PreparationWherever the swimming therapy will take place, it is vital that the individual feels comfortable at the location, in the water, knows how to swim as this puts an individual at ease, not worrying about their surroundings and able to focus completely on their therapy/rehab. If an individual is not a confident swimmer, the therapy can be done in shallow water or a rehabilitation pool and if cleared with a doctor taking swimming lessons with back pain in mind could be part of a therapy program. Once confident in the water warm-up in the shallow end or do some walking/cycling before actual swimming.
Therapeutic StrokesStrokes for the therapeutic workout will be determined by the doctor, specialist, chiropractor, therapist, etc. These strokes are recommended to protect the spine while keeping pain at bay. Although individual cases are completely unique, and a doctor/therapist could recommend other strokes, the safest strokes found for back pain are the freestyle and the backstroke. Strokes like the butterfly or breaststroke cause a natural extension/arch in the low back, which can be quite painful. So a patient does not have to lift their heads, which could cause them to arch their backs as well, could benefit using a center snorkel.
Regimen Frequency, LengthLike all forms of exercise, especially when dealing with back pain moderation is the way to go avoiding repetitive/overuse injuries. Soreness after the workout that goes away within a few hours is normal. But if the soreness lasts to the next day, this could the body warning the patient they are doing too much. For swimming, therapists usually recommend three days a week 20 to 30-minute workout. With activity response being used as a guide to progress or decrease the intensity or volume of the exercise. A gradual increase in activity until the patient reaches a workout regimen that fits:
- Condition level
- Physical ability