3 years ago

Try Water Aerobics For Back Pain If Regular Exercise Gets Too Painful

Water aerobics is a great way to stay active when your back pain stops you from participating in more intense forms of exercise. 

Water aerobics for back pain

Staying active is absolutely vital if you want to  get rid of persitent lower back pain.

As not only will it reduce your pain, it'll also makes you more flexible, physically able, and put you in a more positive frame of mind.

However, sometimes you can be in so much pain that regular exercise and activities may be too much.

This is because the force of gravity while exercising can put a big strain on your muscles and joints.

And this can make staying active feel impossible.

So how can you stay active if this applies to you?

Well a great solution to this dilemma is to get yourself into the pool, as this is somewhere the force of gravity can't touch you.

And if swimming isn't your bag, then why not try a water aerobics class instead?

The Benefits Of Water Aerobics For Back Pain

The benefits of water aerobics

The science behind the benefits of working out in the water for back pain still isn't conclusive.

However, there are some studies that point towards them.

For instance, one 2009 review of the studies carried out to date found that therapeutic aquatic exercise could be beneficial overall for people with chronic lower back pain.

So what exactly are the main benefits for us?

​Well firstly exercising in the water gives you a temporary relief from gravity and the strain that it puts on your body.

As the buoyancy of the water supports your body weight, which minimises the pressure on the spine and puts less stress on it as you exercise.

Secondly, this reduced pressure on your muscles and joints allows you to perform a greater range of motion than you'd be able to achieve outside of the pool.

And this helps to increase your mobility in an environment that minimises the risk of injury ​by doing so.

Thirdly, exercising in the water provides you with ​a great core workout.

As the mild resistance created by the water allows you to strengthen and condition your hips, abs, and lower back muscles.

Which are all essential for supporting and stabilising your spine.

And finally, the water pressure is helpful for strengthening your heart, lungs, and improving your circulation.

This will allow you to stay more active outside the pool and also help your muscles to heal and repair.

So great news if land-based exercises are a problem for you.

And while exercising in the pool may not provide as much strengthening as land-based exercises.

It can still build you up to the point where you may be able to get back to land-based activities at a later date.

So overall it makes sense to hit the pool if you're in pain.

And now I've told you about the benefits, let me explain exactly what water aerobics is all about.

What Is Water Aerobics?

Water aerobics classes take place in a group setting and they are all about getting a good aerobic and strengthening workout in the water in a fun way.

And to do this you will use exercise equipment during the class which is designed especially for the pool, such as aqua dumbbells and floatation belts.

In a way it's like taking an aerobic class or getting a good gym workout without the strain.

So it's a great option for improving your overall fitness when land-based activities feel too much for you.

And this makes it popular with older people that may be experiencing joint pain or arthritis as well as those recovering from injuries.

To get an idea of what kind of things you'll do in an water aerobics class check out the video above with Olympic swimmer Kerri-Anne Payne.

It looks good right?

And water aerobics classes are not just good for your health, they can be great fun too.

As you do them in a big group with loud music, high energy and an almost party atmosphere.

Which can be great.

Because if you enjoy your workout there's a far higher chance of you sticking to it in the long run.

So I'd have no hesitation in recommending a water aerobics class to anyone.

As not only do you get many physical benefits from them, the time spent in the water with a fun group of people will leave you feeling great afterwards too.

Alternatively You Could Try Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic therapy needs to be distinguished from water aerobics because it is more of a medical treatment rather than just exercise.

So it's more for people with serious back conditions or those rehabilitating after injury.

And it can be great for getting your back healthy again as it:

  • Builds your muscle strength and endurance.
  • Increases your flexibility and range of motion.
  • Improves your balance and co-ordination.
  • Relaxes you.

This is done through a series of exercises that target your core muscles and get your joints moving through their full rotations.

And for an idea of the types of exercises involved, check out the video above.

These exercises are usually done in a heated pool as that can help your body to relax further while also increasing your blood flow.

And aquatic therapy sessions are mostly done on a one-to-one basis with a qualified professional, rather than being in a class format.

Which is good as the trainers will usually work with a medical professional (such as an occupational therapist) to design an exercise program specifically for you and your pain.

So if aquatic therapy sounds like something you might benefit from and you want to find out more, here is a good guide on it that you can read by clicking here.

And you can find some good ideas of aquatic exercises to do on WikiHow by clicking here.

How To Get Started

water aerobics class

The good thing about exercising in the water is that it minimises the risk of injury.

Therefore it's one of the safest activities to get started with if you want to become more active.

And finding a water aerobics class couldn't be easier, as most places with a swimming pool will run them.

So check with your local pool, make a booking and enjoy! (If you are in the UK, you can do this through PoolFinder by clicking here).​

And keep your eyes open when on holiday too, as many hotels also have water aerobics activities in the mornings to set you up for the day.

​As for aquatic therapy this is a little more complicated.

Because this is more like the process involved in booking a physiotherapy session.

But a quick google search for aquatic therapy in your local area should throw up plenty of options to consider.

Just make sure the trainer you find is fully qualified and knows their onions.

Also check with your medical insurance as some providers will cover the cost of aquatic therapy in the United States.

And once you have learnt the exercises and techniques involved with aquatic therapy there is nothing to stop you from using them yourself in your local pool.

So maybe do a few sessions with a professional then save money by doing it yourself once you feel confident enough.

Rounding Up

Exercising in the water can bring you so many benefits.

And this is especially the case for elderly people and those with arthritis or chronic pain.

As you can exercise safely without putting a strain on your back.

And it'll reduce your pain, increase your mobility​, and keep your joints healthy and functioning.

Plus it'll leave you feeling great!

And whether you go for one-on-one aquatic therapy session or a group water aerobics class, working out in the water is great.

So hit the pool and start feeling the benefits for yourself today.

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I'm a psychology graduate and a veteran of 5 spinal surgeries. I want to help people learn how to fight back against persistent back pain just like I have.

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