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Lower back pain during pregnancy can interfere with work, daily activities and sleep. More than one-third of women suffer from lower back pain while pregnant; in 10% – 15% of those cases, the pain develops into a chronic condition.

A recent study in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing looked at 390 healthy pregnant women to find that water aerobics, as compared to land-based exercise, reduced pregnancy-related lower back pain by 50 percent and sick leave by 100 percent. This relief in lower back pain can lead to better mobility and facilitate ease of movement.

This research also suggests that aquatic exercise has preferred benefits because the environment lessens the strain and resistance on the muscles of the lower back. The study also looked at the effect of exercise — water-based or land-based — on pregnant women with pelvic pain and found little effect on either. [Family Foundations, Sept/Oct 2006]