Beyond Rest and Paracetamol: Swimming Can Help Reduce Back Pain

Swimming in AuroraMany of us choose to lie on the bed when back pain strikes, believing the tissues will heal faster if you rest.

Rest, however, is not as helpful for healing back pain as we might think. As a matter of fact, complete and prolonged bed rest does not help get rid of back pain at all — it may even delay your recovery, too.

So apart from taking paracetamol, what else can you do to reduce the pain? The Labs suggests that you enroll in a swimming school.

Why is Swimming Good for Back Pain?

Most tissues in the body recover quicker from pain if they are gently used, so stay as active as possible.

Swimming is one of the best ways for people with back pain to stay active, as this is a low-impact exercise and is not weight bearing, so it does not cause further damage to the muscles.

The weightless feel of the water, combined with the pressure, also takes the stress off the tissues and joints, allowing them to relax. Once these structures relax, the compression on the nerves is reduced, therefore also reducing back pain.

In addition, swimming can strengthen the core and back muscles.

Swimming Exercises and Strokes for Back Pain

You can do the four most common swimming strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Each of these uses different movement patterns and muscles, promoting pain-free movement in all directions.

Make sure that you do not rotate your head too much; doing so will make your head deviate from the axis along the length of your body, which may result in back injury. Always make sure the strokes are executed properly as well, and that the movements should not be jerky. In addition, alternate your strokes to avoid excessive muscle strain or change sides regularly.

As such, swimming is definitely a good way to reduce back pain. If nothing else, splashing about in a pool or doing butterfly strokes is definitely a lot more fun than lying on a bed and swallowing tablets.