Pool Exercises to Ease Back Pain
Exercising is one of the best ways to stay healthy and keep your body strong over the years. Unfortunately, if you’re living with chronic back pain, exercising can sometimes do more harm than good. For those struggling with back pain or arthritis, finding something that works for you is the best way to avoid injury and help alleviate unnecessary pain. One of the best exercises to help bring relief is within a body of water. To help boost the enjoyment of exercise and reap the benefits, here are some great pool exercises to ease back pain.
How Pool Exercises Help with Back Pain
Performing exercises in the water provides a low-impact way to get in aerobic workouts and strengthen your muscles. The water provides natural resistance, which can replace the need for heavy weights and strenuous lifting. Active swimming in water provides you with beneficial cardiovascular exercises that strengthen your heart muscles and increase circulation. Pool exercises can also help improve the strength of your muscles and increase flexibility over time. If you’ve tried water aerobics and don’t enjoy them, don’t worry, there are plenty of other options to consider. However, regardless of what activity you choose, warming up is always essential.
The Importance of Warming Up
Water workouts are great for back pain and arthritis because they don’t put as much pressure on your joints and ligaments. Rather than the high impact of weightlifting in a gym, the water’s buoyancy helps to counteract gravity and reduce the overall compression load of movements. This not only allows you to work out without any pain, but it also provides therapeutic benefits. By engaging in a warm-up, you’ll prep your muscles and your body for further activity while reducing injury. Some of the best water warm-ups include simply walking around the pool or engaging in a few lunges. You can do these in the shallow end while holding onto the wall prior to moving onto more intense exercises.
7 Pool Exercises to Help Ease Back Pain
There are hundreds of different exercises that you can perform in the water, but some of them are better targeted at alleviating pain. Here are the 7 best pool exercises to help ease back pain or pain associated with arthritis:
First, start out with a few sets of knee-to-chest raises. Stand on one leg and keep it slightly bent. Straighten the other leg out forward and hold onto the side of the pool. Continue to alternate legs, bringing your knee to your chest each time. This helps to strengthen your leg muscles along with the muscles in the hips and lower back.
2. Leg Raises
Another option is to utilize simple leg raises. You’ll be in a similar position as the knee-to-chest exercises, but during leg raises you’ll keep your leg completely outstretched. Continue to raise your leg up and down while supporting yourself on the side of the pool. This exercise also targets the muscles that are located in your lower back, hips, and legs.
Adding in some sideways leg kicks can help you achieve a well-rounded water workout. Simply face the wall of the pool and either side-step or do sideways leg raises to help strengthen your core and legs for the ultimate back pain relief.
3. Water Aerobics
Water aerobics are a great workout to help condition your core and alleviate chronic back pain. You can take an instructor-led class or jump in the pool and do movements on your own. As you progress, you can incorporate water weights to build resistance without causing excess strain on your joints. If you’ve never done water aerobics, try joining a class at your local health club to see if it’s something you’d enjoy.
4. Swimming Laps
If you’re looking to keep things simple, swimming laps is a great option. Get in the pool and try doing a few laps of backstroke, free stroke, breaststroke, or a mixture of all three. This is also a great way to build your endurance.
5. Kickboard Balance
Maintaining a strong core is essential to reducing back pain. To get started, incorporate kickboard balance exercises regularly. All you need to do is sit on a kickboard and try to keep your spine neutral by engaging your abdominal muscles. Hold for 60 seconds, rest, and repeat.
6. Superman Stretches
Superman stretches can help alleviate current back pain and reduce the intensity of future problems. Hold the side of the pool with both hands, keeping your arms straight, then extend your legs out behind you. This gives you a full stretch without too much strain. Bring your legs down, rest, and repeat about 10-15 times for the best results.
7. Quadruped Exercises
A great exercise to work the entire body is the quadruped exercise. This helps to work both your upper body and lower body to strengthen and support your spine. You’ll start by floating on your back and engage the core while you make paddling movements with your arms and legs at the same time.
While adding some of these great pool exercises can help ease your back pain, sometimes you need a little extra support. AZ Chiropractic offers relief for a variety of aches and pains. Our services are uniquely tailored to each individual so that you’ll get relief for whatever’s bothering you. With a combination of chiropractic adjustments and chiropractic massage, you’ll start feeling like yourself in no time. Contact us today to