Swimming Can Relieve Low Back Pain

Suffering from back pain is unnecessary when you realize just how many exercises you can do to relieve back pain. If you have been suffering from back pain that has persisted for more than a few weeks you will need to see a physician before you begin any type of exercise program. Beginning an exercise program before getting a diagnosis for your back pain can cause further damage to your back muscles.  

Once you have received a diagnosis you and your doctor will work together to create a back pain treatment plan. This plan may include a variety of treatments that include massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, exercise, physical therapy and chiropractic care. 

Swimming To Relief

Those who suffer from mild back pain will be advised to participate in some form of low impact exercise like swimming. In addition to being simple to do, swimming is easy on the joints and muscles and provides an excellent aerobic workout. Whether you are underweight, overweight or obese, swimming is the perfect exercise to relieve back pain.

Physicians recommend swimming to those who suffer from chronic back pain and find even the mildest form of exercise difficult. Moving in the water takes the pressure off the spine, joints and muscles so you give your body some much-needed exercise without the pain and irritation related to your back pain. The more you are able to exercise through your pain, the quicker the pain will subside.

Exercise like swimming serves an important function in helping the body cope with pain. It increases circulation throughout the entire body, which helps keep muscles healthy, happy and functioning properly. Cutting through the water not only gets your blood pumping, it also boosts your body’s oxygen intake, giving your muscles relief from the pain.

Much of the pain relief felt through swimming will be temporary—at first. But maintaining a regular swimming regimen will allow the pain to stay away longer while you build up muscles so your body is capable of taking on more weight without pain.

Before You Hit The Pool

Swimming with a back injury is a smart idea; however it is not without its dangers. You will have to take some safeguards to make sure you are safe in the water, such as taking a swimming class if you are not a confident swimmer. Even if you are confident in your swimming skills, you should take an intermediate swimming class to remember safety precautions and improve your lung capacity. If you haven’t participated in physical activity in some time, putting in a more laps than you can handle increases the drowning risk.

When possible, swim with a partner to avoid any dangers in the water. If a muscle tightens or spasms as you swim, it is important that you have someone there to help you and get you out of the water immediately.

Don’t Get Fancy…Yet

Swimming is an invigorating way to relieve lower back pain, as long as you do it correctly. Don’t worry about getting complicated with fancy strokes; keep your strokes even and at a pace that you can handle. Too slow and it won’t be as effective, and too fast might worsen the injury and tire you out prematurely.

Maximize the effect swimming has on your back pain by keeping your abdominal muscles pulled in tight towards your spine. Move your head sparingly and avoid jerking movements as they have the highest incidence of re-injury. When the strokes become tiresome or your breathing becomes labored, stop until your body is ready to move forward.

Just because you’re in the comfort of water and feeling the effects of no gravity, doesn’t mean you can’t re-injure your back or worsen a current back injury. 

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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