Back and Joint Pain Studies

Degeneration of the Spine - Bobby

Objective

Training to improve core strength to combat back pain (mid back).

Background

Degeneration of the spine at an early age caused Bobby to suffer from back pain, muscle spasm and tension. With his own business to run, he could not afford to take time off and used HYDRO PHYSIO for a long term strategy.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 4.0 to 8.0kph as sessions developed
  • Depth: 1000mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forward and reverse
  • Number of Sessions: 8

Advantages and Outcomes

With a lot of instability in the mid/thoracic region of Bobby's back, his programme was designed to strengthen and support his spine more competently.

Thirty minute sessions in the underwater treadmill, decompressed his spine and allowed him to move more freely. The intensity of the exercise was increased as the sessions progressed, making Bobby work harder and build his core strength.

Exercises in the 38ºC water of the wellness pool, allowed an even greater range of movement as the muscles could relax fully and work more effectively.

Sciatica - Margaret

Objective

To minimise pain caused by long-term sciatica.

Background

The sciatic nerve is the longest in the body and runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at the feet. Sciatica is caused by the irritation or compression of this nerve and the pain can range from mild to very painful. Margaret has suffered a great deal with her sciatic pain, experiencing sleep problems and, increasingly, walking difficulties.

Programme

  • Duration: 20 minutes forwards, 10 minute backwards per session
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 3.0 to 5.0kph as sessions developed
  • Depth: 1200mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forwards and backwards
  • Number of Sessions: 6

Advantages and Outcomes

Margaret's programme in the underwater treadmill was beneficial on many levels. The warm water allowed her tense muscles to relax; the increased range of motion allowed the sciatic nerve to move more freely; and the exercises strengthened her lower back and improved flexibility.

Each session included backwards walking for ten minutes to stretch the hamstrings. This is because tightness in the hamstrings places increased stress on the lower back and often aggravates or even causes some of the conditions that lead to lower back pain and/or sciatica pain.

Spondylitis and Spondylosis - Bal

Objective

Spondylitis and spondylosis (lower back).

Background

Bal suffered with back pain for over 20 years, caused by the heavy lifting his work demanded. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with spondylitis and spondylosis, and was offered fusion surgery to reduce his pain. Eventually he was forced to sell his business due to the amount of time off he was taking.

Programme

  • Duration: 30 minutes per session
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 4.0 to 8.0kph as sessions developed
  • Depth: 1100mm reduced to 800mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forward and reverse
  • Number of Sessions: 16

Advantages and Outcomes

The key to Bal's programme was to strengthen the stabilising muscles of his spine and pelvis, and build core strength to protect his back as much as possible. Underwater treadmill sessions started slowly, with the water level high to ensure Bal was supported and able to exercise comfortably. As he progressed, the speed was increased from walking to running and the water level lowered, making the exercise more intense. The wellness pool was also part of his recovery plan, combined with pilates he has lost over 1½ stone and he's much leaner, stronger and fitter. Also, the good news is that Bal no longer needs an operation and is back at work.

Debilitating Back Pain - Simon

Objective

Improve core strength to offer pain relief and manage debilitating pain.

Background

Simon suffers from severe back pain caused by spondylolsis, bulging discs and sciatica, and requires regular physiotherapy sessions to ease pain. He is unable to exercise, sit or stand for too long and needs to spend extensive periods lying on the floor to seek some comfort.

Programme

  • Duration: 20 minutes forwards, 10 minute backwards per session
  • Water Temperature: 31˚C
  • Speed: 3.0kph gradually increasing to 4.0kph
  • Depth: 1000mm
  • Resistance Jets: Not activated
  • Direction: Forwards and backwards
  • Number of Sessions: 12

Advantages and Outcomes

Training in water at waist height reduced Simon’s body weight by 50% which lightened the load off his back during exercise. The warm water in the treadmill promoted pain free movement, enabling Simon to exercise in comfort.

Effective exercise will reduce Simon's weight and improve core strength, which will make a positive contribution to managing his condition. The feel-good factor is an important aspect of HYDRO PHYSIO aquatic therapy. Users report a reduction in stress levels and a feeling of wellbeing both during and after training.