Rowing Injuries

 

 

 

Rowing has roots dating back to ancient Egypt, but wasn't particularly popularity until the early 19th century when races on Great Britain’s Tyne began attracting large crowds of spectators. The history of rowing is extensive, including being one of the first Olympic sports that’s still practiced today.

The two forms of rowing, which are sculling and sweep, include recreational participants, professional athletes, and collegian and junior (crew) athletes. Across the world, there are several different forms of competitive-level rowing, including side-by-side, bumps, stake, endurance, and timed. Regardless of a rower’s form of rowing, age, gender, experience, or level of competition, injuries are always a possibility.

How Do Rowing Injuries Occur?

Rowing isn’t considered a collision or contact sport that involves athletes routinely coming into contact with a playing surface or other athletes. Therefore, the majority of rowing injuries are considered overuse, or stress, injuries. This particular type of injury is often the result of the repetitive mechanics of the sport. Rowing involves the rower(s) sitting in their boat in the backwards facing position, or toward the stern. Depending on the form, either one or two oars are used to manually and cyclically propel the boat forward through the water, or toward the bow. From the biceps, triceps, quadriceps, deltoids, hamstrings, glutes, abdominal muscles, to the wrist extensors, almost every muscle group in the body is used during the four phases of a rowing stroke. As such, the repetition of the rowing stroke is the main culprit in rowing injuries. Overtraining with rowing techniques and intensive physical and cardiovascular conditioning are also frequent causes of rowing injuries.

What Are Some Common Rowing Injuries?

Rib Stress Fracture

Studies have shown that rib stress fractures affect between six and 12 percent of rowers. The risk seems to increase when rowers use an ergometer for high volume, low stroke training while off the water. The rib cage is loaded, or stressed, during the repetitive contraction of the upper extremity muscles that are attached to the ribcage and used during rowing strokes. In rowing, the muscle and ribs involved are usually the serratus anterior muscle and the 4th and 5th ribs. Poor technique and muscle and/or joint weakness may increase the loading on the rib cage. The repetitive loading may eventually cause one or more individual ribs to become weakened and develop small microscopic cracks - rib stress fracture. The main symptom of a rib stress fracture is a dull, achy pain around the back of the shoulder or the upper back. This pain may become more intense with repetitive arm movements, coughing, sneezing, and overhead activities.

Lower Back Injuries

Rowing places tremendous stress and compressive pressure on the muscles and discs in the lower back. The excessive hyperflexion of the back, which is sometimes combined with slight twisting motion to achieve a better catch position, is the main causative factor in rowing-related lower back injuries. Poor body mechanics, such as from slumping over toward the end of strokes, may increase the risk of a lower back injury. Two of the most common lower back injuries are strains and disc injuries:

1. Lower back strains - the stretching or tearing of one or more of the muscles and/or tendons in the lower back. Strains are graded based on the degree of injury to the muscle and/or tendon. A grade one strain involves abnormal stretching or microscopic tearing, but the injury usually doesn’t interfere with the normal range of motion or function of the back. A grade two is more moderate tearing that can cause mild to moderate pain, swelling, and some loss of function and range of motion. A grade three lower back strain is the most severe and involves more than 90% of the muscle/tendon fibers tearing. It usually results in significant to complete loss of function and decreased range of motion.

2. Spondylolysis - a defect caused by the pars interarticularis that connects the lower and upper segments of the facet joints between the vertebrae in the back. The facet joints are what link each vertebrae together for a movable spine. This defect can eventually lead to a condition called spondylolisthesis, which involves small stress fractures in a vertebrae slipping out of place.

De Quervain’s Tendinitis

Tendinitis occurs when a tendon becomes irritated or constricted and inflamed. De Quervain’s tendinitis involves the wrist tendons near the base of the thumb. The two main wrist tendons pass through a cramped tunnel along the thumb-side of the wrist. They can become irritated and/or constricted within this tunnel from a rower’s constant hand grip on the oar and wrist movements during rowing. Of course, the swelling only further restricts the tendons from moving within the already cramped compartment. The main symptoms are painful wrist and thumb movements, difficulty pinching or grasping objects, and a possible clicking or popping when moving the thumb.

These are just a few of the many overuse injuries a rower may suffer. Other common rowing-related injuries may include: shoulder, elbow, and knee bursitis; sprains; rotator cuff injuries; menisci knee injuries; patellar tracking disorder; tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis; compartment syndrome; iliotibial band friction syndrome; hand blisters; and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Products

Sort by: Product Price Default
Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

Quickly relieves pain, reduces swelling and inflammation, and breaks up clotted blood and stagnant fluids in the injured area. Stimulates circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues, providing rapid pain relief and faster healing. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $39.95
Quantity
Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

Strongly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles, thereby quickly relieving pain, stiffness and weakness. Sinew Injury Poultice, Sinew Relaxing Soak, and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $39.95
Quantity
Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $34.95
Quantity
Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $37.95
Quantity
Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $25.95
Quantity
Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $29.95
Quantity
Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
LEARN MORE


Our price: $23.95
Quantity