Every physical activity carries some risk of muscle pain, and swimming can put a lot of stress on your upper body. The good news is that with care, you can not only avoid hurting yourself in the pool but perhaps use swimming to reduce back pain you may already have. It's good to be eager to jump in, but too much enthusiasm can lead to back problems if you aren't careful.
In addition to stretching, resting and taking it easy, there are some important steps you can take to keep your back in good shape while still getting some exercise. Now that we're at the height of summer, it's the perfect time to enjoy yourself while still taking these efforts to stay healthy:
- Do the backstroke…but do it correctly: In a New York Times column, U.S.A. Olympic Swimming physician Dr. Scott Rodeo said the backstroke could reduce strain. "With all the other strokes, you have the potential for some spine hyperextension," he said. "With the backstroke, being on your back, you don't have as much hyperextension." However, make sure you're doing this correctly, so you don't accidentally cause yourself more pain in the process.
- Keep strong water posture: While it may take some training, USA Swimming recommends keeping a consistent posture along the head and spine while swimming. Swimmers can lift their heads too high or rotate their necks too much in the water, so keep this in mind.
- Pay attention to what you're body's telling you: Persistent pain shouldn't be ignored. Take any warning signs seriously and talk to a doctor if you have concerns.
Only a professional chiropractor can provide guaranteed help in reducing swimming-related pain. Avoid making things worse by working with a knowledgeable specialist today.