Back pain is the worst. If you have experienced it, then you know what I mean. I occasionally get back pain that is so severe I can’t stand up. My doctor actually prescribed me muscle relaxants… that’s how bad it got!
Am I not taking good enough care of my body? I exercise regularly. And I eat well. I even try to do these stretches that the chiropractor suggested.
Then it hit me… Maybe swimming would help! All the research I’ve read boasts on how swimming is an amazing rehabilitation workout. However, I wanted to make sure that I approached this endeavor the right way. So I dug in a little further and this is what I found:
First off, if you have a chronic issue that is so severe you have seen a physician, you should always clear any new exercise regimens with them.
Every body is different and therefore every solution may be slightly different. This is not a “one size fits all” theory.
Second, if you are just starting swimming with the aim of rehabilitation, ease in. Start off with just a couple times a week. Don’t plunge in with a 2 hour swim everyday. That will aggravate your body. You have to build up stamina.
Technique, technique, technique
Third, watch your technique. This is important to ensure that you are promoting healing in your body instead of causing more havoc. It may be nice bring a more experienced swimmer when you are first learning so they can supervise you and help you build good habits.
Fourth, choose your stroke wisely. The butterfly and freestyle strokes involve a lot of twisting and trunk rotation…which may not be the best for a bad back.
The breaststroke and backstroke may be a better fit. Especially the backstroke. It’s a lot less common to hyperextend your back with that stroke. All the other strokes carry some risk of hyperextension.
But again, if you are using correst technique, hyperextension shouldn’t be as much of an issue.
As you start this new journey and quest to a hopefully much happier back, might I suggest a little something extra to ease your pain? It’s called the Waterproof iPod Shuffle from Underwater Audio.
Imagine how much nicer it is to go to the gym and swim when you are entertaining the company of your favorite music while you’re there. It’s truly a much more enjoyable experience.
If you have any questions on this blog or our product, feel free to write to us in the comment section below.