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Swimming, which stroke?

chris71cchris71 Posts: 23
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Exercise and Rehab
I've just started swimming as part of the recovery from microdiscectomy and was wondering which stroke is best?Is it ok to stick with the front crawl or is the twisting motion in this stroke too risky.Or do i go with the breaststroke where no twisting is involved?Thanks for any answers in advance.


  • chris- I do swim but I have to be careful not to twist at all as I found I hurt myself trying to turn at the end of a lap.(non-Michael Phelps)

    Mind you, I am swimming with a styro float to prevent too much muscle fatigue or sinking if I get a muscle cramp. I usually only do kicks, the doggy paddle or swim walking. I think a heated pool is best.. :))) jade
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    You need to contact your doctor to get their view on swimming
    I have had both lumbar and cervical surgeries. I was able to swim (without restrictions) about 7 months post surgery. But please keep in mind that the first surgery was in 1978 and the procedure was more time consuming. Also, I was required
    to wear a back brace (almost like a corset)
    After my cervical surgeries I had to limit the type of stroke I used. Back then (1996 and 2000). But that wasn't as much as the surgery and restriction, but more about the fact that I could not turn my head side to side quick enough. So now, when I do swim I just keep my head in the water, and then come up to breathe a bit.
    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
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  • It is a heated pool.Managed about 600yards using both strokes yesterday but had to stop more down to arm fatigue than any problem with the back.No stiffness or pain to day so that must be a good thing.I was told by my surgeon i could start swimming but he was very vague,i suppose it's a case of not over doing things.
  • I too have been wondering the same question. I will be starting swimming soon and I plan on just using a styro float like someone else called it and just paddling my way across the pool with no twisting. I have had too many problems recurring to even risk twisting my spine all over trying to swim. All of the exercises my PT showed me on land were all keeping the spine straight and stable so I plan on following that in the water as well.
  • I was told no swimming yet just walking in the water. By keeping your legs straight and lifting them high, and holding a styrene float upright and pushed down in the water at arms length. I was told to do this every day for half an hour. This gets the core stability muscles fired up and it also helped ease scar tissue in lower abdomen where I had the incision. I'v been doing this for 6 weeks now and will then progress to running in the water. This then starts to engage the multifidis muscles which tend to weaken after back injuriy or surgery. The only "swimming" at this stage can be floating on my back and gently kicking and not using arms.
    It's all very boring but I do feel it is helping a little - I think
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