How swimming can alleviate back pain

Swimming (940 × 600px)

Swimming can be a great aerobic exercise choice for people with back pain as when done properly, it is a no-impact form of exercise, often recommended for those recovering from injuries or surgery, and people for whom higher-impact exercises such as running would be painful or dangerous. Unlike other types of cardio that can be tough on the body, swimming not only burns calories and builds muscle, but it’s also refreshing.

Having our body weight in water can allow for relaxation and support of muscles and joints, and can even reduce compression forces on nerves. These things allow for building muscle strength and release endorphins which also help with tackling back pain.

Having a good technique while swimming is important, as incorrect technique over time, can result in tension through the torso and lower back, causing aches and pains.

Front crawl and backstroke are usually the safest swimming strokes to use as the positions required for breaststroke can often place strain along the neck and back, especially with incorrect technique. This may worsen pre-existing lower back pain, however a good breaststroke technique can also help strengthen the upper back and shoulders.

As with any form of exercise, any significant worsening of pain symptoms should be discussed with your GP or a Physiotherapist.

Also if you don’t feel like you’re a strong swimmer, it might be a good idea to seek out some basic adult swimming lessons before embarking on a regular routine.