Water Aerobics for Joint Pain

Written By on October 10, 2020 — Medically Reviewed By Kristopher Ceniza

Written by on October 10, 2020 — Medically Reviewed By: Kristopher Cenzia

Why are water exercises good for you?

There are many reasons why water exercises, such as water walking, are beneficial for injuries and persistent pain. This is especially true for joint pain.

It is a low impact, so there is much less pressure on your joints than if you were to partake in regular, land-based exercises.

It places an upward force on the body, counteracting gravity and reduces your weight by around 90% in the water. It can be practiced by people of all ages with varying levels of fitness and ability.

One of the most prominent water exercises is water aerobics. This works many of the major muscle groups without the excessive impact on your joints.

Seeing as water is 800 times denser than air, so as a result, it provides 12 times more resistance than physical activity on land.

It has been proven that water exercise, due to the added resistance, will improve the health of your cardiovascular ad respiratory systems.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that regular water-based exercise can reduce your risk of chronic illness with just 150 minutes per week.

This is also a huge benefit, as not only are you working toward recovery but also preventing serious illness through your efforts.

Water aerobics for joint pain is very specific and you may even find a course that you can participate in at your local gym.

It has become a very popular form of exercise for recovery, especially water aerobics for knee pain.

Knee Force Knee Sleeve

If you opt for classes that specify injury recovery then you can rest assured that the exercises are tailored to your needs and will not work your joints too hard in the early stages of healing.

Water exercises for knee injuries

Below are some of the best water exercises for the recovery of your knee injury.

1. Water Walking

Water Walking Exercises

Water walking or jogging is a straightforward exercise, simply walk forward 10-20 steps in waist-deep water and then walk back again the same distance backward.

If you would like to increase difficultly you can pick up the speed and slowly progress to water jogging. You can alternate between walking and jogging for 30 seconds each. Continue for up to 5 minutes.

2. Pool Forward Lunges

Pool forward lunges

Standing next to the pool wall for support, take a forward lunge in the forward direction. This can be completed in waist-deep water. Make sure that your knee does not bend over your toes. Repeat with the other leg and repeat for 3 sets of 10 lunges each side.

3. Pool Side Lunge

pool side luge

For the side lunge, face the pool wall and take a step to the side, again making sure your knee does not pass your toes. Return to the starting position and repeat for 3 sets of 10 lunges per side.

During this exercise make sure that your toes always face forward toward the pool wall.

4. Pool Side Step

Pool Side Step

Like the side lunge, there is also the sidestep. In the same position, facing the pool wall, take steps to the side and take 20 steps, and return to the start.

Repeat this exercise twice in one direction and then the other.

5. Pool Wall Push Up

Pool Wall Push Up

Standing against the wall, place your hand’s shoulder-width apart on the edge. Press your weight down, like. push up, and then raise your body partway out of the water. Keep your elbows slightly bent and then lower yourself again after holding this position for 3 seconds.

Repeat 10 to 20 times, depending on your fitness level.

Will swimming help or hinder my recovery?

There are pros and cons to all exercises when you are coming back from serious injury.

There is no right or wrong answer, but you can make an informed decision with the help of your physician as to what is best for you in terms of your knee injury.

As mentioned above, the benefits of pool exercises are exponential when dealing with a significant knee injury. It is especially beneficial for joints as it reduces the strain on these parts of the body.

It increases the strength of the muscles post-injury and will work to get you back to your initial standing much faster than with other forms of therapy that may be suggested for you.

It is a tried and tested method of recovery and should be considered when choosing your preferred method of exercise once you are ready for the next stage of recovery.

On the other hand, you should be aware that water exercise can be hard on the joints.

This comes from taking on too much too quickly and the way you can avoid this issue is by taking everything one step at a time. Start with a few laps a week and work your way up.

Maybe even one class a week to get yourself moving after an extended period without physical exercise.

The effects of water on the knee

Fluid can accumulate around the knee joint and cause swelling to this area and additional pain. This condition is referred to effusion of the knee and can affect anyone, but is common in those who have recently experienced knee injuries.

Knee Force Knee Sleeve

Although painful, people who have experienced this condition have likened it to a feeling of heaviness on the joint. It can be caused by osteoarthritis or even obesity.

The main reason for effusion of the knee is due to the strain on or around the joint. Sometimes it can hurt to move and walk, which is why people experiencing effusion of the knee will often opt for water exercise over other more conventional physical activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Water Walking good for the knees?

Yes. Water exercise of any kind is great for knee joints as it reduced the strain on the knees due to increased buoyancy.

Is swimming good exercise for knee pain?

Yes. The buoyancy of the water supports your weight and reduces stress on the knee joints.

Can swimming help joint pain?

Again swimming as a form of cardiovascular exercise is great for recovering knees, but avoid kicks that twist or stretch your knee joint.

Does water on the knee hurt?

Water on the knee, or effusion of the knee, can cause pain and discomfort. This is an issue that should be treated by a medical professional to reduce the fluid on the knee joint, minimize swelling, and ease the pain.

Mitch Torres (PT)
Mitch is a physical therapist, personal trainer, and nutrition coach. Fascinated with the knee joint, Mitch poured that passion into writing about knee pain and how to overcome it with movement. His goal is to teach you how to apply this knowledge into your daily life, so you can keep knee pain away for good.