Comparing the Effects of Different Types of Aquatic Walking on Endurance and Electrical Activities of Spine Extensor Muscles in Men with Nonspecific Chronic Back Pain

Vahid Rezai, Reza Mahdavi-Nejad, Vahid Zolaktaf


Background: Chronic back pain is one of the most challenging medical problems worldwide that results in disability, physical problems, and high costs for the family and society. Therefore, it can be very beneficial to find an appropriate treatment with minimum side‑effects for this disease. The present study attempted to compare the effects of different water gait protocols on the endurance and electrical activity of spine extensor muscles in men with nonspecific chronic back pain.

Methods: The study adopted an experimental design in which 30 men with non‑specific chronic back pain were selected through convenience sampling and using simple randomization method assigned into three groups of forward walking, backward walking, and sideways walking. Walking exercises were performed for 8 weeks, three sessions per week for 30 min. Twenty‑four hours before and 48 h after the intervention, the endurance of spine extensor muscles and electrical activities were measured using the Ito test and electromyography, respectively. Data were analyzed in SPSS 23 using paired sample t‑test and analysis of variance.

Results: The results showed that backward walking in water significantly increases endurance and electromyography activities of spine extensor muscles (P < 0.05), while forward and sideways walking had no significant effect on these variables (P > 0.05). The results obtained from Bonferroni post‑hoc test showed a significant difference between the strength of trunk extensor muscles and EMG of spinal cord extensor muscles in forward and backward water gait groups (P = 0.001, 0.006).

Conclusions: According to the findings of this study, it seems that walking backward can be an effective therapeutic method for patients with chronic back pain.


Back pain,;endurance; electromyography; hydrotherapy

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