Water-based exercises are a common recommendation for people with potentially painful spinal conditions. Such exercises are widely considered effective because the water reduces pressure on joints and muscles while still allowing movements that strengthen tissues and increase flexibility. If you’re living with recurring pain from spinal stenosis triggered by nerve irritation or compression in narrow spaces, you may benefit from aqua therapy. Santa Monica spine surgeons have put together a list of 3 aqua therapy exercises you can try.
1. Walking Across the Pool
Build your core muscle strength by walking at a steady pace across the pool. The synchronized movements of your arms and legs may also help you maintain balance and coordination. Start slowly and work up to a moderate pace as your muscle strength increases.
2. Backward Leg Motions
Hold on to one side of the pool for support and lift a leg behind you with the other one still on the ground. Hold the leg in place for a few seconds before switching legs. This exercise decompresses the lower spine while increasing range of motion in the hips, and it may lead to increased mobility out of the water as your muscles become more flexible.
3. Leg Lifts
Naturally ease pressure on nerves in your lower back that may be contributing to radiating leg pain with this water-based exercise. Kick or slowly lift one leg forward while standing. Bend your knee as you move the lifted leg up as far as you can comfortably extend it. Hold for a few seconds and switch legs. Use the pool wall for support if you feel unsteady.
Aqua therapy exercises are typically performed in a heated pool. The buoyancy of the water coupled with the warmth of the pool often soothes aching muscles enough to relieve nerve root pressure from spinal stenosis. If you’re new to water-based therapy, consider taking a class or working with a physical therapist specializing in pool exercises.
If you have spinal stenosis or another spine disorder that is causing you discomfort, get in touch with the expert surgeons at The Spine Institute Center. From Mobi-C disc replacement to extreme lateral interbody fusion, we can perform a wide variety of procedures designed to alleviate many different spinal conditions. Call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation.