of the overuse or a traumatic injury.
The type of injuries that Water Polo players sustain are:
- Dislocated Shoulder
- SLAP Lesions
- Swimmer's Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Thrower's Elbow
- Lacerations and Dislocations to the Hand, Thumb and Fingers
Lower Extremity Injuries
Injuries to the lower extremity, that is from the hip down, generally occur as a result of utilising the joints and muscles close to the end of their range.
Typically, lower limb injuries during Water Polo occur as a result of the repetitive nature of the ‘eggbeater kick” used to maintain body position in the water or generate power to perform an accurate shot or pass.
Typical injuries in Water Polo players include:
- Groin Pain
- Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
- Adductor Muscle Strain
- Groin Strain (Adductor Muscle Tear)
- Adductor Tendinopathy
- Osteitis Pubis
- Knee Injuries
- Early degenerative changes to the medial knee overuse laxity of the Medial Collateral Ligament.
The good news it that early identification of these injuries by your physiotherapist, in conjunction with correction of technique, can help to prevent these injuries, in addition to ensuring a speedy recovery.
Your Physiotherapist is the best person to speak to in regards to your injury as they will not only help you recover, but also assist you in advising the best form of exercise to undertake to maintain Water Polo specific Strength and Conditioning, as well as fitness so that you recover in the fastest possible time.
Common Water Polo Injuries
FAQs Water Polo Injuries
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Last updated 17-Feb-2017 05:59 PM
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