This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Generations Magazine.
Many will experience some kind of lower back pain at some point in their lives. If a back injury has short-circuited your daily activities or regular workout routine, aqua therapy might be a good alternative during the healing period. Water exercises for back pain are diverse and should be tailored to the individual and specific condition.
For a more effective workout:
Choose a heated pool with multi depths: Warm water of 90 – 94 degrees assists in healing, relaxes spastic muscles, relieves pain and increases blood circulation. The more deeply immersed in water you are, the less you weigh. In chest-deep water, buoyancy decreases the amount of shock transmitted through your spine, in deep water there is no impact, therefore no shock to your body.
Water exercise should start with a warm up for 5 –10 minutes. One of the easiest warm ups is walking (forward, backward, sidestepping and marching).
Water Resistance Exercises:
The pool is a great place to work on low back and core strengthening. Standing hip and arm exercises, while maintaining proper spinal alignment, will help to improve low back stability. Deep-water exercises help to improve abdominal strength and overall endurance. Training tools are available, paddles, webbed gloves, dumbbells, noodles and flotation belts.
The cool down will assist your body in its repair process and help with post-exercise soreness. Static stretches holding for 20 – 30 seconds, with deep breathing will help to prevent increased low back pain and muscle tightness.