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Swimming Strokes

i had spinal fusion with metal work L4/5 S1 in march 2011
i love swimming but i do breast stroke im finding that its pulling on my back end up in agony
should i be doing the frog leg kick or not
im doing around 24 lengths twice a week

can anyone tell me any tips



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    the things my Physical and Aqua Therapists told me.
    I am a Lumbar and Cervical surgical patient, along with 4 Thoracic discs that have not be operated on.

    1 . Because of the cervical, I can not swim the natural stroke (side to side). The only way I can swim now, is to keep my head in the water and wait till I need to come up for some air.

    2. Because of my lumbar condition, I can not do the butterfly. Too much strain on the lower back.

    3. Because of my thoracic condition, I can not do the breast stroke. Way too hard on the middle/upper back

    But what is always accepted and still provides with Aqua therapy is the kick board approach
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thanks
    i only do breast stroke my arms n neck ok just my lower back
    i just need advice if im doing wrong by doing breast stroke legs
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    to mention, that whatever you decide to do in regards to swimming, FIRST make sure you talk it over with your doctor and get their approval.
    That is much more important than whatever I have to say or anyone else here.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I was recommended for post microdiscectomy to swim using goggles and snorkel to keep the face under water and prevent twisting sideways to breathe. I found breast stroke to compress the rear of the spine and discs - not good as this was where herniation was. The usual 'Australian crawl' stroke was recommended.

    However, for this L5/S1 fusion, I have been restricted from swimming so far (at 4 mths) and this may have it lifted at mid Jan PT consult (at 6 mths).

    We are all different and there are many different medical recovery strategies / philosophies!

    But I am looking forward to getting back into swimming.
  • Preoperatively, I did the back stroke. I'm at 4 1/2 wks post L 4-5 and haven't been cleared to take a bath yet--showers only so far.

    About now I'd just about kill to be able to just soak someplace! When do they finally let you take a real BATH?

    I'm not a spinal diagnosis. I'm a human being with a spinal diagnosis.
  • Hi

    I haven't had an operation but my lower back gives me grief. I tried swimming for general fitness and strength but could not handle more than 4 laps of breast stroke before i was in severe pain. Physio seemed to think as i was not strong enough and had an unstable pelvis, breast storke was the worst swimming to do. Especially because the kicking in breast stroke puts a lot of strain on the pelvis and in turn onto the back. I'd say stick with freestyle with a snorkel to start with.
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