How Osteopathy Can Improve Your Swimming Form


Guest post by Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre

Swimming is a human art form that involves the correct positioning and orientation of all your limbs. Osteopathy is all about correcting the alignment of the entire musculoskeletal framework to illuminate any problems of posture or injuries that you may have as well as using different techniques to assess the condition of your internal organs, structure and fluids.


Osteopathy can identify hidden issues that are unknown to you including congestion, dehydration, tissue scarring and joint stiffness, to restoring full function to injured bones and ligaments.

What Does Osteopathy Look At?

  • Skeletal System
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Nerves
  • Circulatory System
  • Connective Tissue
  • Internal Organs

There are 4 main treatment methods when it comes to Osteopathy:


Soft Tissue Manipulation

This is used to evaluate the condition of soft tissues around the body to ensure all fluids are freely flowing. This check-up ensures the patient’s immune system is operating effectively, increasing the overall well-being of the patient. Areas of restriction can be gradually restored through soft tissue manipulation to ease the tension of the tissues.

Lymphatic Technique

This particular method is used for effective circulation of lymphatic fluids found in the upper and lower respiratory system. Hands are used to create pressure on the upper chest wall, and when this pressure is released, negative pressure on the chest is increased thus resulting in the body’s respiratory mechanism to move lymphatic fluids.

Cranial Osteopathy

Perhaps the most delicate and gentle osteopathic techniques and the most difficult to learn, cranial osteopathy focuses on the mobility of the skull and its contents, as well as the spine. This technique focuses on achieving and restoring balance to the body’s biorhythm. Practitioners also use this method to assess a patient’s physical condition or problems such as posture, circulation or bad skeletal structure.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation reminds us all why osteopathy is such a widely practiced form of therapy. This method is used to treat organs such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, stomach, bladder, uterus and other internal organs. The practitioner is able to correct the structure and mobility of these organs, improve blood flow and increase overall functionality. This overarching aim of this technique is to adjust the patient’s anatomy so the body is able to heal and replenish itself correctly.

How Osteopathy Can Help With Swimming Technique


Form is probably the number one most crucial component when it comes to swimming. The golden rule: never cross the forbidden centre line. If you’ve ever watched a professional swim, their strokes are so meticulously coordinated that their body falls into an entrancing rhythm, however they never cross the centre line of their body. Poor form can hinder optimum results, such as a decrease in speed, fluidity and motion as well as leave you injured and sore.

Osteopathy helps enhance a swimmer’s form through the realignment of the spine as well as overall posture. Practitioners can easily tell if you are overbearing your weight on land or the amount of tension located in any particular joint. The above methods of osteopathy mentioned are also incredibly useful when diagnosing your skeletal structure, enhancing your understanding of how your body works.

A swimmer’s freestyle starts with the rotation of the shoulder, a glide through the fingertips, and a strong kicking motion from the core and hips. Osteopathy can help correct any mistakes in poor form and help kick old habits. With the techniques mentioned above, osteopathy can diagnose poor organ functions such as increased fluid retention or poor lung capacity or even treat common joint injuries such as the swimmer’s shoulder.

Dr David Sokoloff works as a osteopath at Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre. David believes in integrating diet, exercise, as well as treatment in developing a holistic plan for his patients. David believes that treatment should reflect the needs and goals of each patient as an individual.

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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