How Walking Can Help Ease Lower Back Pain
If youve strained your lower back, dont retreat to your bed or a chair with hopes the pain will dissipate rather, staying active should help you improve. A recent study on the effects of walking on chronic low back pain found regular walking was an effective method for reducing pain and disability.
A phrase I like to tell my patients and clients is that motion is lotion, says Sam Becourtney, certified strength and conditioning specialist and physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments in New York City. The human body is designed to move, and performing regular exercise like walking will help to maintain appropriate strength and mobility throughout the body to both treat and prevent low back pain.
Other research analyzing 23 previously published papers found walking can also effectively reduce low back pain by 35% for up to one year. Whats more, people who combined walking with education reduced their risk of back pain by 45% in the same time frame, notes study author Mark Hancock, PhD, associate professor of physiotherapy at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
Walking has even more benefits for lower back pain:
Is Your Work Creating Back Pain
A work that involves drawing, training, or twisting with the reduced back can create injury as well as low back pain. Also extended sitting in an uncomfortable setting can create low back pain. Basing on your feet for hours on end? That can create lower back pain as well. The most effective way to prevent back pain is to recognize if you are at risk.
It May Help You Loosen Up
In an acute bout of low back pain, surrounding muscles often tighten up in spasm as a protective mechanism, says Becourtney. Sitting around or taking it easy will encourage these muscles to remain in spasm. Walking, on the other hand, will tell your body that it is safe to move around and signal your nervous system to relax the tense areas, ultimately helping to improve pain.
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Purchase The Right Backpack
As Dr. Freeman mentioned, a poorly-fitting backpack can easily lead to increased back pain. He advises, Use a properly-fitted backpack that straps around your waist and across your back to help evenly distribute the weight on your back. You can visit an outdoors store like REI to get properly fitted for a backpack.
Build In Recovery Time
Give your body an appropriate amount of time in between each hike to recover, Dr. Freeman says. If you are still sore and in pain, wait until your body is no longer sore before going on your next hike. How many times per week a person can hike really depends on the person, their overall strength, and how fast their body recovers in between hikes.
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It Builds Strong Muscles
Consider walking as your all-inclusive, full-body workout. Leg movement while walking requires muscles from every part of your body. Although you might not realize it, Millar says, the back muscles are constantly working to maintain the upright position. The improved circulation and the muscular activity in the back help heal and develop some endurance in the back muscles. Some studies have shown that back pain is related to poor strength/endurance in the trunk muscles.
How Walking Helps Your Spine
Walking may seem like a simple action youve been doing forever, but its actually a very complex movement for your body. When you walk, more than 200 of your muscles spring into action including muscles in your pelvic and spine area. Walking is just plain good for you and is very beneficial to your overall health and wellness. Here are a few reasons why your spine will thank you if you get your exercise in by walking.
It Can Help Back Pain
The American Chiropractic Association claims that walking can help to relieve back pain. Its considered to be a low-impact exercise, so its easy on your back but still manages to burn over 250 calories in just 30 minutes on average.
If you want to be kind to your back as you walk for exercise, make sure you do it on even terrain and try to avoid doing it on concrete. This helps to keep the activity low impact and also lessens your chances of injury. If you suffer from back pain, then walking can actually help to relieve the pain by signaling your body to release endorphins that can help to ease any pain youre experiencing. Walking also helps to increase the mobility and flexibility of your spine, increase circulation, and rehydrates your spinal discs in order to help them be more effective.
It Can Help to Increase Your Circulation
Increased circulation also helps to lower your blood pressure while also nourishing your muscles and increasing your stamina, because the more you walk then the longer youll be able to do it and get fit!
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Walking Backward For Chronic Low Back Pain
Kinesiophobia, the fear of movement, is a common occurrence for patients with chronic low back pain . Unfortunately, self-restricting ones daily physical activity can result in muscle weakness and atrophy. This can lead to further inactivity and more muscle weakness, and subsequently, poor tolerance of normal activities of daily living, work absenteeism, and depression. When the muscles around the low back or lumbar spine become atrophied and weak, the risk for acute flair-ups of low back pain increases, leading to more dysfunction and distress.
Studies have reported that when comparing the muscles in the front of the lumbar spine to those behind the spine in individuals with cLBP, greater amounts of atrophy and weakness occur to the extensors. The lumbar multifidus muscles are crucial for maintaining stability of the lumbar spine, while the erector spinae superficial extensor muscles are known as global stabilizers, which are designed to produce gross movements and to counterbalance when lifting external loads.
When treating patients with cLBP, doctors of chiropractic commonly prescribe rehabilitation/exercise programs to improve motor control, muscle strengthening, stretching, and aerobic capacity. One such exercise that may be recommended is walking backward. Compared with walking forward, studies have shown that walking backward can lead to better results with respect to cardiovascular fitness and MF muscle activation .
Walking As Effective As Other Exercises
A study published in 2013 looked at whether a treadmill walking program works as well as a back exercise program for people with chronic low back pain. To find the answer, 52 sedentary people were split into two groups.
One group followed a six-week strength training program that required two exercise sessions per week. The other group did treadmill walking at a moderately intense effort . At first, they walked for 10 minutes, and eventually worked up to 40-minute sessions twice weekly.
Both groups had significant improvement in a six-minute walking test. They also both showed improvements in back and abdomen muscle endurance tests, as well as on the Low Back Pain Functional Scale .
Dont Let Back Pain Stop You From Enjoying Nature And Getting Away From It All
Hiking is an activity that can benefit the mind, body, and soul. Time spent in nature as you traverse hills and trails through quiet wooded areas can feel good from head to toethat is, until it doesnt.
Tell back pain to take a hike!
If you suffer from back pain, you know that certain activities can quickly ramp up your pain. If hiking was previously a pastime you loved only to be halted by back pain, or, if you want to start hiking for the first time, youll be happy to know that there are things you can do to alleviate back pain during and after a hike.
Learn How To Use A Cane For Lower Back Problems Easy Guide
Probably lots of people have already told you that you are too young for back problems. But trust me, this statement doesn’t make any sense. Even I have seen my colleagues who feel embarrassed using a cane for their lower back problems because it seems old!
Because most of your lower back problems occur for prolonged sitting during office hours or just working in your personal space, literally, you just need to sit on an ordinary chair for continuous hours and Tada! You have lower back problems now!
So, if you are struggling with severe back problems and you have finally made your mind to use a cane, then you must know how to use it. Thats right! Today I am going to tell you how to use a can for lower back problems and some more.
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A Herniated Or Slipped Disc
If you feel severe, sharp pain shooting through your lumbar region when walking, you might be experiencing sciatica from a slipped disc.
The bones that make up your spine are cushioned by small discs. These discs absorb shock and help protect the spinal cord. If a disc slips out of place, it can press on the spinal nerve and cause severe pain.9
What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Symptoms may vary depending on the location and size of the injured disc. If the disc is pressing on a nerve, the symptoms may be more severe, as with sciatica.
Sciatica may cause a shooting pain, burning, tingling or numbness that occurs anywhere along the sciatic nerve from the buttocks to the legs.
Other symptoms may include:
- Lumbar spinal pain
- Severe, electric shock-like pain
- A sedentary lifestyle11
What To Do If You Think You Have A Herniated or Ruptured Disc
Lower Back Hurts When Walking Or Standing
Your lower back provides support and stability to your body when youre in an upright position. Each vertebra is separated by a jelly-filled disc that serves as a cushion. These discs can become inflamed when standing for long periods of time. They can also experience wear and tear with age. Standing or walking for extended periods of time may aggravate this inflammation, resulting in pain.
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What To Do If Walking Hurts
In severe cases, walking for around 30 to 40 minutes per session can be excruciating and intolerable. If it hurts that much, you can start with a 5-minute walk and work from there. Remember that you must not push yourself too hard. Exercise within your pace and only up to as much as you can tolerate. You can also try walking while on shallow water like in a pool as the buoyancy of water makes it less painful.
If you think that walking does not offer relief or if your lower back pain is severe and even walking for a few minutes hurts, seek medical help. Make an appointment with Arizona Pain and Spine Institute and we will take care of your pain problems. Contact us today.
Your Posture Could Be Causing The Pain
The way you hold your body when walking can play a major role in your comfort level and ease of walking. While good posture can result in little to no pain or stress, bad or inefficient posture can cause lower back pain and postural stress.
What are the Symptoms of Postural Stress?
Beyond lower back pain, if youre suffering from postural stress, you may also experience:
- Aches and pains in other parts of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, and knees
- Slumped or rounded shoulders
- Looking down at a cell phone while walking4
Can Correct Posture While Walking Prevent Lower Back Pain?
Maintaining good posture while walking may help prevent pain in the lumbar spine. Study the way you hold your body when you are walking. Are you following these steps?
Stand up straight, without leaning forward or back.Pull in your stomach and rotate your hips forward with your buttocks in.Keep your eyes forward with your chin parallel to the ground.
It is also a good idea to increase strength in your hamstrings and back muscles to help maintain good posture. Stress management may also help decrease postural stress.5
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Use Good Walking Posture
If you have low back pain, it’s important to practice good walking posture. This involves keeping your spine in a neutral position, leaning neither forward nor backward, with your abdominal muscles engaged. This protects your lower back.
When walking, also strive to keep your head up and eyes forward. Simple corrections to your posture can prevent low back pain when you walk and assist in pain relief and recovery for those with low back pain.
Tips For Managing Inflammatory Back Pain
These approaches wont cure your condition, but they may help you manage the discomfort and prevent additional injury.
Also see a doctor if the pain is constant, wakes you up at night, and includes leg pain or follows an injury.For less-serious back pain symptoms, the best way to keep them at bay is to stay active, Dreisinger says. The natural response to pain is to do less, but the opposite holds true with back pain symptoms, he says. Thats because exercise helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to the area.Heres expert advice on what might work and wont for your back pain symptoms.1. Dont just lie there.Its tempting to rest until pain subsides, but taking to bed for more than a day or two may make your back pain symptoms worse, according to the National Institutes of Health .
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How To Eliminate Back Pain From Walking On Concrete Floors
Back pain can strike anyone, at any point in life. In the U.S., it is the most frequent excuse for missed work and the most common pain complaint. If you have concrete flooring at your job or home, the etiology of your back pain could stem from walking on those hard floors. The body is built with natural shock-absorbers, but even these systems can fail after repeated abuse from concrete flooring. Learn how to care for your back and eliminate back pain caused by those floors.
Using A Walking Stick For Back Pain
Several years ago, I started using a walking stick for back pain when I was recovering from spinal stenosis. In this post, I will discuss my experience using a walking stick and share how this helped me get around a little easier. If you struggle with back pain and are looking for a good way to be on the move, please keep reading.
I have been dealing with back problems for about 20 years. Late in 2015, I was doing some stupid things at the gym and I blew a disc in my lower back and sprained my pelvis. I spent the first 6 months of 2016 recovering from that injury.
I had spinal stenosis which put me in a position where I was bent over at about a 30-degree angle at the waist, thus I was not able to stand upright. Sitting was okay, and sleeping in the fetal position on my side worked well.
After month recuperating, my wife and I desperately needed some time away. I had not been able to do much of anything for months and I was stir crazy. In mid-April 2016, we decided to take an extended weekend trip to Palm Springs, which is about a four-hour drive for us. Driving a car was fine, since that position was comfortable for me, so the trip over was pretty uneventful.
At this point in my recovery, I was able to get around by riding my bike since leaning over the handlebars allowed me to maintain the bent over position of stenosis. Palm Springs is a very bike-friendly city, so we loaded up the bikes and headed out.
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Discover The Joy Of Movement
You are not alone if you currently have back pain, which is one of the most common types of body pain. Discovering how to reduce your pain can help you to live life to the full once more.
When youre in pain, its natural to try to avoid moving too much. After all, it hurts! But keeping the body active every day is one of the best ways to manage and prevent pain. Even if you feel some discomfort at first, it is worth persevering as moving helps to avoid stiffness, keeps your muscles strong and aids the healing process.
You may relieve back pain with some gentle back exercises and activities. Rediscover the joy of movement and dont be held back by back pain.
Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:
Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:
- Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
- People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
- The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.
When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:
- Heat or ice
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
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