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Water aerobics helpful or harmful?

Had a L4/L5 microdiscectomy a year ago. A few weeks ago I started doing water aerobics. During class I feel fine but afterward I have pain/numbness in my right foot (as I did BEFORE my surgery). A few days pass and most of the pain pretty much goes away.

Has anyone found an effective exercise that doesn't irritate the spine and result in pain?

Also I've been thinking about visiting a physical therapist to get some ideas? Anyone have positive or negative experiences with a PT?



  • saultupssaultup Posts: 71
    edited 08/24/2012 - 3:20 PM
    Hi Ronnie,
    I've had lots of good help from physical therapy. I've learned lots that I can continue on my own after the sessions stopped. I found there are differences in experience and knowledge with therapists so I would encourage you to ask around to find somebody that knows about spine issues. And, if you don't feel you are gettting help, do switch therapists. That made a big difference for me and I am sure glad I made a switch.
    I liked the water exercises. I found I could move in the water so much better than on land. Maybe your PT could recommend some specific water exercises instead of a general water aerobics class. Mine did.
    Keep moving. I know it gets discouraging. Does any medication like Neurotin or Lyrica help? I take Neurotin mostly for leg and foot pain and numbness. It does get rid of the shooting pains in the leg/foot but the tingling and numbness persist. I hope you get some help.
  • I was doing aquatherapy with a Physiotherapist and was doing well until I removed the waist belt float and then hurt my back doing a forward leg lift. I don't know if they have any of the floatation belts during your aerobic class but that seemed to help my back in the water. So if you can find a PT that does Aquatherapy would be good. It was at a crippled children s center close to me where I found the PT there. There's also Arthritis Aquafit classes where it may be easier on your back. Best wishes and good for you for strengthening your core after your disc surgery. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • suzannewildersssuzannewilders Posts: 10
    edited 08/27/2012 - 12:56 AM
    I have been going to water aerobics for 3 weeks. I use a waddle which is a long polystyrene tube to help support my spine. I love it and feel that the activity is good for both my mind and body as there are about 10 others I. The group and we have FUNi. I also am taking neuritin which suppresses the pain. My op was June 12 in uk
  • ellenwilsoneellenwilson Posts: 9
    edited 01/31/2013 - 1:15 AM
    Water therapy is very much helpful for Arthritis patients also.
  • I decided before my four endoscopic surgeries at C4/5 that I wanted the range of motion to be the best it could before surgery so I opted for water aerobics. During the first few classes I was incredibly discouraged as there were 65+ year olds able to do more that me (at the time 28). Once I was able to get over myself I found ways to alter certain exercises in the water so that I could work out the same areas as everyone else just in a different way that took pressure off my spine. Perhaps if you know something would hurt outside of the water (i.e. Jumping jacks) then don't do them in the water either but find a way to get those muscles moving that is best for you. I went back to water aerobics a month after surgery and used it as a rehab tool along with core strengthening at home. Best of luck to you
    10-10-12 Endoscopic Foraminotomy, Laminectomy, Facetectomy and Complete Nerve Root Decompression.
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