Back pain can carry a double whammy. Painful back muscles may prevent you from exercising comfortably. But a lack
of exercise may inhibit your back from healing and may actually make the condition worse. Swimming can be an excellent solution to your problem. Fortunately, swimming provides a great full body workout.
• Water counteracts the forces of gravity, taking pressure off the spine.
• You get an excellent cardiovascular workout and increase blood flow to affected areas, without the stress on the joints that jogging causes.
• And the resistance training you get by pulling your body through the water helps you strengthen your muscles, which may relieve certain forms of back pain.
But you cannot just dive in to a swimming program if you suffer from back pain. Repetitive or awkward movements in the pool have the potential to aggravate your pain. You need to be sure that your swimming style fits your needs.
Depending on your situation, other activities may be more appropriate.
• Water aerobics, which includes marching in place, jumping jacks and movements mimicking cross-country skiing, accomplishes many of the same goals as swimming. The workout may also incorporate equipment such as flotation devices.
• “Dry-land” exercises, such as walking and stair climbing in the pool, may also prove effective.
Before beginning any program to relieve back pain, consult us. We can custom design a program that addresses your specific needs while considering your personal preferences.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Gladfelter, MPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Women's Health Physical Therapy Specialist at PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness
Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, educator, author, and co-founder of PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness. She is known as a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and women’s health specialist in the Silicon Valley area.
Kim has helped men and women of all ages to stay active and feel their best. She also writes about managing pain in her health columns, blogs and the local Los Altos Town Crier newspaper as well as reaches out to the local community, support groups, schools, libraries, and sports centers to advise and educate on body awareness and therapeutic exercise.