By Prodyut Das

Water Therapy For Back Pain

Hydrotherapy possible cure for lower back pain

Water Therapy For Back Pain has been used for therapeutic purposes since the dawn of civilization. Hippocrates advised his patients to bathe in spring water as a treatment for illness. Hydrotherapy helps in treating an array of some back problems such as -

  • chronic low back / neck pain
  • sciatica
  • Facet pain
  • whiplash
  • Spondylosis

The following list is to provide examples of some of the Hydrotherapy exercises carried out in the pool by people with back disorders. It is in no way comprehensive and should be used as a guide only. Let the therapist and your body guide you on the exercises and number of repetitions appropriate for you.


Back Pain Exercises

Warm up, mobilizing exercises

  • 1. Flex, extend, side flex and turn your neck.
  • 2. Roll your shoulders forwards, backwards and shrug alternate shoulders.
  • 3. Let your arms float on top of the water and stretch them from side to side.
  • 4.With your arms in the water bend over sideways as far as possible.
  • 5. Holding on to a float, turn round from feet from side to side – look around as you turn.
  • 6. Circle your hips in both directions in the water.
  • 7. Facing the wall, holding onto the bars, with your feet touching the wall, let your hips drop away from the wall.
  • 8. Facing the wall, holding onto the bars keep your hips/pelvis close to the wall and let your upper body fall away from the wall.

Stretching exercises

  • 1. Repeat any of the exercises from the above list that felt good to you.
  • 2. Holding onto the bar, swing your leg forwards, backwards and sideways.
  • 3. Holding onto the bar, flex hip and knee to 90 degrees, laterally rotate the hip.
  • 4. Holding onto the bar, flex one knee up behind you, so your foot moves towards your bottom.
  • 5. Holding onto the bar, take one foot out behind you, keeping the leg straight.

Strengthening exercises

  • 1. Holding onto a float, turn your body round from side to side. Progress by putting floats further into the water.
  • 2. Holding onto a float push it down in front of you into the water.
  • 3. Holding onto two floats, push them down together or alternatively on either side of the body.
  • 4. Walk in the pool, forwards, backwards and sideways.
  • 5. Lying on the bed or sitting on the stool, bend your hip and knees up and rock them from side to side.
  • 6. Lying on the bed or sitting on the stool, separate your legs out sideways and bring them back together like scissors.
  • 7. Lying on the bed or sitting on the stool, lower your legs alternatively into the water.
  • 8. Lying on the bed or sitting on the stool, cycling legs forwards and backwards.

Relaxatation exercises

  • Heat soothes the body, relaxes tight muscles and eases stiff joints.
  • Floatation and other relaxation exercises like stretching encourages the muscles to relax and eases any pain and discomfort in joints making it easier to exercise.

Swimming workouts

  • As we all know, swimming is the best exercise for people of all ages! There are various types of swimming workouts included in water therapy for back pain that you can try. There are many simple swimming workouts like front crawl, sidestroke and breaststroke that you can learn and carry out on a regular basis.
  • Swimming exercises are excellent for elderly, as well as people who are suffering with back pain and joint pain.
  • Most manuals of swimming workouts for beginners often recommend that one should not overuse these exercises since, they can aggravate certain injuries like lower back pain and leg pain.
  • Other than that, moderate amount of swimming is always healing and refreshing for your body, with the added benefits of keeping you healthy and fit.

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