Everything You Need To Know About Swimming With Back Pain

Swimming is often used as a go-to resource for back pain sufferers. Whether it’s for back pain relief or a part of your post-surgery rehab swimming seems to have a pretty solid reputation. 

With most things when it comes to low back pain even swimming with back pain has its pros and cons. 

Sure there are benefits such as being weightless, low impact, and gentle on most lower backs but it can also pick the scab of WHY your low back hurts in the first place. 

In this week’s video, I break down the most important do’s and don’ts of swimming with low back pain and how you should use it for back pain relief. 

Can Swimming Aggravate Back Pain?

Yes, swimming can aggravate back pain which is why it’s so important to do a little digging into your own personal pain triggers before jumping into the pool. 

I talk a lot about knowing your pain threshold and respecting it when it comes to movement and activity. These same rules apply to being in the water. 

Just as much as swimming can be great for lower back pain if you go about it recklessly or look at swimming as a blanket approach to lower back pain relief it’s not going to work in your favor. 

Some key things to think about when thinking about using swimming as a remedy for your lower back pain:

  • Do you know why your lower back hurts in the first place?
  • Do you understand intimately what your personal pain triggers are when it comes to your lower back pain?
  • Do you know where your trainable threshold is at before your symptoms start to flare up?
  • How much time do you spend correcting the things you do OUT of the water that could be contributing to your pain?

Knowing these aspects of your lower back pain before you dive into the pool will play a big role in how well the swimming will help your achy back.

What Is The Best Swimming Stroke For Low Back Pain

This is always a fun question because it usually leads to really diving into with the person and unpacking their situation. 

In the video, I break this down more so be sure to check that out for all the details but in a nutshell, you can only play off of what your body can handle. 

Take for example the breststroke.

This is often a trigger for most low back pain warriors because it puts more pressure on the lower back than some of the others you have available. 

So it’s important that you explore other variations of swimming such as the sidestroke or backstroke that keep your lower back in a more variable position for you. 

The cool thing about swimming strokes is that you can modify them to fit your needs. Sure if you’re an Olympic athlete you gotta just dig deep and make the best of it but for the majority of you reading this you either want to get back to swimming or maybe experiment with swimming to get relief. 

If that’s you create your own stroke that fits your needs and comfort level. 

Where Should I Start If My lower Back Hurts?

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