Aquatic Back Pain Therapy

We all have 3 major curves in our spine. A lordotic curve is a forward curve of the spine, as found in the low back and also in your neck. The other spinal curve is a kyphotic curve – rearward curve – and is found in the mid-back (an abnormal kyphotic curve is also known as a hunchback). The function of the lumbar spine is to allow bending forward (flexion), bending backward (extension), bending sideways (lateral flexion), and twisting (rotation). Proper spinal alignment when viewed from the side is: the ear is aligned straight above the shoulder, the hip is aligned straight below the shoulder and the ankle is aligned straight below the hip.

The major causes of low back pain are poor postural alignment, weak abdominal musculature, poor spinal flexibility, musculoskeletal disorders and poor body mechanics. Often times, people experiencing back pain will see an increased lordosis (forward curve) in the low back, pelvic misalignment and even an abnormal leg position. Also accompanying misalignments of the spine and pelvis, you will find significant muscle imbalances in the form of tightness and/or weakness. Symptoms not only include pain but are usually accompanied by stiffness and marked immobility.

Your Physical Therapist will design a personalized exercise regime which will include flexibility activities such as stretches for the hamstrings, hip flexors and piriformis as well as strengthening activities for the abdominals, gluteals and quadriceps – collectively known as your core muscles. Your physical therapist will provide education regarding body mechanics and lifting techniques along with development of a home program to amplify your health and the effects of physical therapy.

Aquatic Therapy supervised by a qualified Physical Therapist is an ideal solution for anyone suffering from either acute or chronic back pain. The buoyancy of the water serves to decrease the stress load and compressive forces on the spine and other joints allowing for easier painfree movement. The warm water increases circulation which promotes healing and also provides muscle tissue relaxation. The water acts on all sides of the joints and every path of movement is therefore resisted allowing strengthening and toning to all muscle groups. The overall benefits of Aquatic Therapy are: improvement of core stability, improvement of functional mobility, improved balance, increased strength and endurance, improved coordination, improvement in flexibility, reduction in pain and increased circulation.

 


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