Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeFactsIs Swimming Good For Back Pain

Is Swimming Good For Back Pain

Support Your Spine With Workouts For Back Pain

Is Swimming Good For Getting Rid Of Back Pain

You need to take care of the core muscles that support your spine. There are many workouts for back pain that do this, and your doctor or therapist should be able to give you specific advice and training for your unique back pain condition.

“A good example of a safe strengthening exercise is the pelvic tilt,” says Mepham. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach muscles until you can press the small of your back flat against the floor. Hold the press for about five seconds and repeat up to 10 times.

Does Swimming Help Lower Back Pain

back pain prevention, back pain relief, low back pain, swimming

If you struggle with back pain, you are not alone. In the United States, more than 80 percent of adults have had lower back pain at some point in their life. Thats a staggering number of people who have had to struggle with this condition. Although many people take over-the-counter pain medication to help deal with this painful symptom, thats not the only solution. Many are turning to activities like swimming to relieve back pain. But does it work?

Studies show that aquatic exercises, including swimming, are indeed some of the most useful activities to relieve lower back pain.

Tips When Swimming With 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!

Recommended Reading: Which Is Better For Back Pain Aleve Or Tylenol

Benefits Of Swimming For Back And Bone Health

Swimming is an ideal exercise for people of all ages and body typesand that includes people at risk for spine or back injury, such as the elderly, obese, or menopausal.

  • Elderly people who swim are able to maintain their strength and agility, decreasing risk of injury and thereby promoting mobility and independence.
  • Because the water supports your body, swimming is ideal for people that find load-bearing exercises like running uncomfortable, such as those who are obese or arthritic.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, postmenopausal women who are at increased risk for bone loss or osteoporosis can help maintain their bone health through swimming.

Whether you fall into one of those categories or not, swimming has indisputable benefits for spine and bone health:

In addition to the spine health benefits, swimming is just plain good for you. As a whole-body workout, swimming is one of the few exercises that combines cardio and strength-training into one. Studies show that swimming builds lung-capacity while toning all of your bodys major muscle groups. Like other aerobic exercises, swimming also strengthens your immune system, reduces your risk for chronic disease, and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Can Swimming Help Ease Degenerative Disc Pain

Swimming For Back Pain Relief  Take The Plunge Today

As summer approaches, more families are heading to the pool to cool off. It is also a time when many who suffer from a wide range of pain conditions take advantage of the pool to help ease their pain. But does swimming actually help reduce degenerative disc disease pain? There is a bit of a debate within the chronic pain community about this exact question. Some argue swimming can worsen back pain, while others say swimming is a safe form of exercise for degenerative disc disease.

Our pain management doctors often recommend exercise to help relieve degenerative disc pain. Light and low-impact exercise can help increase blood flow to the spine, strengthen the muscles that support the spine, and even help patients keep off additional weight. High impact exercises, like running or jumping, may cause a great deal of pain because damaged discs cannot absorb shock as well on hard surfaces. Swimming solves this problem because our spines dont have to work as hard to support our bodies. The buoyancy of water eliminates the stress that is usually absorbed by the joints during exercise.

For this reason, patients with degenerative disc disease may find pain relief from doing light stretches or exercises in the pool. Backstroke is often recommended because it promotes a neutral spine, and reduces the risk of hyperextension associated with other swim strokes. Those who are not ready for swimming may opt to try water aerobics, which can help strengthen the core and lower back muscles.

You May Like: What’s The Best Treatment For Lower Back Pain

What Are The Best Swimming Strokes To Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Reader Question 398 votes

A

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.

Exercise : Wall Circles

Wall circles are an easy place to start in the water, especially if youre not an accomplished swimmer. These simple exercises take advantage of the natural buoyancy of your body in water to give you a great low-impact workout that will help your muscle alignment and range of motion.

Walk along the wall of the pool until you are neck deep in the pool. Thanks to buoyancy, youll now feel only 10% of your bodys weight. Put your body perpendicular to the wall, holding on with one hand. Next, take your foot and draw a half circle along the floor of the pool. Do 5 10 circles, then do the other side the same way. Repeat 3 to 5 times, as comfortable.

After working your legs, turn to your arms. Extend the hand not holding the wall straight out away from your body. Thinking of your arm as a solid piece from your shoulder to your hand, draw a small circle under the water, as though you were circling a tennis ball. Do 5 to 10 circles then switch sides. Repeat these sets 3 to 5 times as comfortable.

Why circles? Theyre great for opening up your major joints and expanding your range of motion. On land, our bodies almost never do circular motion, but in water its easy. This lets you work your muscles in different ways to build balance and strength while removing stiffness, tightness, and pain. If you want to do even more, combine side leg raises with the circle sets to build lower body strength.

Recommended Reading: When Should I Go To The Doctor For Back Pain

Dont Plunge Over Your Workdesk

When sitting in an office chair, make use of the exact same excellent position techniques you utilize when standing. Its vital to keep excellent posture as well as sustain your back when sitting down, specifically if you do it for a number of hrs daily. Pick a high quality chair that supplies firm support for your reduced back, and make sure your knees are a bit higher than your hips when you rest. Is Swimming A Good Exercise For Lower Back Pain

Swimming Therapy For Back Pain

Swimming Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Back pain can occur anywhere along the spine or in the muscles, tendons or ligaments supporting the spine. The spine has three sections called the cervical , thoracic and lumbar . Back pain often develops due to injury, disease and aging.

Lower back pain is common in people who sit for long periods of time, which causes the spine to compress. Swimming for lower back pain and pain elsewhere in the back can bring relief.

Swimming is good exercise and uses the whole body without causing joint stress or the risk of falling. Swimming helps people:

  • Maintain joint flexibility
  • Improve blood circulation which promotes healing
  • Help maintain or lose weight.

Most people with back pain can begin swimming to prevent or manage back pain. It is a good choice of exercise for people who are at high risk of straining their back at work, frequently experience low back pain or experience a mild injury to their spine or back muscles.

However, swimming can also be a form of therapy for people who experience chronic back pain due to a disease. Swimming strengthens the muscles supporting the spinal column in general and the area around one or more injured or diseased discs, lessening pain. Swimming can help people who have:

Recommended Reading: How To Remedy Lower Back Pain

How Does Swimming Ease Back Pain

When a patient struggles with lower back pain, the temptation may be to rest and avoid exercise altogether. However, thats one of the worst things you can do. Too much rest can cause the muscles that support the lower back to atrophy. When these muscles weaken, they cannot stabilize the spine properly, which causes the patients condition to worsen. For that reason, experts agree that performing strengthening exercises for these muscles is essential for spinal health.

Exercises performed on land put a lot of strain on the spine. Activities in the water, like swimming, however, allow patients with lower back pain to strengthen the muscles that support the spine without the stress. The buoyancy of the water takes the pressure off the spine and joints.

Is Swimming A Good Exercise For Lower Back Pain

Back pain can be debilitating specifically when your daily life involves movement. If you take care of back pain, right here are some incredible tips that can aid ease your misery.Sleep with a cushion under your knees Is Swimming A Good Exercise For Lower Back Pain

When you have back pain, sleeping can be tough. It can be a vicious cycle since when you do not obtain enough rest, your back pain might feel even worse. A bad rest position can also exacerbate back pain. Attempt lying on your side. Location a cushion in between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral placement and eliminate stress on your back. If you need to sleep on your back, slide a pillow under your knees. Be sure to sleep on a conveniently strong mattress.

Recommended Reading: Why Do I Have Sudden Lower Back Pain

Splash Away Back Pain By Swimming This Summer

School is out for summer and youre headed to your favorite watering hole to beat the heat the beaches, pools, and lakes. This time of year presents back pain sufferers with an excellent exercise alternative that doesnt usually strain or add weight to the back. Many people with low back pain can properly modify the way they swim to either prevent worsening low back pain, or strengthen the lower back muscles to maintain good strength and muscle tone.

Before diving in, its important to understand proper form to prevent back pain while swimming. Try these 3 strokes:

  • BACKSTROKE:
  • Backstroke minimizes the stress on the spine in comparison to forward strokes, as it is slower and relies on a neutral head in line with the spine. This stroke does require strong abdominal muscles so it is important to ease into it, until your core is strong.

  • FREE STYLE
  • Free style can be potentially dangerous as many people extend the neck, resulting in neck and low back injuries. Combat this by rotating the head and keeping the body straight while coming up for breaths. Avoid jerking the head during breaths.

  • BREASTSTROKE
  • This stroke is often a favored stroke for patients with spine problems, as it ensures that the head and neck are held still and requires only minimal head raising when inhaling.

    Again, without proper form some swimming strokes can cause lower back pain.

    FOLLOW THESE 6 TIPS TO ENSURE A HEALTHY BACK AND PREVENT FURTHER INJURIES:

    Swimming Exercises For A Sore Back

    The Best Swimming Style for Back Pain

    Swimming and water exercises can help people with acute or chronic back pain in their fitness journey without placing stress on the back. Swimming is low impact, does not involve weights, and the water provides active resistance, making the exercise more effective. Not all exercises are equal, even in the pool. Focus your efforts on these five swimming exercises for a sore back here.

    Read Also: How To Sleep When Having Lower Back Pain

    The Different Types Of Swimming Environments

    Where are you? What does your environment look and feel like? I want you to take a look at your surroundings and future [ aces you will be in. The reason I want you to do this is because its as highly important to not do the wrong exercises, do the right exercises, as much as it is to pick the place youll be swimming in.

    Think about the example I used earlier with the ocean.

    This body of water source is:

    • A force to be reckoned with
    • can get bumpy-many waves
    • indoor pool
    • gym pool

    The question is, are they all good? Well, that can be based on multiple factors. Like for example. In a river, there will be many fish, rocks, sloped mudslides for you to do an appropriate exercise, let alone maintain balance. Its not impossible, its just a clutter, and there are a much of variables that are masked below the water for your safety

    So you can see where Im going with this. I can take any example above and give you a clear picture, but ultimately, you want to stick to pools as much as possible.

    And heres why:

    • you can schedule a workout with your local gym

    And so much more!

    Is Swimming Good For Back Pain

    Generally, exercising with back pain is encouraged as it encourages blood flow and increased circulation through the body. This is because it can help carry nutrition to the muscles and tissues, improve your strength and flexibility and release natural endorphins that can be a source of powerful pain relief. In the case where the patient is older, more frail, or simply their back pain is quite severe, swimming can generally be a good exercise to participate in. This is because it is able to take the pressure off your muscles and spine in a very safe way. If you find your back pain is restricting your movement quite significantly, simply getting down to the pool perhaps with a friend at first and just walking up and down in a shallow section can be enough to ease the pressure on your back and get some movement and circulation through your back in a safe way.

    Don’t Miss: Are Epidural Injections For Back Pain Safe

    Water Workouts For Back Pain Provide Strength And Resistance

    An aerobic exercise is any exercise that uses the big muscles of your body in a rhythmic and repetitive way. Aerobic exercise can get blood flowing to your back muscles, which can really help them recover from injury and increase their strength. Walking is a good low-impact aerobics choice for your back, but swimming may be an even better workout for back pain if you get backaches.

    “Swimming could be the best low-impact aerobics back pain exercise,” says Mepham. “Water provides both support and resistance. Almost any workout for back pain done in the water is beneficial and safe for back pain.”

    What Stroke Is Best For Back Pain

    Is Swimming Good for Back Pain? | Swimming For Back Pain

    In terms of strokes that are better with back pain. We generally advise that backstroke is one of the best if you do have back pain. This is because it keeps your back and neck in a neutral position, and can be a simple stroke to learn if youve not been swimming since you were younger, or its not a regular activity for you. Stay in a shallow area to begin with to build confidence, and if the pool is relatively busy they often have printed or ingrained lines on the ceiling you can follow with your eyes to make sure youre swimming in a straight line. This stroke will help ease your movement, pressure and tension build-up in the lower back, as well as helping to reduce any inflammation and relieve stiff joints.

    Also Check: What Helps Nerve Pain In Lower Back

    First Why Is Swimming Good For Back Pain

    Swimming is a great and relatively safer form of exercise. The buoyancy in water eliminates the force of gravity on your back allowing you to exercise without putting unnecessary strains on the back.

    Exercises such as running puts lots of strain on the back. In fact, it can even compress your back and cause pain in the long run. Cycling is also strains in the back. Even though it is better than running. Swimming however puts very little to no stress on the back.

    Swimming loosens up tight and strained muscles in the back. Contracted muscles in the back can lead to pain. Swimming relaxes these tight muscles and provide you with relief.

    For most people, swimming provides a sense of calmness and peace. This goes beyond just emotional feeling. This can equally take you out of stress generally. As you are probably aware of, stress can make back pain worse. Stress can tighten up shoulder and back muscles. Swimming is a great way to reverse this.

    Another amazing benefit of swimming is that it works out various types of muscles of the body. Including muscles that are seldomly used. It also works out muscles are that are left out during traditional exercise. By working out these various kinds of muscles, swimming helps strengthens the body generally and by doing so it stabilizes the spine and increase its overall health.

    Those who did the exercise at least 2 times a week had more improvements than those who did it once per week.

    Swimming does relieve back pain!

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular