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strakerstraker Posts: 1,829
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in Exercise and Rehab
i love swimming .but i have found that every time i go my back hurts even more so much so that i have been in the grip of a major flare up for the last 10 days .i carnt walk far as this is too painful but i can swim a fair distance is there anyone out there with a similar problem


  • I've been thinking about that too, now that school's out and it's hot as hell outside. My kids like to swim but I haven't gone into the water because of the pain. I don't want to flare up the pain or get hurt by some idiot cannonballing into the water where I'm at. I sure hate to roast while others are soaking it all up, but safety is my main concern. I guess I could just get in and not swim, but moving in water is harder unless you swim. I don't know what to do because I never had aquatherapy. Do you need specific instructions from a PT in regards to going in the water? I don't want to hurt myself worse than I already am.

    I'm sorry that you're in the midst of another pain flare again. I hope it subsides real soon. Take care buddy >:D<
  • meyday,hi!! :H there is some good information on the SH forum about swimming therapy.. check it out! i swim all the time in the summer and find i have to pick hours when the place is pretty empty, early in the morning, at dinnertime, in the evening.. try seeing when your pool is less busy and go then. you don't want to go swimming worried about your safety..i don't really swim all the time. walking in the pool is great therapy in itself. :D floating and just moving your arms and legs around is also pretty safe. i like to use the floatation devices as well. try them for relaxation. (|: have fun is the main thing. :D it never hurts to get the advice of a pt about what you should be doing in the pool! :-C Jenny :)
  • I can't swim laps anymore because of the pain in back that I get trying to. I had some aqua therapy I was doing for a short time, so I do those exercises instead. I have 2 of the styrofoam type noodles that I put under my arms to take the pressure off the back and almost makes you weightless then. I do walking, side leg lifts, and some back kicking of legs if I can tolerate it.
  • you and i are in the same boat. i went for short swim each of the last 3 days and came out of the water hurtin. the backs of my legs, and the back of my neck and in between my shoulder blades just painful and stiff.
    i guess it's our bodies telling us to ease off a bit.
    i know i'll always go in the water even if i have to be lowered by a crane. just take what you can get and be happy youve got a little something.
    oh, by the way, i use a snorkel while i swim. i find that by doing so there is less twisting of the back and therefore less pain.
    see you in the shallow end....pete
  • Sorry to hear that you are having such terrible pain since swimming. I go to the pool twice a week and started first with a PT. After 12 weeks I got a membership and do the exercises on my own. I had a TLIF for L5-S1 May 2008. I have herniation on L4-L5 as well as spinal stenosis. I basically do a series of stretching, leg lifts, walk/jog in the pool, arm exercises. I usually feel great after the exercise but have learned that I CANT swim laps anymore. I have been advised to do back strokes only and found that makes a big diference in reducing pain,spams after my swimming.

    Please see if you can get written exercises from a PT for your specific back issues. Dont give up on the pool. You are trying to do the best thing for your body and I think you just over did it.

    Good luck.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,323
    I had a therapist who also had lumbar problems and was always in training for swimming.
    She told me that some of the natural accepted strokes can be very tough on the neck and lower back. Especially the neck. The normal side to side movement of your head can wreck havoc for any cervical patients.
    Also someone who was a prior swimmer generally has a good strong leg kick, which is great for swimmer , but nasty for the back. Again, she told me think of it this way.... If you played golf before spinal surgery you had a natural fluid swing, not powerful but full. People who have spinal surgeries generally need to alter their golf swing, its a modified swing. Well, swimmers need to do the same. The old strong leg kick put a lot of strain on the lower back, so adjustments were needed to slow down a bit on the leg kick and pick up some arm movement.
    One of the best ways to ease in back into swimming is using a kick board. That eliminates the need for the side to side head movement and naturally slows down your leg kick.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • is a good substitute and a safe, low impact workout as well!! I'm starting again on Wednesday, and am excited to try to get back into it, it's been over a year since I've gone. So maybe you guys could try just walking around in the pool, if your doc and/or pt says it's okay? Hope you find a way to enjoy the pool!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,323
    in a therapeutic pool. I also do about 15 minutes of stretching and the rest can be using paddles, noodles, or a water bicycle...
    It has been so good to me
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I know, I've read your posts on the subject, and you're the one who's got me so excited about getting back into this!! I just started seeing a physical trainer, referred by my physiotherapist, and she has me down for one aqua class a week (out of 3 sessions a week with her) and I've asked if we could switch it to 2 aqua sessions and one cardio training (which is really just normal walking). Anyways, I have my first session on Wednesday, and can't wait (except for the fact that I actually have to wear my bathing suit in public :< , I'll be avoiding all mirrors at all costs!! :))( )
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • To the point where I avoid the pool. I found that being in the pool took presure off the spine and I moved it way past what I could out on land. I lot my pain points, places where I knew to stop moving past. Result for me was getting myself really torn up, and then my back locked up solid, trying to stablize itself again. This was not good. Osteophytes would just tear my spine up, inflamation and ache terrible.

    Since then - I just try to get into the hot-tube and do the "Jelly-fish". Just float and try to body-scan and relax. But truthfully- it has been years since I tried that too.

  • dilauro said:

    One of the best ways to ease in back into swimming is using a kick board. That eliminates the need for the side to side head movement and naturally slows down your leg kick.
    Your Exactly right about that Ron...I do a pattern of diffrent things but I like the kick board because it makes me look up and work on that cervical curve and F.H.P...
  • I don't know how to swim, but post-op, my surgeon said that I could do pretty much any activity I wanted once the pain subsided, except jump on a trampoline (yeah, I asked) and swim for several months. But, he said water aerobics were fine---just not laps or whatever it is you fish-people find so exciting in the pool.

    I've never done it myself, but I imagine the twisting whilst pulling in the water would be straining.
  • Hi,
    This is obvious to get back pain while swimming... You can consult a physiotherapist for your back pain problem.. I can suggest you about EDITED where Back pain treatments are given online.. This may cure your problem..

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  • I am post op L4-5 fusion and cervical fusion.Could still swim after cervical fusion,but was advised{they never tell you much} not to swim after back surgery as the twisting motion that your body experiences at the waist along with turning would not be good for my back.I have to be careful just getting in a pool and swimming-it is better to "dog" paddle than twist your self as when you are doing laps.Good Luck.I joined this site to try to get back into exercise that did not hurt my back.If I can't do what I want I'll do nothing at all.Well- I am trying to fiqure it out.Sometimes pain is a message-one I did not listen to until after 3 spinal surgeries.I sure don't want any more.
  • I have not had any surgeries at this point, but have major c spine issues...Used to swim a mile a day for years and quit when I developed these issues.. Since I missed it terribly, I took a water exercize class to see if I could still navigate in the water comfortably and after two classes, I was ready to try laps again...So, I have modified what I do, by swimming using a snorkel at all times..so my view is the bottom of the pool...but hey, I can swim and it is pure heaven for me...I do not use kickboards as I believe they can arch the lumbar spine, which might not be good for many folks..I only do freestyle and breastroke, alternating after 10 at a time. When I restarted swimming, I did only 4 lengths and have increased that appreciably. My doctor says it is great exercize. Hope that helps some folks...
  • Thanks for mentioning the snorkel. I never thought of that and at the time I am able to swim the only thing allowed is laps. Any info is appreciated. I have stenosis in my neck and back
  • Thanks for mentioning the snorkel. I never thought of that and at the time I am able to swim the only thing allowed is laps. Any info is appreciated. I have stenosis in my neck and back
  • I learned that I enjoy the dog paddle! Don't laugh!
    You can maintain a neutral spine, stretch your hamstrings and quads as you gently kick and you work your arms a little. I found that this feels really good. I usually do the breast stroke, again to keep my spine straight, but sometimes all of the leg motion does aggravate my back.
  • Years ago I trained for water rescue and part of the course was treading water with your hands help up out of the water. So you could only use your legs. Talk about a way to burn some calories and get your cardiovascular system going! So I don't fret over swimming laps if I can have a nice quiet place in the deep end where I can tread.

    Just thought I'd mention it.

  • No laughing here Reformed! I can't "regular" swim anymore, more so since my last fusion. I like "C" underwent emergency water survival training yearly as part of my job. Because of it, I can do 'strokes' using just hands, or just legs, or doggy paddle. Yeah it looks funny, but hey it works right? :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

  • My hubby and I stayed in a hotel last weekend which had a pool. I went swimming for the first time since my fusion.

    I can swim without pain! I felt so pleased. It has been more than 2 years since I have been able to swim without getting awful sciatica.
    We will be staying in another hotel with a pool in August. Can't wait to get in the water. :D
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