Dr. Marr's Newsletters
Swimming is beneficial for your back pain when done with proper techniques.
Warm weather is here and for many of us it's time for swimming in pools, lakes and oceans.
Swimming is a great form of exercise, which works almost every muscle in your body without putting weight on your back. It helps you to stay fit, strengthens your heart and lungs, and increases overall endurance. Plus it is relaxing and a great stress relief.
Swimming can help with your back pain as long as you use proper techniques.
If you suffer from back pain do not overuse forward strokes because it can over stretch your low back and actually cause more pain. It is better to use sidestrokes or backstrokes to lessen stress on your back.
With all the benefits of swimming there are several precautions to avoid neck and low back injuries.
Here are some tips from About.com for preventing back pain from swimming
- Use proper form for front strokes while swimming; keep body level in the water (hold lower abdominal muscles up and in) and keep the head straight rather than lifted
- Swim with side or back strokes instead of front strokes
- Roll the body to the side and keep the chin in when taking breaths during the crawl, rather than jerking the head backward, to reduce the amount of movement in the neck while swimming
- Use a snorkel to eliminate the need to move the head for breaths
- Wear goggles to reduce improper head movements when trying to keep water out of the eyes
- Use flotation devices (noodles, boards, life preservers) to maintain proper form when swimming
So next time you are heading to the pool, lake or ocean make sure to also swim a few laps. Stay healthy and happy!
Q&A from Dr. Glenn Marr
Q: I have pain in my leg but I did not have any injury. What can cause this pain?
Dr. Marr: This can be a pain caused from a pinched nerves in the lower back region. The pain radiates down the nerve in your leg, which is called the sciatic nerve. We can help by chiropractic adjustment to the lower back or acupuncture for the sciatic nerve.
Q: I feel numbness and tingling in my hands and forearms. How can I get help with this problem without medication?
Dr. Marr: Many times the nerves from the upper back and neck can be inflamed, which cause the muscle to go into spasm and create symptoms in the hands and arms. Acupuncture can illuminate this problem in many cases.