Back Talk: Water works wonders as therapy

By Dr. Layne Towery
April 8, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 7, 2014 at 11:08 p.m.

I am 66 years old and have chronic back and hip pain. MRIs shows that I also have a lot of arthritis throughout my body. I weigh about 250 pounds, so I know I need to lose some weight, but I can't exercise because of the intense pain. Arthritis medications and pain pills make me sick. What treatments or exercises can I do to get some relief?

The first thing I would suggest is get your back, neck and joints evaluated by a chiropractor. He/she will examine your spine and determine if conservative chiropractic care or acupuncture can help you.

Next, I suggest you look into joining one of the local gyms with a heated pool and start a water exercise program. I am not telling you to start swimming but to exercise in the water to help your conditions.

Water exercise uses water for resistance. It is fantastic exercise for people who have osteoarthritis, back and hip pain, fibromyalgia and a long list of other conditions.

Water exercise components:

  1. Reduces impact forces while exercising.

  2. "Unweights" the body in a buoyant medium.

  3. Provides three-dimensional muscle resistance.

  4. Provides mainly concentric muscular contractions

  5. Allows joints to move more freely without pain.

  6. Helps control core body temperature.

  7. Provide unique resistance in any direction.

  8. Allows almost pain free range of motion.

  9. Provides a positive psychological environment and is time efficient.

I would also suggest you find you a doctor who specializes in weight loss and let him help you with losing some weight. There are a number of good programs out there; you just need to find one that you are comfortable with.

Medicare and most medical insurances will pay for most of the above treatment so what are you waiting for?

I have been having a lot of neck and shoulder pain. My family doctor said I had a pinched nerve and prescribed some muscle relaxers and pain pills, but nothing has helped. My fingers tingle at times and get numb. My doctor says I need to go to pain management, but I cannot afford that (I have no insurance). Suggestions?

The first thing you should do is start icing the neck and shoulder for about 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Take some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like Aleve gelcaps and get in a hot shower and stretch and exercise the neck and shoulder. This should help some.

If this does not give you some relief, I would suggest you get evaluated by a chiropractor. Chiropractors are specialists at detecting and treating pinched nerves. Most chiropractors are very reasonable cost wise and will work out a payment plan if needed.

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at or 361-570-6284.



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