Common Rowing Injuries and Prevention

12.Oct.08 | Physiotherapy

Rowing is a fantastic sport to undertake in both a social and competitive way. Rowing programs are a large part of many school sport curricular, especially in Melbourne.
Rowing is a great sport for strength, cardiovascular fitness and general well being. However, because of the nature of the sport and time spent training, there are many injuries that can, and do occur.

Common Areas of Injury in Rowing:

  • Lower Back – The force going through the lower back and the constant movement through the area makes this the most common injury to sustain. These back injuries range from muscle and joint overload, disc injury and stress fractures
  • Knees – Especially knee cap alignment injuries with the consistent workload going through the legs both in the boat and in the gym
  • Ribs – In elite and sub elite rowers, rib stress fractures are prevalent, caused by the constant pull of the muscles in the area associated with the rowing stroke
  • Shoulders and Upper Back – a common area of overload with technique and work load
  • Wrists – Swelling around the tendons of the wrist due to repetitive “feathering” or movement of the wrist with the oar.

Main risk factors for injury

  • Poor rowing and gym technique
  • Lack of strength and flexibility
  • Over training
  • Poor posture

How to prevent Injury

  • Work closely with coaches on technique
  • Undertake a Rowing Specific Assessment at Physiosports Brighton in order to identify any physical deficiencies that are present
  • Stretch and warm up well
  • Maintain general fitness levels

The ideal scenario is to prevent injuries. If you are involved in rowing and wish to have a Specific Rowing Assessment please contact Physiosports to arrange a time with one of our Rowing Physiotherapists. If you experience any of the above injuries, early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to ensure the least amount of time is lost on the water.

Happy Rowing!!!!