Swimming is considered a beneficial activity in alleviating pain and tension.
It’s a great way to keep active while avoiding undue stress to your back and neck. However, there are instances when swimming can also result in back pain and back injuries.
Some tips which may help you avoid pain and injury……
- Turning your head too far up whilst swimming (front crawl, doggie paddle, sidestroke etc)can result in neck and back injuries. Swimmers normally roll their heads upwards to the right to breathe out of the water on the upstroke of the right arm.
- It is advisable rotate the head upwards only within the axis of the body, and keeping the head down the rest of the time when not going up for air.
If you are recovering from old injuries I would advise seeking professional advice and to take lessons to ensure you have a good swimming technique.
- If you have neck tension, or are a confirmed computer/ laptop/desk-slumper you may find back stroke a stroke to avoid initially. The reason is that, if not conditioned properly, the anterior (front) neck muscles become subject to stress while doing the backstroke.
Back stroke should always be performed gradually to avoid excessive muscle strain.
- If you are ’Tumble’ or ‘Flip’ turning remember to use the correct technique Remember you can get an adverse effect on the neck and back muscles if the head is overextended from the body and not tucked in.
- While doing the breaststroke, the head and neck are held still, with only a minimal head raise to take in air.
Constant back pain signals the need to cease all swimming activities consult a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis, if you continue to swim despite the pain this can be detrimental to healing your back and will cause the condition to worsen,
in rare and extreme cases severe back pain may require surgery.
But, please don’t get alarmed or disillusioned….in general, swimming is a beneficial activity that may help alleviate symptoms of back pain.