Performing any type of exercise that exerts added pressure on your spine is the last thing you want to be doing while recovering from a disc injury. This is why aquatic therapy is so important. There are a number of reasons why it is so beneficial.

First, the buoyancy of the water minimizes the weight load placed on your spine. Three fourths of your body weight is supported through buoyancy when you are submerged up to your chest. The buoyancy also supports weak muscles, reduces the risk of injury due to a loss of balance or unintended movements, and creates less impact on your joints. Imagine standing on concrete, jumping up as high as you can, and landing (on your feet of course). A lot of impact and pressure is put on your lower spine as you land.

Now imagine doing the same jump in waist high water. As you come down, you almost float down through the water, landing controlled and softly, causing much less impact and compression on the spine. It’s also much harder to jump up in water, which brings up another benefit – drag, or resistance. Water creates natural resistance, allowing the development of muscle strength. The pool is the perfect transition from inactivity to returning to resistance training in the gym. Your abs, lower back, and legs can all greatly benefit from water resistance training. Floats and light weights can also be added to your water regime to further increase resistance.

Another benefit of training in water is that it helps to develop low back stabilization and core muscles, and in turn your balance and stability. Additionally, it helps with increasing your range of motion (especially effective for your hip flexors and abductors as the elimination of gravity allows you to lift your legs higher and easier than you normally could). As you can see, the benefits to training in the pool are many.

And there are more. The hydrostatic pressure of water helps to improve heart and lung function and aids in blood flow to muscles. The warmth of the water helps loosen up tight muscles and reduces pain. The sound of water tends to have a calming effect and may also help diminish the perception of pain.

To do pool therapy requires no swimming experience, so don’t let that stop you. The work is done in a very safe and secure environment, with most of the work being done in the shallow end or against the walls of the pool.

Always make sure you are being supervised by a physiotherapist or kinesiologist who understands your injury.

Author's Bio: 

Back in 2006 while lifting weights in the gym Rick Fischer herniated not one but two discs in his lower back. The sciatic pain was so severe he could not walk, sit, or even sleep in his own bed. He was confined to the hard floor of his condo for weeks.
Rick was told over and over again that surgery was his only option. Knowing the inherent risks of surgery he was determined to heal himself at all costs and spent the next several months seeking out numerous safe and natural treatments. As a result, Rick has since healed completely, free of back pain, and able to take on almost any activity he chooses (parachuting off mountains, horseback riding on tropical beaches, diving with wild dolphins in the ocean, combat fighting and martial arts, weightlifting, performance level dancing, extreme hiking, surfing… the list goes on).