Swimming is a super activity: much like a smoothie can act as a vitamin cocktail, so can swimming be a boon for the body and mind. By reducing the force of gravity, it is one of the least-stress inducing activities for joints and the natural resistance provided by water helps tone many muscles we tend to neglect on a daily basis. It’s role as a health maintenance tool is well known, but how about its utility as an injury rehabilitation aid? Particularly pertaining to back injuries that involve pain, stiffness and limitations to range of motion, there are few activities that can match swimming for its rehab prowess.
- Weightlessness: the reduced gravity gives us a simulation of weightlessness that suspends much of the downward force on our bodies. This is why floating in water, especially warm water, feels good. You can use water for both exercise and therapy.
- Water resistance: as you go, many muscle groups are working in tandem and strengthening. The natural resistance of the water conditions muscles in a low-impact way.
- Active stretching: range of motion is one of the first things to go out the window when pain and stiffness sets in. Fight this occurrence by swimming: the different strokes provide enough movement to impact flexibility.
With more serious injuries, attempting swimming may be out of the question; before starting any new health plan to account for an injury it is important to have a discussion with a medical professional. At Scorca Chiropractic Center, we can evaluate the location and severity of the injury and help you create a plan that involves low-impact aerobic activity. From here, it is a matter of scaling up until you reach your previous standard for “normal activity.”