Even though it seems too easy to be an answer to our ongoing battle, I’m so glad you’re asking does walking help with back pain? In most cases (always check with your medical professional), the answer is yes, of course. Yet many of us, myself included, tend to keep looking for the latest miracle solution instead of beginning a walking regimen. I think we do that because we cannot believe that something so simple might just resolve what has become such a major issue in our lives.
Of course, walking for back pain relief is nothing new. We’ve heard it before from doctors, relatives and friends probably more than once or twice (times a million). We also are well aware of the general health benefits of living a healthy lifestyle that involves regular low-impact exercise. Yet, based on our experiences, we consider managing back pain to be far more complex. But is it? Let’s discover why walking is good for back pain here today and hope that leads us to the easy way out instead.
10 Reasons To Walk Away Back Pain
1) Regain Flexibility – Walking combined with a stretching routine can help improve your range of motion.
2) Improve Posture – Since walking aids in keeping the spine in it’s natural position, you can re-train your body to use the proper movements.
3) Gain Strength – Abdominal, leg and hip muscles are very naturally being strengthened when walking on a regular basis.
4) Weight Management – Walking can not only assist in maintaining a healthy weight but can also help you lose weight, if needed.
5) Get The Blood Flowing – Low-impact exercises, such as walking, increase blood flow which in turn provides nutrients to muscles as well as soft tissue.
6) No Scheduling Conflicts – I know your neighborhood sidewalk is open 24/7 so don’t try to tell me that it’s not (use common sense for safety, of course)!
7) It’s Pretty Much Free – Although there are probably thousands of accessories available, the vast majority of us have supportive enough shoes and comfortable enough clothes to get started, at least.
8) Stress Reduction – It’s well-known that stress is a contributing factor to back pain and the general healing process but walking is one of those exercises that reduces stress naturally by releasing endorphins.
9) Reduce Future Episodes – All of the physical benefits you gain from walking regularly will actually help you reduce or even prevent additional occurrences of pain.
10) Simply Feel Better – Exercise in general improves our self-esteem and that improvement helps us deal with set-backs (such as back pain) in a much more confident manner.
A Few Tips For Success…
- Build up to the recommended 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week based on your very own schedule (i.e. if you can only do 5 minutes twice per week at first, then so be it).
- If it is particularly painful for you (but you’re cleared for it by your doctor), try walking in the water as the buoyancy effect will likely reduce the pain.
- Try walking in a large store (Walmart, Target, etc) or mall (with a cart or walker to combat pain, if necessary) especially if the weather in your area is a discouraging factor.
- Reward yourself by listening to your favorite music or audio book when walking.
- If you’re able to sustain the “average” routine, consider bringing a relative or friend along for moral support and a little healthy competition.
I haven’t been walking that much lately because of the hot (100 million degree) Arizona summer but I think I’ll take my own advice and either head-off to Walmart or walk in the neighborhood pool (more likely). Have I convinced you to give it a try also? Let me know in the comments section. Of course, any comments are always greatly appreciated.
Image Credit: Copyright: mimagephotography / 123RF Stock Photo