Swimming Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

July 31, 2012

Lower back pain relief

Back pain, especially lower back pain, is common. The bad news is that almost everyone experiences back pain in his or her lifetime. The good news is that there are many ways to achieve lower back pain relief. In most cases, lower back pain relief can be achieved without surgical treatment. Besides physical therapy and pain medication, low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming are excellent ways to achieve lower back pain relief.

Swimming exercises for lower back pain relief

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for many people. The benefits of swimming are abundant. It keeps the heart and lungs healthy and strong, builds muscle strength, and provides a whole body workout. In addition, it helps reduce stress and improve flexibility and coordination.

If done properly, swimming exercises can help reduce back pain by stretching and strengthening your back, chest, core, and leg muscles. However, if not done properly, swimming can cause or worsen back pain. When using swimming exercises for lower back pain relief, keep the following dos and don’ts in mind.


  • Start slow. If you haven’t been actively swimming for a while, make sure you start slow so your body has a chance to get used to the exercise again.
  • Use proper forms of strokes. Side and back strokes put less stress on your back than forward strokes. So if you can, try to swim using side or back strokes, instead of forward strokes.
  • Make sure each stroke is executed properly. When using forward strokes, try to keep your body level in the water and head steady. And when taking breaths, try to roll the body to the side, instead of jerk the head out of the water.
  • Use swimming aids. If you are not confident with your swimming skills, feel free to use swimming aids such as a life vest or other floatation devices. These devices help you properly execute each stroke so that you can enjoy the benefits of swimming in a safe way.
  • Seek help if pain persists or worsens. If your back pain worsens when doing swimming exercises for lower back pain, seek guidance on swimming techniques. If pain persists, talk to your physician to find out why and to receive timely treatment if necessary.


  • Don’t hyperextend the back. During swimming, especially swimming using forward strokes, the lower back can become hyperextended or overstretched. Repeat these strokes for a long period of time could hurt your back. So when using swimming exercises for lower back pain relief, try to use slow strokes, and don’t overdo it.
  • Don’t jerk or twist your head out of the water to breath. Instead, try to roll to your side to breath.

Swimming is a popular sport, and it is a great form of exercise for lower back pain relief. While the athletes in London are exhausting their strength to compete for the medals, you can leisurely swim at your own pace. The benefits of swimming are abundant, so enjoy.