How Swimming Helps Rehab/Chronic Conditionselp

Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 12-Jun-2015

With the summer in full swing, many people will be heading to their backyard or community pools to cool off and enjoy a little waterside fun. However, if you’ve had a recent injury, you might think that the last place you should be is in the water. Well, the fact is that swimming isn’t just a great way to enjoy the summer, it’s also a great way to recover from a recent injury. It provides a relatively risk free way to stay active, while also stretching and strengthening specific muscles. Here’s how it works:

  • REDUCES THE FORCE OF IMPACT: If you have an injury, or even chronic joint or back pain, you might find that the force of impact that comes from carrying your own body weight makes exercising on land difficult. However, the buoyancy of the water supports your body and protects your joints, allowing you to avoid the impact that comes from bearing a lot of weight on your joints or back; which makes it great for rehab.
  • INCREASES RANGE OF MOTION: Swimming with good form allows for a full range of motion, which helps all body parts and is an excellent way to stretch your muscles, which is a crucial part of rehab. It also leads to greater muscle stability and increased circulation, which are both important aspects of a good rehab plan. What’s more, it helps you control and maintain a healthy body weight, which can make rehabilitation and recovery easier and has been shown to improve the use of joints and decrease pain caused by osteoarthritis, showing that it is also beneficial for those suffering from a wide variety of conditions and injuries.
  • PROVIDES A GOOD BUT SAFER WORKOUT: Even though impact is reduced during swimming, you can still get a good workout. Swimming is excellent exercise. The water provides just enough resistance to give you a good workout without putting you in a position where you are likely to reinjure yourself. In fact, the resistance from the water can make your workout more effective since it provides about 12-14% more resistance than air; which not only improves your workout, it also prevents sudden movements that can lead to injury. This is particularly important for people with a recent injury who are normally highly active. Many such people find it tough to rest when they’re recovering from an injury. Unfortunately, trips and falls during rehab can lead to re-injury or even new injuries. With swimming, there are fewer opportunities to slip, fall, stumble or land incorrectly which makes it possible to remain active while still protecting your body from further injury.

Of course, it’s important to go at an appropriate pace when you’re first recovering from an injury. As with all rehab plans, follow the advice of your health professional and don’t try to do any exercises without discussing them with your rehab team first. It’s also important to remember that, regardless of why you’re going into that water, safety should be your number one priority. The risk of drowning always exists so always be careful when you are around water, never swim alone and, of course, do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Need help with recovering from a recent injury or chronic condition? Don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.

Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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