Swimming is low-impact and great for easing back pain. In fact, your body weight is supported by water when in the pool. So, there is less stress on your joints when swimming with back pain. Therefore, more range of motion is achievable when performing water therapy.
As with any exercise, however, you should be careful. Some motions can be dangerous to your spine. These tips will make sure you stay safe. So, you can help your back, not make the pain worse.
Tips for Swimming with Back Pain
Avoid shear forces. Repetitive rotations of the spine and hips can create a strong force and damages the lower back when swimming. Therefore, contributing to the breakdown of discs and tissues. To avoid this, try these adjustments:
Use a mask and snorkel. You will then eliminate the need to arch your back when you lift your head.
Work with a trainer. Learn the proper way to do each stroke to keep your hips and shoulders in line.
Focus on strokes that are easy on the spine. No one stroke is best for back pain. But, your spine moves differently with each one. Understanding this can help you choose a safer one to use, such as:
- Butterfly and breaststroke: These force your lower back to arch backward. Therefore, stressing the joints of your spinal column.
- Freestyle and backstroke: These do not force you to arch your back. However, repetitive rotation can worsen stress on discs and tissues.
The best stroke to use will depend on several factors. Your abilities, the underlying cause, and intensity all play a part. It is best to speak with your doctor about swimming. Getting advice for a healthy swimming exercise program is essential.
Many people enjoy swimming but it’s painful to their back. So, water therapy is a good place to start. Water therapy is an exercise program performed in the water. And when water supports your weight, it’s easier to move. You get the same benefits as swimming but without the pressure. These programs take place in warm water. So, it helps to relax muscles to facilitate better movement. These exercises start gently and get more difficult as you become stronger.
Water exercise is calming for many people because it reduces stress on the body and joints.
As with any exercise, let pain be your guide. Do not do anything that hurts. Always check with your doctor before starting any new swimming or exercise program.
Water therapy is often used to exercise when swimming with back pain. However, sometimes physical therapy or water therapy might not help. If you are searching for relief, call us at 888-409-8006. Our spine specialists, spine surgeons, and pain management doctors are all here to help you get back to life in full motion.