Swimming Tricks

Can Swimming Help With Your Back Pain?

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Swimming is not only a great way to stay cool in the summer, but it’s also a great way to exercise! Swimming can help your heart, improve muscle strength, and increase flexibility. So is swimming good for back pain? Yes, with the right technique, it can. Low-impact cardio provides many physical benefits for patients with back pain due to spinal disorders, back injuries, strained back muscles or tendons, or spinal problems caused by prolonged sitting or poor posture benefit.

Is Swimming Good for Back Pain?

Yes, swimming is very effective in treating back pain. Research shows that swimming can help people with chronic back pain increase mobility, reduce pain, and improve their overall quality of life. In fact, some studies show that swimming is even more effective than non-aquatic treatments.

What Are the Best Swim Strokes for Back Pain?

Some strokes are best for people with back pain. If possible, you may consider using the services of a trainer to learn proper swimming techniques and reduce the risk of injury. Your physical therapist can also provide guidance and advice.

Some doctors recommend simple breaststroke and backstroke because other strokes require more trunk movement and can cause problems. However, you may find that you prefer one type of stroke over another for your individual pain needs. Once you get used to swimming and feel comfortable with how your body responds to movement, it’s possible to try other types of strokes if you want. If you have too many strokes, you can try water aerobics or water therapy. Even the mildest form of water sports can often help relieve back pain.

As always, when participating in any type of exercise program, the most important thing is to pay attention to your body’s signals. If you feel pain or fatigue, take a break. If anything related to this occurs, such as fainting or dizziness, stop and call your doctor.

How Does Swimming Ease Back Pain

When patients struggle with low back pain, they may want to rest and avoid exercise altogether. However, this is one of the worst things you can do. Too much rest can cause the muscles that support the lower back to atrophy. When these muscles weaken, they can’t properly stabilize the spine, causing the patient’s condition to worsen. Therefore, experts agree that strengthening these muscles is essential for spinal health.

Exercising on land puts a lot of stress on the spine. However, water activities, such as swimming, allow people with low back pain to strengthen the muscles that support the spine without stress. The buoyancy of the water relieves pressure on the spine and joints.

The Benefits of Swimming for Back Pain

The Benefits of Swimming for Back Pain

From childhood, most people like to spend time in the pool. Swimming has proven to be a very beneficial form of exercise, especially if you’re battling lower back pain. Some of the benefits of swimming include:

Relax your nervous system: Tensioned muscles can sometimes cause back pain, or can aggravate a spinal condition that can lead to increased pain. Swimming releases endorphins, and feel-good hormones that relax your nervous system and tense muscles.

Relieve joint stress: When you swim, most of your body is buoyant, so the water supports it. This is far less stressful on the joints than other forms of exercise.

Build your muscles to support your spine: Exercising in the water supports your joints and spine while also increasing resistance. Swimming works muscles you don’t use regularly, especially those needed to improve spinal stability.

Swimming Tips for People with Back Pain

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for people with back pain, but it’s important to do it properly. Here are some tips for getting the most benefit and avoiding aggravating an existing medical condition.

  • Swim without twisting your waist and hips, so avoid forward strokes and breaststrokes, which require twisting and hyperextension.
  • Learn to stroke sideways or back as this keeps the spine in a neutral position without turning the head and neck or arching the back, which can put pressure on the facet joints.
  • Don’t over-exercise.
  • Swim in slow, controlled movements.
  • Start by swimming twice a week in the beginning and gradually increase the number of swimming days.

Build endurance over time, as the benefits of swimming circles include strengthening back muscles, ligaments, and tendons, as well as improving the cardiovascular system.

If swimming is causing back pain, start by guiding your swimming pool treatment plan. This usually involves doing light exercise in warm water to relax the muscles. As the back muscles are strengthened, a more vigorous swimming program can be introduced.


Swimming for back pain relief is a great option for millions of people. However, it’s important to realize that if it’s causing more pain, it may not be the right exercise. There are other gentle exercises for back pain. For example, degenerative disc disease training includes stretching and flexibility training and postural adjustments that target the muscles and joints of the spine and legs.