The physical and psychological factors associated with reduction of disability after aquatic exercise are not well understood. Sixty participants (30 men and 30 women; age, 50.60 [9.69] yrs; body mass index, 27.21 [5.20] kg/m2) with chronic low back pain were prospectively recruited. The 8-wk aquatic therapy program was carried out in an indoor pool sized 25 × 6 m, with 140-cm water depth and 30°C (1°C) of water temperature, where patients exercised for 2–5 days a week. Each aquatic exercise session lasted 55–60 mins (10 mins of warm-up, 20–25 mins of aerobic exercise, 15–20 mins of resistance exercise, and 10 mins of cooldown). 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, and body mass index were outcomes variables. Significant correlations between change in disability and visual analog scale (at rest, flexion, and extension), curl-up and handgrip (r 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.
From the Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Granada, Spain (PÁB-B, MD-F, AR-F); Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia (EGA); Department of Education, University of Almería, Almería, Spain (EGA); Department of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Paraiíba, Brasil (MCG-C); and Department of Physiotherapy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain (MA-M).
All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Manuel Delgado-Fernández, PhD, Departamento de Educación Física y Deportiva, Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte Universidad de Granada, Carretera de Alfacar, s/n, 18011, Granada, Spain.
Supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Education (EX-2010-1008).
Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.