3 Essential Tips for Swimming with Back Pain

You contacted a swimming pool contractor in New Jersey over the winter months and had your pool installed so it would be up and ready to go when the weather was hot enough to swim. Now, that the time has come, you find that after only a little swimming, the pain in your lower back is almost unbearable.

While there are many health benefits to swimming, however, swimming is a form of exercise. And as with other types of exercise, you need to be careful what you do and how you do it. There are quite a few maneuvers and strokes that can actually make your back or neck issues worse. That’s why there are quite a few dos and don’ts of swimming if you have any type of back or neck condition. Read on below for a few of those and some essential tips to help you do the sport you love. 

Avoid shear forces 

There are quite a few swimming workouts for swimming with lower back pain. However, you should always make sure to avoid shear forces. Many strokes create shear, which in turn breaks down sensitive structures in your back causing damage and pain that is hard to tolerate. Below you’ll find a couple of tips that will help you avoid those shear forces. 

  • Using a mask and snorkel can prevent you from having to raise your head every few seconds to get air, which arches your lower back
  • Work with a coach or trainer that will teach you strokes that will help you avoid shear force, but still be able to get that morning swim workout in

Try water therapy 

If you’re a swimming enthusiast but are doing it less and less because of the pain in your lower back, you might be able to start with water therapy and work your way back to full swimming. Also known as pool therapy, this takes place in warm water and is an exercise program that many benefit from. Your back pain will benefit from not only the buoyancy of the water, but from the gentle resistance, as well. It is also a good alternative to swimming if your back pain just want allow you to do it anymore. Water therapy can also give you a feeling of calm and peace, which is actually good for the pain. 

Focus on strokes that are spine-friendly

There are different strokes that will affect your lower back in different ways. The truth is, however, that there is no safe stroke for those who suffer from back pain. It depends on quite a number of factors, such as your swimming ability, what the underlying cause of your back pain is, and even your workout intensity. The best thing is to contact your doctor or primary care provider.

Consult your primary health care provider

Before you decide to start water therapy or even take up swimming as an exercise, you should first consult with your primary health care provider. They will tell you if swimming is the right choice for you. If your pain persists even with the tips above and talking to your doctor, try contacting the spinal specialists in New Jersey for an appointment to see if there is an underlying cause for your problem and to learn how they can treat it for you. 

These are just a few tips to help you swim when you have back pain. Remember, as with any exercise if it hurts your back, stop doing it. You need to talk to your primary health care provider to find a solution instead. 

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