Review: Aquatic exercise for low back pain

 It appears to be beneficial, say researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, in Finland.

But the data are sparse.

First, the details.

  • 37 studies were found and 7 were included in the review.

And, the results.

  • Therapeutic aquatic exercise appeared to have benefit.
  • But it’s not better than other treatments it was compared to in the studies.
  • Study design was considered poor in all included studies.
  • The inconsistencies among studies made it impossible to combine the data and do a meta-analysis of the results.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “There was sufficient evidence to suggest that therapeutic aquatic exercise is potentially beneficial to patients suffering from chronic low back pain and pregnancy-related low back pain.”

“Suggest” and “potentially” are the key words here.

As with the use of aquatic exercise to treat knee osteoarthritis, more and better designed studies are needed.

4/1/09 22:51 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.