How Water Aerobics Helps Low Back Pain

by | Aug 21, 2015 | Core

Back pain is no joke. It can dramatically affect your mood, your posture, even your stress levels. If your back pain is a result of inactivity, stiffness or muscle strain, it is best to get moving. Although your first instinct might be to rest, researchers confirm the importance of staying active for a healthy back.


Why Water?


airplane vortex











Check out the flow of air coming from the wing of this plane and the powerful influence it has on the air moving behind. This changing flow of kinetic energy, known as turbulence, has a major influence on water exercise. Similar to the airplane during landing, the muscles need to constantly engage in response to waters turbulence.

Oftentimes people will try water exercise to relieve back pain because it is easier on the joints.  You may recall from my previous blog about strength that resistance hits you from all angles.

When researchers investigated the effects of aquatic strength training on health and fitness, they discovered significant physiological benefits.  Of great importance to those with back pain, findings showed that: Aquatic resistance exercises may provide more benefits to individuals who would be more sensitive to heavier loading or impact which may occur when training on dry land with certain devices and exercises.  Source.

Regular participants of water exercise will tell you how they are stronger, more flexible and have seen improvements in their balance and energy.

Regular movement on land or in the pool can:

  • Increase blood flow to reduce swelling and pain
  • Reduce tension in the body, essential for stress-related back pain
  • Help facilitate recovery after injury or surgery
  • Reduce the likelihood of future back pain or injury
  • Improve balance and reduce the chances of falling

In 2009, research gave us proof that water aerobics does a body good! If you have back pain and are looking for a safe and comfortable exercise routine, it is encouraging to know that:

  • Consistent muscle force production can be reproduced in water.
  • Comparable muscle force generation to land can be achieved in water.

And get this…activation of back muscles were found to be significantly higher in water!


Getting Started With Water Aerobics For Back Pain


If you are suffering from low back pain here are a few important things to remember:

  • Relax.  Move in a range that feels good.
  • Try exercises that move the body in 6 directions.  This 3-dimensional movement is natural for the body.
  • Progress Slowly.  Your success relies on you moving in ways that the body does not associate pain.
  • Be patient.  Although results can be immediate when you integrate 3-dimensional training, building strength may take 6 weeks or longer.
  • Make movement part of your daily routine. 10-minute movement breaks can be the difference you need to eliminate back pain forever!

The Takeaway


Got back pain? Make sure you’re moving and ignoring that age-old advice to rest (or even lie on a floor!). If you’re ready to start waving goodbye to your back pain, check out this classic workout in WECOACH Workouts made exactly for this purpose: Movements For Abs & Back. 


Laurie Denomme

Laurie Denomme

an exercise coach dedicated to helping you move better and be your best everyday.

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