This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Generations Magazine.

Retired Chief Justice Ronald T. Y. Moon performing back stabilization exercises following a compression fracture to the Lumbar Spine.

Many will experience some kind of lower back pain at some point in their lives. If a back injury has short-circuited your daily activities or regular workout routine, aqua therapy might be a good alternative during the healing period. Water exercises for back pain are diverse and should be tailored to the individual and specific condition.

For a more effective workout:

Choose a heated pool with multi depths: Warm water of 90 – 94 degrees assists in healing, relaxes spastic muscles, relieves pain and increases blood circulation. The more deeply immersed in water you are, the less you weigh. In chest-deep water, buoyancy decreases the amount of shock transmitted through your spine, in deep water there is no impact, therefore no shock to your body.

Warm up:

Water exercise should start with a warm up for 5 –10 minutes. One of the easiest warm ups is walking (forward, backward, sidestepping and marching).

Water Resistance Exercises:

The pool is a great place to work on low back and core strengthening. Standing hip and arm exercises, while maintaining proper spinal alignment, will help to improve low back stability. Deep-water exercises help to improve abdominal strength and overall endurance. Training tools are available, paddles, webbed gloves, dumbbells, noodles and flotation belts.

Cool down:

The cool down will assist your body in its repair process and help with post-exercise soreness. Static stretches holding for 20 – 30 seconds, with deep breathing will help to prevent increased low back pain and muscle tightness.