Hi my favorite readers! Recently, I came in contact with a lady who stated she could not swim because she was unable to move her neck. Her neck was fused together with steel plates and bolts. Yikes….I have had a fractured C-1 and can relate to her neck injury. (Nothing’s fused together, though. My neck mobility is only hindered.) It is possible to enjoy swimming after a neck injury.
I know that everyone is different, but I do disagree with her completely negative statement about being unable to enjoy swimming after a neck injury. Here’s a great way to swim without moving the neck that I want to share about how to accomplish this task:
Do a semi-dog paddle with your head in the water. A standard dog paddle has the head out of the water. This out-of-water position actually puts the neck in an awkward position. At least it does for me. Keeping your head in the water helps keep the neck straight. You don’t have to move your neck or put it into a compromising position.
Here is a link for more information on the traditional dog paddle that you may find helpful:
Of course, you have to feel comfortable having your face in the water. And, you might need to hold your breath like I do. If you cannot hold your breath, you need to use a snorkeling tube/breathing device. I love holding my breath because it strengthens my diaphragm and lungs. Being a wind instrument musician…that comes in pretty handy. 🙂 It provide a good feeling, too.
So, for the moral of this story: Instead of thinking you absolutely cannot do something, look for an alternative. It more than likely will be there. Just take a look at all the Paralymic athletes and others who do not let their physical bodies hinder them. Good luck!
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