Aquatic Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain

Disability predictors in chronic low back pain after aquatic exercise

Baena-Beato, Pedro Ángel PhD; Delgado-Fernández, Manuel PhD; Artero, Enrique G. PhD; Robles-Fuentes, Alejandro PhD; Gatto-Cardia, María Claudia BSc; Arroyo-Morales, Manuel PhD, July 2014


The physical and psychological factors associated with reduction of disability after aquatic exercise are not well understood.

Sixty participants, 30 male and 30 female, age 50-69 with chronic low back pain were prospectively recruited.

The 8-weeks/2-5 days a week aquatic exercise program was carried out in an indoor heated pool (30°C).

Each aquatic exercise session lasted 55-60 mins and included:

10 mins – warm-up exercises
20-25 mins – aerobic exercises
15-20 mins – resistance exercises
10 mins – cool-down exercises

The outcomes variables that were measured:

  • Demographic information
  • disability (Oswestry Disability Index)
  • back pain (visual analog scale)
  • quality-of-life (Short Form 36)
  • abdominal muscular endurance (curl-up)
  • handgrip strength
  • trunk flexion and hamstring length (sit and reach)
  • resting heart rate
  • body mass index.

Significant correlations between change in disability and visual analog scale (at rest, flexion, and extension), curl-up and handgrip (ranged between -0.353 and 0.582, all Ps < 0.01) were found.

Changes in pain and abdominal muscular endurance were significant predictors of change in disability after therapy.


Authors information:

  • The Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.
  • Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
  • Department of Education, University of Almería, Almería, Spain.
  • Department of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Paraiíba, Brasil.
  • Department of Physiotherapy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.



PMID: 24887967