Exercise is one of the best things you can do for back pain, and swimming can be a great choice of activity as it doesn’t usually put excess strain on the spine.
But as with any kind of exercise, it’s crucial that you use proper form and technique to avoid back pain when swimming. Unnatural or awkward movements can damage spine tissues; therefore it’s important to maintain the correct strokes and movements. To ensure you keep your back safe in the pool, follow these simple tips from our Bournemouth chiropractor …
- When swimming in the front crawl position (or other forward strokes) using a snorkel can also be helpful in reducing any awkward movement of your neck.
- Wear a mask or goggles to swim. These will reduce any unintentional jerky head movements while you attempt to get water out of your eyes. Using a board or a float will also help you to maintain proper form while swimming.
- If you find that swimming aggravates your back pain, seek the advice of a swimming coach. If they observe you swimming, they may be able to identify something wrong with your strokes and advise you on how to improve your technique.
Swimming Stroke Tips
Here are some important things to be aware of when swimming in certain strokes:
- When swimming freestyle, try not to rotate your head too much when taking breaths. Also, try not to let your head move up too much from the axis along the length of the body. Deviating from this axis, or rotating your head too much, can lead to neck and back injuries while swimming. Similarly, keep your head looking downwards when you’re not going up for breaths.
- If you want to try backstroke, ease into it gradually and avoid doing too much too soon. The muscles along the front of the neck tend to become fatigued if you have not used this stroke for a long time.
- When attempting any flip turns, make sure your head is tucked in and avoid extending it outward from your body.
- If you do breaststroke, keep your head and neck still and gently raise your head and back to take breaths
We hope you find these tips helpful. Done the right way, swimming can be extremely beneficial to the health of your spine, so be sure to take this advice on board the next time you hit the pool!