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Does Swimming Help Back Pain

Tips When Swimming With Lower Back Pain

WEST Best swimming technique for healing your lower back pain

To avoid injuring or straining your back further, there are a few things to consider when exercising in water.

  • Lower yourself into the water very gently, and do the same when getting out.
  • Jumping or diving should, unfortunately, be left for twinge-free days.
  • Take it slow don’t try to race the kids or balance them on your shoulders. Stick to some gentle, relaxing ‘granny breaststroke’ or backcrawl instead.
  • If the problem persists, seek the advice of a physiotherapist or doctor to ensure that you do not incur further injuries.
  • Try water aerobics alongside swimming see below for ideas!

Background On Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain is different than acute pain which is the normal response felt in the nervous system that alerts you of an injury and the need to take care of yourself. Chronic pain is different it is persistent a long term pain. Pain signals keep going off, with neurons firing for a longer periods of time than during acute pain. Most chronic pain conditions afflict adults, and not children.

Chronic pain is any pain that persists over six months. There are nearly 100 million Americans who suffer from some kind of chronic pain. The level of pain can vary from mild to excruciating and can be continuous or episodic. The most common forms of pain are headache, joint pain, backache, sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or larger painful areas such as the shoulders, neck or legs.

Chronic pain can be caused from an infection or past injury, or can be without a known cause. Emotionally, the toll is costly and negative feelings such as stress, depression and anxiety can increase the pain. Mental anguish that may result from chronic pain can elevate the pain by increasing awareness of it.

Symptoms include mild to severe pain that persists, pain with burning, aching or tingling sensations, and stiffness or soreness. The pain felt is not the only symptom, however. Other symptoms that can accompany the pain include sleeplessness, fatigue, disability, and a weak immune system.

Can A Townsville Chiropractor Help You

If you are suffering from back or neck pain its important to make sure your spine is functioning properly before starting any exercise regime. Whilst swimming may help you, to get the maximum benefit, get your spine checked first.

Our website contains a lot more information about spinal conditions such as neck pain, low back pain and headaches and how chiropractic can help. There are also strengthening and flexibility exercises you can do at home.

To make an appointment, please either book online, or call our friendly staff on 0747793633. If you have any questions please contact us.

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What Are The Best Swimming Strokes To Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Reader Question 398 votes


Many people find that recreational swimming helps ease back pain, and there is research to back that up. But some strokes may be better than others.

An advantage to exercising in a pool is that the buoyancy of the water takes stress off the joints. At the same time, swimming and other aquatic exercises can strengthen back and core muscles.

Still, not everyone with back pain should jump in a pool, said Dr. Scott A. Rodeo, a team physician for U.S.A. Olympic Swimming in the last three Olympic Games. Back pain can have a number of potential causes, so the first thing to do is to get a careful evaluation and diagnosis. A doctor might recommend working with a physical therapist and starting off with standing exercises in the pool that involve bands and balls to strengthen the core and lower back muscles.

If you are cleared to swim, and are a beginner, pay close attention to your technique. Work with a coach or trainer if necessary. It may also be a good idea to start with the breaststroke, because the butterfly and freestyle strokes involve more trunk rotation. The backstroke is another good option, said Dr. Rodeo, who is co-chief of the sports medicine and shoulder service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

With all the other strokes, you have the potential for some spine hyperextension, Dr. Rodeo said. With the backstroke, being on your back, you dont have as much hyperextension.

Is Swimming Good For Sciatica Pain

Does Swimming Help Lower Back Pain?

Sciatica can be caused by a great number of possible sources, both anatomical and psychoemotional. Bodily causes of sciatica, such as herniated discs and spinal osteoarthritis, can be very limiting physically and this may make sufferers less likely to seek exercise. However, keeping active is crucial for all people and swimming provides a safe and fun way to move around without the possibility of jarring injury common to higher impact sports and activities.

In these circumstances, swimming is not likely to provide any sciatica relief, but will help to maintain a healthy body and increase cardiovascular capacity. However, many patients, such as myself, do credit swimming for providing a form of pain management. Why does this occur?

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Back Pain In The Pool

Back pain from swimming can result from hyperextending the back. This means you create an arch in your back when swimming instead of keeping the back in a neutral position. According to a May 2012 article published by Sports Health, this position is exaggerated further when swimming the breaststroke and butterfly.

Another cause of swimming-related back pain is repeated jerking of your neck when you turn your head to take a breath. Taking repeated breathing breaks or using improper form when breathing can add to your back pain. Also, twisting while swimming can damage your vertebrae over time.

Read more:How to Loosen Up a Tight & Sore Lower Back

What Should I Be Doing In The Pool

There are three things you can do in the pool to help minimize your back pain:

  • Walk. If walking around in the pool is all youre able to do, youll still reap benefits. The resistance created by chest-high water makes your muscles work harder to move, which means theyre getting a workout. Swinging your arms underwater works even more muscles. You could also try walking backward and sideways to engage different parts of your thigh muscles.
  • Water aerobics. Water aerobics gets your heart rate up without much joint stress, which add a cardio component to your muscle strengthening. It also requires movement in various directions, which works a variety of muscles and improves your flexibility.
  • Swimming laps. All of the swimming strokes work muscles that are important to spine health, so whatever is most comfortable for you is what you should do. But if youre not ready to dive into multiple freestyle sets just yet, start with treading water. Its strenuousso the muscles in your hips, back, and chest will all get a good workoutbut removes any concerns about mastering a particular technique.

Swimming is often recommended as a good exercise for a bad back, but we suggest talking to your doctor before starting any type of new exercise regimen.

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Ways Floating Can Help Your Chronic Back Pain

Back pain is an exceedingly common, and annoying, condition for many Americans. According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the second most common reason each year for doctor visits. An estimated $50 billion is spent each year by Americans trying to eliminate back pain.

It’s warm, you completely relax, and no aches and pains! This should be included In Physical therapy.

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Some of that money is going toward prescription opioids, as a recent NPR survey shows an estimated 40 percent of those complaining of lower back pain received prescription painkillers. These dangerous, addiction-forming drugs are not recommended as the first course of treatment for those with back pain.

If you want to avoid some of the conventional treatments, such as surgery, prescription drugs, or chiropractic care, or if these interventions have not worked for you, here are 5 reasons flotation therapy may be beneficial in easing your chronic back pain:

Townsville Chiropractor Believes Swimming Helps Low Back Pain

Swimming Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Over many years of practice we have found that swimming is an excellent form of low impact aerobic exercise that enables patients with lower back pain to improve both the flexibility and strength of your spine. The water supports the weight of their body which reduces the stress on the joints and the spine. It is also one of the few forms of exercise that works the whole body at once.

If you suffer from back or neck pain, or just looking to try a new form of exercise, swimming could be the answer.

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Can Swimming Help With Lower Back Pain

Chronic pain affects around two-fifths of the UK’s adult population that’s around 28 million adults. One issue that is highly prevalent is lower back pain, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including bad posture, obesity, stress and injury. With lower back pain being such a big issue, it is essential to find a solution and one worth trying may just be swimming.

Louise Baillie

Who Can Swimming Help

Patients with spinal pain and disc injuries. Studies show aquatic exercises, including swimming, are most useful activities to relieve lower back pain .

Arthritic patients. Swimming can help reduce the pain and stiffness that occurs from arthritis .

Obese patients. Patients who are obese and trying to lose weight often struggle with exercise because of the stress it places to their joints. The low-impact nature of swimming makes it a great exercise for these people. Indeed a 90 kg person burns approximately between 528 and 892 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace .

Pregnant patients. Swimming is completely safe and a great way to stay fit, as well as reduce pain and discomfort during pregnancy. One study showed women who swam during their pregnancy had a lower risk of pre-term labour .

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Swimming Helps With Back Pain

If youre a fan of the water and experiencing back pain, you may be wondering if swimming could help alleviate that pain. The truth is, swimming can be both the cause of and solution to back pain, depending on the individual. In this blog, were going to look at how swimming can help or hurt your back.

Can Swimming Aggravate Your Symptoms

5 Swimming Exercises for a Sore Back

If swimming aggravates your neck or back pain it is usually caused from the lower back being rotated and extended or the neck being stressed when turning to breath.

To stop your spine being aggravated try:

  • only do backstroke and freestyle
  • make sure you turn your neck evenly and smoothly
  • maintain the correct strokes and movements
  • try wearing a mask and snorkel for freestyle
  • use a kick board or other types of flotation devices
  • seek the advice of a coach or more experienced swimmer
  • see your chiropractor to have your spine checked

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Swimming And Back Pain

In general, swimming is an excellent form of low-impact aerobic conditioning that is easy on the back and spine. Unlike running or many other forms of aerobic exercise, with swimming there is practically no impact on the spinal structures. The water supports the body, relieving stress on all joints in the body.

For many with osteoarthritis or other forms of joint pain or severe back pain, pool therapy and light swimming is part of the recommended therapy.

Is Swimming Good For Back Pain

Yes, swimming can be very effective in treating back pain. Research has shown that swimming can help individuals with chronic back pain increase their mobility, reduce pain and improve their overall quality of life. In fact, some studies have shown that swimming can be even more effective than non-aquatic treatment methods.

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The Benefits Of Swimming For Back Pain

From early childhood, most people love the idea of spending time in the pool. As it turns out, swimming is an incredibly beneficial form of exercise, especially if you struggle with lower back pain. Some of the benefits youll experience from swimming include:

  • Relaxes Your Nervous System: Tense muscles are sometimes what causes back pain to develop, or they can aggravate spinal conditions, which can cause increased pain. Swimming releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which relax your nervous system as well as tense muscles.
  • Relieves Pressure on Joints: When you swim, much of your body is buoyant, so the water supports it. This puts much less pressure on your joints than other forms of exercise.
  • Builds Muscle to Support Spine: Exercising in water supports your joints and spine, and it also increases resistance. Swimming engages muscles that you dont always use, particularly those needed to improve your spines stability.

Swimming As A Form Of Exercise

Swimming tips to swim breaststroke and protect lower back & neck

Water provides more resistance than air, making your muscles work harder for each movement. As a result, swimming can help strengthen your body and muscles.

In addition, water provides buoyancy. This reduces the pressure on your joints and makes for a low impact workout.

Most swimming exercises involve the arms and legs making it a good total body workout. Because swimming also increases your heart rate its a good form of cardio exercise.

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Swimming Exercises For Back Pain Relief

Its always a good idea to check with your physician before engaging in any exercise, especially if youre unfamiliar with them. When you meet with the team at the International Spine Institute, we can determine if you are an excellent candidate to participate in swimming exercises. If so, here are some swimming exercises that could help bring back pain relief:

  • Walking: Although technically not swimming, walking around the pool still allows you to reap benefits for your back pain. The resistance builds up your muscles, especially if you swing your arms while walking.
  • Water Aerobics: Aerobics in the water is perfect for working on the cardio aspect needed to build muscle strength. It works a variety of muscles while at the same time, building your flexibility.
  • Swimming Laps: If youre not a swimmer, its essential to start slow when swimming laps, perhaps only twice a week at first. All the different types of strokes work a variety of muscles in your hips, chest, and back. And you can always begin with treading water if youre not comfortable with any particular stroke. Swim coaches can give you tips on the proper technique, so you dont hurt your back through an improper form.

Chronic Pain Relief With Swimming Exercises

Chronic pain is a pain that is described as lasting for over six months. Chronic pain is not considered a temporary or short-term pain and the most common forms are headache, joint pain, and backaches.

Muscle or nerve pain is also a chronic condition that can develop as well. This article looks at how exercise, and more specifically swimming, can make a positive difference for chronic pain sufferers.

To outline the discussion, well take our usual 3-prong approach to the topic of Chronic Pain.

  • Background on Chronic Pain
  • Swimming Benefits
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    Swimming For Back Pain: 3 Top Recommendations And A Warning

    Getting in the water can offer fast back pain relief

    Your escape from back pain could be as close as the nearest pool.

    Its not just kids that love a trip to the swimming pool your back does, too. Water has an amazing power to help you heal and nurture your muscles, but most people prefer pills and surgery.

    That approach certainly suits Big Pharma and hospitals, but you can do better. In fact, Japanese researchers looking at back pain sufferers found that 90% reported significant reductions in pain after just six months of pool time twice a week even if they had no swimming skills!

    Of course, that doesnt mean you should just jump in the pool and start flailing around. Swimming is good for back pain only when you go about it the right way. Find out what to do and an easy way to boost waters benefits for your body with these proven back pain tips.

    Swimming Strokes To Avoid

    Does Swimming Help Lower Back Pain?

    If you have experienced back pain from swimming, avoid strokes known to cause back pain. This includes swimming with your head above water. If you have a tendency to swim using screwkicks kicking motions in which you rotate your knees or ankles when swimming these can place extra strain on your back. Also, kicking out of rhythm when you perform the breaststroke can contribute to back pain. Working to establish your rhythm can reduce back pain when swimming this stroke.

    Back pain from swimming can also be prevented by including abdominal and core strengthening exercises in your regular training routine. Consult your coach or a personal trainer for specific exercise instruction.

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    Pool Therapy As An Alternative

    Swimming isnt for everyone with back pain. If swimming actually aggravates your back pain, pool therapy is often an acceptable alternative. With pool therapy, youll get all the benefits of exercising in water that supports your body weight without the risk of added pain from the repetitive hand and foot motions associated with swimming.

    While swimming may provide relief from back pain, remember proper form for basic moves like the breaststroke or crawl to prevent unintentional discomfort. Goggles can reduce head movements. Side and backstrokes can be less demanding than front strokes. Pool therapy can be an acceptable variation. Flotation devices can also help with form.

    Interested in learning more about treatment options for ongoing neck or back pain? Reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation with our experienced team of spine physicians who are leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery in Los Angeles. Call today.


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