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Ways to exercise and not cause a ton of pain?

Blue_LaceBBlue_Lace Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:00 AM in Chronic Pain
I love to be active, always have. In fact that's why I'm in the pain I am, because of horseback riding. I miss horses immensely, but to ride with this back pain seems suicidal. Is there anything else I can do that won't cause me a lot of pain? I have bad knees too, so I'm at a loss. Does swimming work for lower back pain?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    any exercise plan.

    Swimming may be painful for some back patients. Generally aqua therapy is beneficial because on how our bodies are more buoyant in the water.

    Though, in the 5+ years I have been in aqua therapy, there are some exercises that will cause new and increased pain.

    That is why it is so important to discuss this with your doctor to arrive at an approved exercise program.
    (which may or may not include horses, depending on the severity of your back problems, surgery and current medical condition)
    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
  • Hi,
    Just want to remind you that you really need to start from the beginning...I used to swim a few times a week, before I injured my back. My physio's and doctor have told me that it's not worth me doing hydrotherapy, because it's too 'basic' and I should be able to handle more vigorous exercise...
    So when I went to the beach on Christmas and just had a float around -not even really swimming- and was in agony the next day, I couldn't believe it! I felt like something so simple and basic should be OK, because I've done pilates and cycling since I've been injured. but it's just finding what works for you, and taking it easy...and remembering that you can't do what you might have been able to do before...
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  • it really depends on what you have been cleared for but swimming and walking are my 'go to's'. But, be warned, the first time you swim, you'll probably be sore. It took me a few tries to ease back into it.

    Walking is my standby.

    I did just start seeing a new doctor to learn how to stretch, etc. The PT I got after surgery was about stabilizing my back and building core strength and body mechanics. I got that and found 2 years later, I was no over-compensating and needed a few more exercises to keep me flexibly and get me stable even when I'm not in the 'aligned' shoulders/hips position.
  • Definitely check with your doctor or certified aqua-therapist. My therapist showed me the strokes I could get away with and which were a no-no. All back and neck patients are different and need a special exercise program. I love my time in the pool, it's the only time I have any real relief.
  • Whatever you do you need to pace into it, start very very slowly, keep even potential pain under the radar, the biggest reason people give up, is that they with such enthusiasm increase the pace to a unacceptable level and then any activity is associated with increased pain. Much can be achieved at a slower pace, set short term, attainable, realistic goals as part of a longer strategy of achievement.

    It is poignant that even in pain, people here attempt to get and stay fit, it is a credit to our tenacity adaptability and sheer stubbornness, pain is character building, it slowly introduces us to elements of ourselves we never knew we had. Some days we have unimaginable success and on others just surviving itself viable, that is a wide spectrum of capability, do what you can when you can, focus on what you can do, not on what you cannot, your future is ahead of you.

    At our residential PM we were timed walking a very short distance and then encourage to go a bit faster every time, a simple circuit was developed that gave many an opportunity to improve, as said the key is to find what works for you, cycling had been my saviour, low impact getting my heart rate to its optimum level quickly and efficiently. Try the swimming give it a go, no leg kicks, backstroke? perhaps use a float between your legs to keep you buoyant and stable to keep those knees inactive, ask for help.

    Good luck, no kick turns, soon have a Pb.
    My disabled son was an S6/7 IPC National Swimming Champion.

    Take care John....
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