Swimming Can Help with Chiropractic Care
Everybody into the water! Summer is here and for many people, particularly on Long Island, that means it’s time to head to the beach or the local swimming pool. At Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, we know that swimming is a great aerobic exercise that can lead to optimum health. It has helped ease and prevent pain for many of our patients. At the same time, if done incorrectly, swimming can also cause lower back pain problems. We want our patients to understand both the rewards and risks to your back that come with swimming so you can enjoy water fun and understand if you need to seek help for back pain.
How Swimming Can Cause Back Pain
According to the swimming news website SwimSwam, studies show that 16 percent of elite swimmers have low back pain injuries, with some studies reporting rates of up to 77 to 87 percent among both active and recreational swimmers. The major cause of lower back pain for competitive swimmers is poor mechanics, SwimSwam says. For example, lower back pain can result if the swimmer has poor head or body position.
Of particular concern, is the butterfly and the breaststroke because these strokes put greater stress on the lower back. The power generated by the kick of lower back strokes depends on the joints of the lower back as well as the hips, knees, and ankles. But if the pelvis is tilted too far, the joints in the vertebrae can compress.
During frontal strokes such as the butterfly, breaststroke or crawl, the lower back can become hyper-extended, while the upper back and neck can be jerked backward repeatedly, according to the website, Spine Health.
Ways Swimming Can Help Your Back Get Stronger
But Spine Health says that swimming can also help prevent back pain by strengthening your back if recreational swimmers take the following steps:
- Use proper form for strokes
- Keep your body level in the water
- Use side or back strokes, if preferable
- Roll the body to the side and keep the chin in when taking breaths during the crawl to avoid jerking your head backward
- Use a snorkel and goggles to cut down on head movement
- Use flotation devices to maintain proper form
If you do suffer from back pain, Spine Health also offers some other tips. They advise competitive swimmers to work with coaches or athletic trainers to perfect your stroke and to focus on spine friendly strokes.
Another thing to consider is water therapy. This is an exercise program that takes place in warm water. Patients will get some of the benefits of swimming and will relieve some of the pressure that the spine takes during exercise programs. The warm water will relax tight muscles and give you a better range of motion, according to Spine Health. It’s all known to help patients be more calm and peaceful.
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness Can Help Ease Your Back Pain
At Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, we want to help our patients achieve a healthy lifestyle in as many ways possible. Exercise programs are a big part of that. But we also know that athletes and everyday people get injured during exercise. If you’re concerned that you may have lower back pain because of swimming or if you’re suffering pain for other reasons, we can help. Contact us today.
Please note that the author of this piece is not a doctor and the information in this material is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.