Water Aerobics Helps Low Back Pain

Water Aerobics Helps Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain: Water Aerobics Does a Body Good

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 vortexCheck 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: Colado and Triplett (2009). 

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

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!


Stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll share a surprising line up of core strengthening exercises you’ll never find when you Google “exercises for low back pain!”

If you are ready to start feeling better NOW, check out “Movements for Abs & Back” DVD.  In this routine we use jogging, skiing and kicking with simple changes to body position to make a BIG impact.  The bonus land routine uses hand reaching combinations that are sure to add a balance and coordination challenge.  Now available on my Amazon store.


Thanks for reading,

Laurie Denomme