Lower back pain (LBP) is a medical condition that will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Several medical causes have been identified for LBP, yet the large majority of LBP patients do not receive a specific diagnosis. These patients use up a large majority of health care resources, and accumulate billions of dollars in medical costs in countries throughout the globe. In recent years, an increasing focus has been placed on the idea that aquatic therapy may be an effective therapy for LBP patients. Exercise therapy has already proven itself as an effective means for treating LBP. Thus, combined with the unique properties of water, experts believe that aquatic therapy is the future of LBP treatment. This thesis aims to explore the efficacy of aquatic therapy as a treatment for LBP. Through the analysis of controlled peer-reviewed studies, scholarly information databases, and historical data on LBP treatment, this thesis evaluates the relationship between aquatic therapy and LBP in its entirety. Scientific properties of water have shown its many uses in rehabilitative therapy treatments. Water, in theory, is able to manipulate the exercise environment to allow for more substantial progress to be made. In studies where aquatic therapy was tested versus no treatment, aquatic therapy proved to be a more efficient and effective option. Still, when placed against other therapies, aquatic therapy did not always prove more effective. While the analyzed studies support the idea that aquatic therapy is an effective treatment for LBP, further research is needed to determine how aquatic therapy holds up against other forms of treatment.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Olson, Daniel A., "An evaluation of aquatic therapy as a treatment for lower back pain" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1173.