Exercise is typically a part of any treatment plan for lower back pain. But what can you do when your lower back pain makes it difficult to exercise?

See Exercise and Back Pain

Make sure to consult with your doctor before starting a treatment plan for your back pain. Read: Non-Surgical Treatments for Lower Back Pain

No single remedy works for everyone, but read on to find out more about gentle water therapy treatment for your lower back pain:

See Lower Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment


Water therapy is gentle on your lower back

The physical properties of water allow you to engage in a water therapy exercise program that reduces the weight placed on your spine. This is possible because the buoyancy of water supports your weight by counteracting the force of gravity.

Additionally, exercising in water minimizes your risk of injury due to unintended movements and allows you to perform a greater range of movements.

See Getting Started with Pool Therapy

Water therapy is particularly beneficial for patients with the following conditions:

See Pulled Back Muscle Treatment

Types of water therapy exercises

There are numerous types of active exercises that can be performed in the water. These range from simple stretches to walking on a water-based treadmill. Additionally, there is no one-size-fits-all water therapy treatment plan. Rather, your doctor will recommend specific exercises based on your underlying condition.

See Water Therapy Exercises

Common types of water therapy exercises include:

Some people find that water therapy allows them to begin an exercise program, but soon they feel well enough to switch to land-based exercises. Others discover that they enjoy water exercises and choose to stick with water therapy, while still others find that their pain dictates they stick with water therapy long term.

Easy Exercise Program for Low Back Pain Relief

If you try water therapy and discover it is not for you, riding an exercise bike or using an elliptical machine may be other exercise options that are gentle on your lower back.

See Home Exercise Equipment for Low Impact Aerobic Exercise

Who should avoid water therapy?

Water therapy is generally considered a safe exercise option for those with lower back pain, but it is best to avoid water therapy if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Severe heart failure
  • Incontinence
  • Infection

As a general rule, it is best to avoid water therapy if you cannot find a qualified medical professional to instruct you. An exception to this rule may be if your doctor prescribes a basic exercise, such as walking.

See Water Exercise Therapy Limitations and Considerations

Exercising in the water may require more time and effort, but it is worth it if water therapy can provide you with even a little relief from your lower back pain.

See Early Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Learn more:

Pool Therapy to Relieve Osteoarthritis Pain

Strengthening Exercise Program for Low Back Pain Relief