Walk Your Pain Away
By Donna Stark
It seems that when you are suffering from low back pain, everything you do makes it feel worse. It hurts to stand, it hurts to sit ... it can even hurt to lay down if you aren't in a good position, right? So it's not a surprise that many people with back pain think they have to avoid exercise, to keep things from getting worse, but that couldn't be further from the truth! Choosing low-impact workouts have been shown to be very beneficial for those suffering in pain, and the easiest one out there is walking.
Walking Your Pain Away
Walking is a fantastic option for those who are looking for a low-impact exercise. In fact, you have probably already heard a lot of talk surrounding the benefits of walking, but have you heard how it applies to those suffering from back pain as well? Are you interested in learning more? Let's take a look.
- Better circulation - Walking increases blood flow which helps to hydrate the discs in the spine, improve mobility, and increase a person's range of motion and flexibility
- Reduced stress - Walking encourages the release of dopamine which helps to reduce a person's stress level and sensitivity to pain
- Improved muscle function and strength - Walking regularly helps to combat muscle stiffness and strengthens the muscles that support the spine
- Encourages proper posture - As your back muscles strengthen from all the walking, your posture will naturally begin to improve as well
- Improved bone health - Walking can strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Weight management - Walking can help you lose the extra weight that may be a contributing factor to your back pain
Start With the Basics
You've been walking since you were a toddler, so how hard can it be? Well, not too hard, but there are some important things to consider before you head out the door. Here are a few of them.
- Physician support - Consult with your doctor if there are any concerns
- Walking shoes - Investing in the proper footwear is important as all shoes have subtle differences that will factor into your comfort
- Technique - Keep your head up, your chest high, and your shoulders back while using short strides
- Distance - Start at a comfortable pace, then slowly increase your distance and speed gradually, and as your body allows
The Preferred Choice
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from back pain, make the preferred choice of exercise and head outdoors for a walk. Walking is one of the easiest forms of fitness to incorporate into your daily schedule and the benefits that you will gain from doing so are immeasurable! In addition to reducing your pain and strengthening the health of your spine, walking also helps to improve your overall health and wellness! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and take that first step!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in La Verne, Calif.