Summertime Swimming & ChiropracticJuly 1, 2019
Pool and lake season is upon us! As you dip your toes into summer water activities, keep in mind the benefits and risks that come from swimming. Chiropractic exercises and care improve the benefits of swimming and reduce the risks. Read on to learn about summertime swimming & chiropractic care.
Swimming is often recommended for those who don’t do well with high-impact exercises. It is a low-impact sport, which means it is more gentle on your body and your joints. For those with back issues, swimming is an exercise option that doesn’t put extra strain on the spine. Being in the water is also a stress reliever. A calm feeling comes when the tension in your body from long, hard days seems to float away in the water. In addition, swimming is an effective workout. It builds muscles because water functions as a natural weight resistance. It has similar effects as weight-lifting, but without the harsh strain on your tissues and muscles.
Chiropractic care and muscle awareness improves the benefits of swimming. Through intentional stretching and preventative care, you can catch onto the many benefits from swimming while preventing the negatives.
Why do swimming injuries occur?
Due to swimming’s repetitive movements, it can damage joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. This is why chiropractic care is integral while swimming. Chiropractic care helps prevent and treat swimming injuries.
Vigorous and regular swimming has the potential to cause specific swimming injuries. Specialized chiropractic care is necessary to prevent and treat these injuries. According to the American Chiropractic Association, swimmer’s shoulder is a common injury associated with regular swimming exercise. Swimmer’s shoulder is pain caused by the arm rotating out of correct alignment. Breaststroker’s knee is another common swimming injury. This knee pain during breaststroke is helped through correct alignment of the leg, hip and spine joints.
What do I do before swimming?
For all swimming, it is important to stretch beforehand. This is similar to most exercise, in which stretching your muscles will help prevent irritation and injury. Stretching your hip flexors and glutes will improve the benefits of swimming.
- Hip flexors: kneel on one knee and put the other bent in front of you. Your front ankle should be in front of your front knee. Then, tilt your pelvis up, bringing your tailbone under you. Finally, lean forward into your front knee, just enough to stretch but not enough to bring the knee further than your front ankle. See this video for a visual example of this stretch.
- Glutes: while standing, put one ankle on top of the other knee, lean your chest forward until you stretch your buttocks and hold for 20-45 seconds. Repeat on each side.
What do I do while swimming?
While swimming, make sure to warm up. In the water, start off with taking your first few laps slowly with easy strokes. As you get into your rhythm, start amping up the intensity of your speed and strokes. Keep your mind aware of your body alignment and stroke. It’s important to not get lazy with your motions, as this increases your risk for injury. Keep sharp and aware of your body as you swim. When swimming, if a certain stroke is painful, reduce your use of that stroke. Building on this, if you are experiencing pain swimming, take a break to recover. If pain persists, make sure to turn to a professional chiropractor, like Drs. Van Ness, Parkin and Sabri at Van Ness Chiropractic, for help.
What do I do after swimming?
After swimming, reverse your pre-swimming ritual. Take some cooling down laps and then stretch the same muscles you did before you swam.
How does regular chiropractic care improve swimming?
As you transition from a sedentary winter to an active summer, your body may have trouble dealing with the increased stress. You’ll want to prepare for active summer routines so that your muscles are ready for movement. If you don’t, you’re at higher risk for muscle tightening, tearing or damage. Even though swimming is a low impact sport, its repetitive motions are still a risk for injury.
Regular chiropractic care will improve swimming’s benefits and help prevent injuries. Chiropractic adjustments support your spine and your nervous system’s functioning. Both of these support systems are integral in swimming workouts. Spinal alignment reduces the risk of muscle irritations and injuries. Regular chiropractic care will address existing issues, prevent injury and recommend specific stretches for individuals.
At Van Ness Chiropractic, Dr. Van Ness and Dr. Parkin are both athletes who treat athletes. Turn to Van Ness Chiropractic for specialized swimming chiropractic care. Drs. Van Ness, Parkin and Sabri will help with preventative care and rehabilitation, so make an appointment to gain the most benefits from your summer swimming. Call 847-842-8070 or click here to make an appointment.