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Swimming for rehabilitation

Swimming for rehabilitation

25th October 2017

As both an Osteopath and a swim coach, I often find myself prescribing my patients time in the water to aid in their recovery.

When you are in the water, you are weightless and therefore aren’t putting any extra strain on the major joints of the body, as we do with land base exercise (walking, running, squats, football, netball etc.). This means that you can work the muscles surrounding the major joints without creating any impact on them.

The most common injuries or complaints I prescribe water-based exercise for are:

  • Low back pain
  • Hip and knee osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis

But the truth is that swimming or water-based exercise is great for most injuries and ailments.

If you aren’t an avid swimmer, that’s okay too as simply walking in the water to a depth of chest height, is a great form or exercise. As you get stronger and more used to the water, you can begin to run in the water to the same depth, or grab a kickboard and/or pool noodle and start slowly kicking laps of the pool.

Other exercises you can easily perform in the pool (shallow end) include:

  • Calf raises holding the edge of the pool
  • Lunges & squats
  • Treading water for core and leg strength

Swimming for general health has a wide range of benefits including:

  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Improving heart and lung function (increasing cardiovascular fitness)
  • Building muscle tone
  • All over body work out
  • Keeps your heart rate up
  • Dose of vitamin D when swimming in outdoor pool

With summer around the corner, if you think swimming is something you would like to do more of, please feel free to ask Emily about it further in your next appointment with her. Programs can be written and tailored to the individual.