Pool Exercises For Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, exercising in the pool can provide many benefits. The buoyancy takes some weight off your spine and can allow you to exercise more freely than on land. This can also lead to better range of motion and improved flexibility. For individuals with disc issues in the spine or narrowing of the space between the vertebrae, floating in deep water can also provide traction to you spine. The following are some great pool exercises for back pain to safely and effectively keep you active.
Pool walking or jogging
Cardio and Lower Extremity Strengthening- If walking or jogging outside of the pool is too painful or difficult, the pool can help. The buoyancy from the water in the pool takes some weight off your joints and allows you to move more freely. Moving your body in water also provide more resistance than air, so you can also benefit from strengthening with the resistance of water.
Breaststroke or Backstroke
Cardio and Full Body Strengthening- If you are looking for an exercise to keep you fit but not exacerbate your back pain, the breaststroke and backstroke are the best options. Both strokes use your arms, legs, and core, but don’t require a lot of twisting of the spine.
Planks with Pool Noodle
Core Strengthening- Keeping the muscles supporting your spine is important in preventing back pain. Exercises that strengthening your back and abdominals will strengthen your core. Planks in the water using a pool noodle can strengthen these muscles without putting too much stress on your spine. To do these planks simply hold on to a pool noodle with both arms outstretched in front of you. This will cause you to lean forward but keep your feet on the bottom of the pool. The pool noodle will sink into the pool, so be sure you have a pool noodle thick enough to hold your body up. You can hold to fatigue, or for times increments.
Seated Balance on Kick Board-
Core Strengthening and Balance- Another way to increase core strength and improve your balance is with seated balance on a kick board. Simply sitting on the kick board in the water with your spine straight will cause your core muscles to stabilize you from falling of the board. This is a great way to strengthen your core by simply sitting on the board with your hands at your side. Make sure the board is thick enough to hold your head above water. You can hold until fatigue or for times increments.
Deep Water Traction-
Taking Pressure of the Spine- For many individuals with back pain, traction is an effective way to manage pain. It creates a space between the vertebral joints and takes the compression off the spine. A great way to give your spine some traction in the pool is to use a pool noodle under your arms in the deep water. Let your legs hand down freely and relax in that position. You can use some light ankle weights as well to assist in the traction. Relaxing in this position for 5-10 minutes after exercising in the pool is a great way to reduce your back pain.
If you have questions regarding exercising with back pain, Dr. Shane Silver can help. Contact the office today!