LOC Talks Pectus Deformity with Swimming Times
The London Orthotic Consultancy recently featured in Swimming Times magazine, backed by the leading swimming associations in the UK, in an interview with Sam Walmsley. ‘Coping with Pectus’ talks about pectus deformity and how the condition, and its associated low-self-esteem can put off those with the condition from going anywhere near a swimming pool. Ironically, swimming is one of the best exercises you can do if you’re undergoing bracing treatment for a pectus deformity. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Can I swim with a pectus deformity?
“Yes, having a pectus deformity shouldn’t prevent you from doing exercise, unless you are in pain or suffer from shortness of breath. With treatments like the dynamic chest compressor, the brace is supposed to be worn for 23 hours a day, with 30-40 minutes exercise in between, in conjunction with breathing techniques. Doing deep breathing exercises at certain points during exercise helps improve your chest’s flexibility to get maximum correction to its shape.
Swimming itself is especially beneficial for people with pectus deformity. The focused breathing required to make your way from one end of the pool to the other works in a similar way to the breathing exercises we prescribe.
It’s great that high profile Olympic athletes like Cody Miller and Kevin Cordes are setting an example, no one looks at their chest and says it looks horrible – not when they’re winning Olympic medals – and they’re fit and strong without an ounce of fat on them. Pectus sufferers can often be incredibly ashamed about their bodies, it can make people feel very depressed and that’s very damaging.
If you’re using a dynamic chest compressor, you need to take it off for activities like swimming or contact sports but I always stress that wearing a brace shouldn’t stop you from doing anything you want to. You should just try and minimise the time you are out of it, so if you’re a swimmer, the ideal scenario is that you take it off at the pool side, jump in, and then you put it back on when you’re out the pool or when you’ve finished your shower. It’s best to minimise the time you’re out of the brace but always take part in the sports you want to take part in.
The only swim stroke you should avoid is butterfly, because you’re almost compounding the problem with both arms moving simultaneously propelling you forward, collapsing the chest inward. Front crawl is different because you’re keeping the shoulders open whilst you’re alternating arms and breaststroke is fine too. So don’t do butterfly, do the other two.”
If you would like to know more about treatment options or find out how swimming can help, book a consultation today. For patients considering LOC’s non-surgical treatments for pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum, the initial consultation is free, with no obligation to proceed.
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