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Aquatic Therapy for Back Pain: A Case Study

Aquatic Therapy for Back Pain: A Case Study

Few things are as uncomfortable as back pain, especially when a patient has suffered for many years. There are surgical procedures specifically for chronic back pain, but they are not always effective. Aquatic therapy may be the solution if surgery and other forms of physical therapy fail. At HydroWorx, we provide clinicians with aquatic wellness pools so they can offer their patients a lower back pain rehab treatment. 

Advantages of Using Aquatic Therapy for Back Pain

Aquatic therapy is incredibly beneficial for numerous chronic conditions — especially back pain. Water has several resourceful properties that make it ideal for chronic back pain, such as:


One of water’s most valuable properties is its ability to reduce a person’s weight by up to 90%. Since the water reduces the effect of gravity by supporting a patient’s weight, it lessens the pressure on the injured site. With less weight and pressure on the lower back, patients can exercise their muscles without causing further pain and injury.


Water is more resistant than air, allowing patients to strengthen their tendons and muscles as they recover from a lower back injury. Patients with back problems can also improve their balance by exercising underwater.

Varying Temperatures

Warm and cold water offer different advantages. Clinicians can adjust the temperature of the water to suit their patients’ needs. Colder water improves blood circulation and promotes faster healing, while warmer water has a more soothing effect.

To see these advantages in action, consider the following back pain case study featuring Nancy:

Laminectomy Recovery Case Study

A case study from our archives is a good reminder of the power of aquatic therapy, especially for those with severe back pain. Nancy had a long history of back and neck problems and eventually had a laminectomy many years ago. A laminectomy involves removing a portion of the vertebrae (the lamina) to relieve pressure on the spinal column. Eventually though, Nancy began to have persistent pain radiating down into her leg and was prescribed physical therapy to try to offset the pain.

She went to Blanchard Valley Rehab Services for her physical therapy and they immediately recognized the need to put her in the water. Almost as soon as she was lowered into the water in the HydroWorx 2000 Series pool she gained relief from her pain, thanks to the warm water and hydrostatic pressure.

Treating physical therapist, Lori, worked with her to increase her core strength and keep her mobile. The aquatic therapy had been so beneficial that Nancy noticed as soon as she stopped, and she was quick to return to the water therapy routine to find relief again. The protocols were used mostly to strengthen her core and back.

Aquatic Therapy Exercises for Back Pain

  • Walking on an underwater treadmill
  • Leg raises
  • Back stretches
  • Core exercises
  • Squats

Aquatic Therapy Case Study Videos

To learn more about Nancy’s rehabilitation, please watch the videos below:

Aquatic Therapy: An Effective Back Pain Treatment

As seen in Nancy’s case, aquatic therapy delivers speedy results, helping patients recover from severe back pain even after surgery. HydroWorx provides clinicians with specialized aquatic wellness pools so they can make a difference in their patients’ lives. Contact us to learn more about our products. 


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