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Health > Water Theropy >Water-based therapy for exercise

Water-based therapy for exercise

The techniques used in water therapy exercise for back pain include spa therapy, standing or floating pool exercises, swimming, and conditioning using specialized equipment, such as surgical tubing, flotation devices and resistive devices for the hands or feet. Spa treatments complementing water therapy back exercise typically involve relaxing in warm, agitated water.

Active techniques for water therapy back exercise are diverse and should be tailored to the individual patient. Exercises range from simple routines performed in a shallow pool to conditioning using underwater treadmills and other high-tech equipment.

Some of the basic techniques for pool therapy exercises are as follows (they can be modified for varying degrees of difficulty):

Knee-to-chest exercise—performed with one hand on the side of the pool or with back to the wall

Leg raise exercise—performed with one leg outstretched and the supporting leg slightly bent while one hand holds on to the side of the pool

Wall-facing leg stretch exercise—stretching exercise in “Superman” position with hands resting on side of pool

Pool walking exercise—forward or backward walking therapy

Quadruped activity and exercise—performed in prone position with legs and arms making paddling motions, with trunk supported by therapist or flotation

Combined water therapy for back exercise with land-based methods

Continued water therapy for back exercise is appropriate if land-based methods worsen symptoms or if the patient prefers water exercises. If their functional status or competitive goals require it, patients may transition to exercise in a dry environment once they are successfully performing exercises in water.

Some patients may benefit from mixed use of wet and dry exercise therapy environments.

Conclusion to water therapy for back exercise

Although formal scientific evidence for the specific benefits of water therapy exercise in treating back pain is sparse, the value of appropriate exercise programs is well established. The aquatic medium is ideal for patients for whom land-based options for back exercise are limited.

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