Just because Summer is officially over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time in the pool, especially if you are experiencing back pain. Sitting on the couch may sound like a more comfortable, ideal thing to do, but if you are experiencing back pain, finding an indoor pool could help relieve any pain you have. When done gently and safely, certain water workouts can actually help alleviate back pain and stop it from getting worse.
Back pain is often a sign of weak back muscles; therefore, low-impact water workouts are an excellent way of strengthening your back muscles. Working out in a pool also provides your body with a cushion which can take stress off your back and help you move more freely, something exercising on land does not provide. This also helps minimize any risk of injury.
Pool exercises can be helpful at any age and fitness level. They can be adapted to suit different goals and conditions. Please keep in mind the importance of speaking with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.
Types of Pool Exercises
- Water Walking: Once you get in the water, start walking around the pool, feeling the pull of the water. Continue by taking long strides forward and backward, beginning in the shallow end and working up to chest-high water. Make sure you keep your spine straight and torso steady while swinging your arms.
- Knee-to-Chest: Begin by standing on your right leg with your knee barely bent. If you need to, hold on to the side of the pool with your right hand for support. Then bend your left knee and lift your left leg up until your knee reaches your chest. Lower it back down. Complete five repetitions and then switch sides.
- Kickboard Balance: Balance yourself by sitting on a kickboard or swim board. Try to keep your spine straight and engage your abdominals. Your legs should be resting naturally. You can raise your arms out to the sides or your hands can be on your hips or gently holding the ends of the kickboard. Hold this position for 60 seconds. If you are up for a challenge, try kneeling on the board.
- Superman Stretch: With both hands shoulder-width a part and your arms straight, hold on to the side of the pool. Lift your legs behind you, spreading them a part, so you are floating belly-down. The water will support your weight while your vertebrae and back muscles get a full-extension stretch. Try putting your face in the water, also, for a few seconds to give your neck a rest.
- Water Aerobics: Water aerobic classes include moves like exercises you might do on land, such as dancing, running, and jumping jacks. A water aerobic class should include a warm-up and a cool-down with a lot of flexibility exercises. The teacher should have special training in aquatic fitness. It is also important to make sure you speak with your doctor before trying it and let your teacher know of your condition so they can modify exercises for you.
- Lap Swimming: This can help ease back pain, however, the strokes used and your form are important. Make sure your head and neck are in line with your spine and think about using goggles and a snorkel so your face can stay in the water as much as possible. Begin with the breast or back stroke. These involve less hyperextension than twisting, rotating moves, like the butterfly and freestyle stroke.
The staff here at North County Pain Relief are well-trained chiropractors who are dedicated on educating our patients and making sure they leave their appointments with a little less pain. Contact us today at (314) 731-4201 so you can start living pain free.