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I do not wish to step on anybody's toes here: I realise each and every condition and patient are unique. There are, after all, a myriad of complications, age groups, concurrent diseases and body types.

Anyway, 5 weeks ago I had reached a nadir with my back condition; the pain was just getting progressively worse, the pain meds weren't helping and my mind spiralled out of control. After receiving a selective nerve root block, I was ready to do something. The PT exercises were not ideal for me (tedious and painful), so I decided to take up swimming again. I had always enjoyed swimming and was in competition as a youngster. I did a bit of research and asked my therapist (a former swimmer) which strokes to swim and how warm up. The results were immediate: in the first week I swam about 10 (25m) laps. The back pain was gone for at least 2 hours, and, more importantly I began to feel more positive. From the second week I started combining my swims with a sauna session once a week, which made me feel even better.
I now swim 1300 metres 3x a week and have become somewhat addicted - the downside: mild shoulder problems. This is probably down to poor technique and posture and I've now signed up for a course with a coach.

The bottom line: I am convinced that swimming can work for most people. It isn't necessary to do it as intensely as I am right now - the main thing is low-impact, cardiovascular exercise to improve body and mind. My message: try to overcome any inhibitions, learn a good stroke and you will not regret it. When I don't swim for more than two or three days, the pain comes back, the leg goes numb and I start feeling miserable.
Osteochondrosis S1
Herniation L4/5, L5/S1
Lumbar straightening


  • it may not be the swimming but just being in the water and sitting in the hot tub later. I do stretching, water arthritis, water aerobics and walk in the current channel. I can tell how much it helps
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856

    Forum Rule:
    5.06 You agree not to post information that is considered to be formal medical advice.

    Your post contains wording that may be considered as giving medical advice. It is very important that everyone understand that
    there are no medical professionals on this site, so therefore any comments are solely opinions based on personal experiences.

    They should never been taken as medical fact.

    Swimming and/or just being in the water can have very positive results. However, before you attempt to do any of this, you always need to consult with your doctor to get their approval. I've been in a therapeutic pool for almost 10 years now. I am watched and monitored by trained medical technicians. They know when I am doing something right or wrong. I've tried town pools to do the same, and there is really no one watching you to tell you if you are doing things correctly. So, it is very important to make sure whatever you do is understood and approved.
    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
  • DJWL5S1 said:
    I do not wish to step on anybody's toes here: I realise each and every condition and patient are unique. There are, after all, a myriad of complications, age groups, concurrent diseases and body types.
    If you read the first line of my post, it does stipulate that this is my opinion and not medical advice. I have seen two neurosurgeons, a sports medic and a PT: all of them told me to go ahead and swim back stroke and freestyle but to avoid breast stroke.

    As I already mentioned, each patient is different, I can only recommend what works for me
    Osteochondrosis S1
    Herniation L4/5, L5/S1
    Lumbar straightening
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