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Benefits of swimming for the recovery of injuries

by Mark Nolan
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Quironsalud Torrevieja

Swimming, as explained  by the specialists of the Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology Service of Quirónsalud Torrevieja, is one of the most complete and healthiest sports“, so much so that specialists recommend it for everyone without limitation of age or physical condition, and especially for those who have back problems, for pregnant women and for the recovery of injuries.


We spoke with the traumatologists of Quirónsalud Torrevieja to talk to us about the effectiveness of swimming to relieve pain in different parts of the body.


Benefits of swimming


At the traumatological level, it allows repeated movements against resistance, while flotation reduces the problems derived from the repetitive impact to which our own weight conditions, due to the effect of gravity.

In turn, all exercise in the water requires an added effort of balance that contributes to generate a sustained stimulus of proprioception, that is, communication, at the unconscious level of the position, inertia, speed, etc. of our joints, muscles, tendons, etc.

In addition, it accelerates the medullary reflex arc, the medulla is like a second brain, largely unconscious, which receives instant information and responds to it immediately generating contraction or relaxation of the muscles, in a coordinated way, which achieves the objective established by our conscious brain.


Swimming as a recovery treatment


Any ailment that affects the musculoskeletal system can be treated, to the extent that practically any exercise that is usually performed for the recovery of injuries can be performed in the water.

Typically spinal injuries have been the subject of the recommendation of swimming as a treatment or as an aid to their treatment. But any injury is likely to benefit from the very special conditions that come with exercising in the water.


Swimming style according to the injury you have


Each injury presents nuances that require an adaptation of swimming or exercise in the water to their circumstance.

We can mention for example  the recovery of the shoulder, this benefits from exercises with the arms below the horizontal, or breaststroke swimming with a low stroke.


Recommendation of exercises in the water for the recovery of injuries.


Quirónsalud traumatologists recommend:

Swim in all its varieties, whether breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke or butterfly, which exercise in each case different muscle groups.

In the water you can practice sports such as: aquagym, acuafit, aquaagac, aquabalance, aquacardium, aquawater, acuaextrem, aquazumba, hydrospinning.

The possibilities are enormous considering that the benefits of any physical activity can be transferred and multiplied within the water by the effect of lack of gravity, which decreases the impact of circulations and the fact that water offers a constant resistance to movement that can be increased or reduced depending on the materials and the depth at which it is performed.

This is why spinning in water is a good option if you want to reduce that pressure of the intervertebral discs when sitting and exercising. The mere walk, if done barefoot allows to stimulate the sensory receptors of the feet when walking on the sand. Aquarunning consists of running in the water, and depending on where the water arrives, it will offer more or less resistance, which decreases the joint impact in the race and improves balance.


What is aquatic therapy?


The concept of aquatic therapy (Hydrotherapy) includes multiple aspects of our physiology and psychology. Not only those related to the musculoskeletal apparatus directly, but also those aimed at favouring its relaxing, toning, even chemical effects if done at sea, which represent an immense therapeutic arsenal, which properly used and directed can contribute in a very significant way, not only to the treatment, but to the prevention of very diverse pathologies and the improvement of our health.


Benefits of Aquatic Therapy


Among the benefits of aquatic therapy we find

The ability to produce a decrease in muscle contractures.

Relief of low back pain and tendinitis, among others.

Sedative and analgesic action.

Physical and psychic relaxation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety states.

In a very general way it can be said that hydrotherapy may be contraindicated in case of acute inflammation, active infections, fever, renal and cardiac failure and ocular, cutaneous pathologies…

In any case, the safest and most effective is to perform, at least at the beginning, these exercises in a supervised manner and directed by a specialized monitor.

At Quirónsalud our specialists in traumatology will recommend the best treatment for your injury and will accompany you in the recovery process.


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