Millions of people in the United States suffer from mild to severe back pain, which often makes even menial tasks difficult. They are always looking for new ways to exercise to relieve their pain, and many have turned to backyard swimming pools.
Is swimming good for back pain? The quick answer is yes, but it is a lot more involved than that. Therefore, we are going to look at how swimming provides temporary and chronic back pain relief, which types of swimming exercises are most beneficial, and how to optimize your results.
First off, let’s take a look at the benefits of swimming for back pain relief:
Nervous System Relaxation
In some cases, a person’s tense muscles will cause back pain, which, in turn, can aggravate certain spinal conditions. With its ability to release endorphins, swimming can help your nervous system and tense muscles relax.
Relieves Pressure on Joints
People who suffer from back pain due to weak or susceptible joints often find certain activities difficult due to the pressure of their weight. The buoyancy of the water relieves pressure on your joints, providing relief from back pain and making exercise easier.
Muscle Development for Spinal Support
In addition to its ability to support your spine and joints, the increased resistance while swimming will help build muscle. Strengthening the muscles in certain areas of your body will help improve your spine’s stability, thereby providing pain relief.
Swimming Exercises for Back Pain Relief
Here are some of the most effective types of swimming exercises used for back pain relief:
All types of swim strokes will engage a variety of muscles in your back, which will help relieve pain. The best strategy is to start slowly, perhaps twice a week, and ask a swim coach to assist you with the proper stroke technique to help strengthen your back rather than strain it.
Anyone who has attempted to walk around inside a pool knows that there is a great deal of resistance involved. What you may not realize is that this resistance will build up multiple muscles, including those in your back.
Water aerobics has been utilized for many decades as a form of cardiovascular exercise, and it helps build muscles and increase flexibility. It engages a variety of muscles, including the strengthening of back muscles that will provide you with pain relief.
How to Optimize Back Pain Relief Results
Lastly, here are a few general guidelines to help optimize your results:
Avoid Repeated Rotation
Certain types of swim strokes can hurt your back, so one thing you can do is use a mask and snorkel to avoid arching your lower back while going up for air or turning your head. The better strategy, however, is to do as we suggest above, which is to ask a coach or athletic trainer for help.
In addition to learning how to perform the perfect stroke, you can focus on spine-friendly strokes whenever you take a swim. These include the butterfly, breaststroke, freestyle, and backstroke.
Start with Water Therapy
If you love to swim but discover that it’s a little hard on your back, we suggest that you begin with water therapy instead. This is a beneficial exercise program that uses the water’s gentle resistance and buoyancy to relax tight muscles and gain a greater range of motion.
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