Start a Walking Program for Back Pain

A Walking Program May Reduce Pain Levels

Several studies have concluded that following a regular walking program can help decrease lower back pain.  It may seem counterintuitive – many people want to lie down and rest when experiencing back pain – but in the absence of any risk of further injury, getting up and participating in light activity can help you feel better.  

The Perfect Exercise?

Walking has many benefits and could be the perfect exercise.  For one, it is free and requires no special equipment other than a pair of comfortable and supportive shoes.  Getting out for a walk in fresh air can improve your mood and have positive benefits for your immune system, your circulation, quality of sleep, glucose levels, and flexibility and balance.  

Here are some reasons why walking may be the perfect exercise for those who suffer from back pain:

  • It increases circulation. When you walk, your legs and arms are moving.  This gets your blood pumping throughout your body, including in the areas of your spine and the surrounding muscles.  Be mindful to walk with proper posture in order to avoid aggravating your discomfort.
  • It is a natural movement. When starting other exercise programs, it is important to learn proper form and technique in order to prevent injuries. Walking, however, is a natural, fundamental movement that most people do every day.  It is a functional activity.  Beginning a practice of regular, prolonged walking will help build stamina that will extend to all your daily activities.
  • It builds muscles.  Walking is a low-impact, full-body workout.  It requires the use of muscles throughout every part of your body.  When you are walking and paying attention to your posture, your back muscles are working to maintain your position.  This muscular activity, combined with increased circulation, can help with healing.  While walking in a natural movement is beneficial, doing so while also paying attention to posture and engaging your core muscles may have even greater benefits.

Starting a Walking Program

Just like with any other type of exercise program, give your body time to adapt.  If you have been relatively sedentary, begin with short walks – maybe once around the block – and build distance from there.  This will prevent soreness and encourage you to sustain the daily activity. If you have the time and are interested in a quicker progression, incorporate two walks per day into your schedule.  

Be creative.  If the weather is bad and you are not up to braving the rain or cold on a particular day, march in place while listening to music or a podcast.  If the malls are open near you, that is another indoor option to fit in your daily constitutional during times of adverse weather.  As your walking progresses, in order to get the most health benefits, increase your speed and perceived rate of exertion.  The walk should be brisk enough to raise your heart and respiration rates a bit. 

How Much is Too Much?

It is always crucial to listen to your body.  Especially when you are in the process of healing and recovery.  If the activity is actually painful, stop and talk with your doctor before proceeding with your walking program.

Watch the YouTube video uploaded by an orthopedic rehab facility discussing the benefits of walking to address low back pain.

Sacramento Injury Lawyers 

Hello, I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney in Sacramento.  Suffering injuries in an automobile accident caused by another negligent driver is frightening, painful, and frustrating.  The last thing an injured person wants to do is deal with insurance adjusters.  Hiring an experienced and skilled injury lawyer can take your mind off the legal aspects of your situation and allow you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.  For compassionate, free, and friendly advice, give my firm a call at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.  We also have an online form, if you prefer.

Photo Attribution:  MMB

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