Aging. Injury. Arthritis. Overdoing it. There are so many reasons we wake up with back pain. Whether it’s a chronic pain or a pain suffered because you lifted too much, worked out too hard or swimply moved the wrong way, you can swim away a lot of the pain.
Back pain could be a symptom of a sedentary lifestyle, but whatever the reason, if it gets too bad you’ll find it hurts to sit or stand or lie down — frankly even taking a breath can make it hurt. What can you do if you don’t want to rely on pain medications? You could swim.
You don’t have to swim laps or dive off the diving board, simply being in the pool and slowly moving through the water is a great way to start feeling better and to relax the tight muscles that are causing the pain.
Talk with your doctor and he might just agree that being in a swimming pool could be the best thing you can do for your back. Being in water allows you to let its buoyancy support your weight while allowing you to move — in many cases without as much pain. Moving is one of the best things you can do when your back aches, but it’s a double edged sword. Moving hurts. Not moving hurts.
The water relieves the stress, strain and weight from your joints and helps you get moving without as much pain.
If you’re in pain you may not want to think about exercise, but exercise is crucial for overall health and well being. Ease yourself into the swimming pool or hot tub and you might find relief from your back pain.
Swim Away Your Back Pain
What do you need to ease your back pain in your swimming pool?
- A swim suit
- A towel
- A pool noodle
- A kickboard
- Exercise bands and/or pool weights
- A floatation belt to help you with exercises in the deep end and to decrease pressure on your back when you’re in the shallow end of the pool.
The time spent in the pool for back pain sufferers and anyone who is in a pool for health reasons is a way to build muscle, strengthen your core and use the resistance and buoyancy of the water to do all of that.
Start Out Slowly
Ease yourself into the pool and ease yourself into any kind of workout routine. Your time in the swimming pool might not be considered a “workout routine” if you’re simply walking back and forth or using a kick board to go from end to end — but it is! Give yourself credit for taking the first step to alleviate your back pain.
Walking and lunges are great warm up exercises.
How to do them:
- Walk back and forth in the shallow end for a few laps.
- Add in deep lunges to stretch the muscles in the back of your legs.
- Walk in either waist deep or chest deep water and use the water’s natural resistance to help warm you up.
- Start out walking slowly then build up to faster walking or even jogging.
- Add in lunges and do three sets of ten, then you’re ready to move on.
Do this for five minutes.
How to do them
- Hold onto the side of the pool or a kickboard and kick.
- If you’re using a kickboard, do a few laps. If you’re holding on to the side of the pool, kick for about five minutes.
- Kick some more.
- Get your hips into the action of the water kicks by standing near the wall so you can hold on if you need to. Keep your knee straight and bring one leg forward then back behind you.
Kick for three sets of ten then switch legs.
How to do this:
- This is just what it sounds like. Walking sideways works different muscles than does forward walking.
- Face the pool wall, toes facing forward then take wide steps sideways until you reach the other side of the pool.
- Sideways walk your way back.
How to do this:
- Strengthen your abs and your core, you might relieve some of the pain on your lower back.
- Wearing your flotation belt, bring both knees up to your chest then down – do ten reps.
- Add in spine twisting by rotating your knees to the right and then the left as you bring them up.
Exercise cool down
How to do this:
- Water walking is an ideal way to cool down from your exercise routine.
- Cool down for five to ten minutes.
- Add in some sideways walking if you wish to switch it up a bit.
Here’s to your back health!
If your back pain is lessened you may just sleep better and that will improve everything in your life. Moving around and exercising — even for thirty minutes, or only fifteen minutes — a day will help you get down the road toward better health.
Start out slowly and see if spending time moving slowly through your swimming pool will help you get rid of your back pain.