Can Walking Reduce Back Pain?
By Randi Morse
We are always told to get out and get more exercise, but when you are someone who has lived a sedentary lifestyle, that can be difficult. No one is expecting you to get off the couch and immediately be able to run a 5K, but getting moving, even going walking, can help your body in a host of different ways. One specific benefit to walking regularly is that this type of exercise can help to prevent low back pain.
People often mistakenly believe that the spine is a pillar of strength and stands alone. Muscles and tendons all play a vital role in helping to keep your body, and your spine, stable and in alignment. When you experience a sedentary lifestyle, the muscles in your core, trunk, and lower back can become weakened. Over time, this weakness can affect your spine, causing severe aches and pains. Walking regularly increases the blood flow to the muscles that support the spine. This brings nutrients to the muscles and also helps to flush toxins out as well.
While walking can help strengthen your lower back muscles, it can also help to improve your flexibility. When you start walking, the muscles in your body are stretched and activated. Your tendons and ligaments are also stretched. which can help improve your range of motion. In a sedentary lifestyle, the muscles and joints can become stiff in your lower back. It is this stiffness that can cause pressure which then pulls the spine out of alignment and causes pain. Simply walking a few times a week can help stretch those ligaments.
Already in Pain?
If you are already experiencing back pain, walking may be a great option to help ease the discomfort you are feeling. A study completed in 2004 that was released in The Spine Journal showed that one walking session can reduce low back pain up to 50 percent. There are times when you have low back pain that you should not exercise. Your chiropractor will be able to tell you what exercises your back can tolerate, and what you should stay away from. It's always a good idea to seek the advice of an expert before you begin any new exercise routine.
If you are dealing with back pain, or if you are at high risk for recurring back pain due to previous injuries, start walking. A regular walking exercise routine can go very far and helping you strengthen and tone your lower back.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.