The Benefits of Walking for Your Back
Do you frequently experience back pain or stiffness? Back pain is a common complaint, particularly among people whose jobs require lifting, sitting, or standing for long periods. Fortunately, taking regular walks may offer a simple way to relieve your pain.
Walking Helps You Avoid Stiffness
Do you feel a little stiff at the end of the workday or after you finish a marathon gaming session? Your muscles and joints are bound to become a little tight when you sit or remain in the same position for hours.
Walking stretches the muscles in your back, hips, and buttocks and also eases tension in your tendons and ligaments. Making time for a daily walk can decrease stiffness and make it easier to bend to pick up a laundry basket or stretch to reach the top shelf.
Your Muscles Will Become Stronger When You Walk
The muscles in your back help support your spine and keep it properly aligned. If your muscles become weak, you're more likely to experience pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Weak muscles may also pull on your spine, causing some of the vertebrae to move out of alignment.
Misalignments, called "subluxations" by chiropractors, are painful and can lead to other issues. Subluxations may affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing these structures to tighten and become less flexible. Walking strengthens your muscles and reduces your risk of developing subluxations.
Circulation Improves When You Walk
Any kind of movement, including walking, improves blood flow throughout your body. Blood carries oxygen to the cells in your body and is essential for the normal function of muscles, tissues, and nerves. Improving circulation may also make it easier for your body to remove toxins that can contribute to back pain.
Walking May Improve Joint and Disc Function
Improving your circulation also benefits the discs in your spine. Rubbery, fluid-filled discs between each vertebra cushion your spine, act as shock absorbers, and help you move easily.
The discs work best when they're full of fluid. Fluid naturally moves in and out of the discs during the day and may decrease depending on your movements. Walking makes it easier for fluid to flow into the discs, which can mean less pain and stiffness for you.
A regular walk can also help ensure that the cartilage at the end of the bones in your back receives a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Adding Walking to Your Daily Exercise Routine Can Relieve Your Pain
If you're in pain, a leisurely walk through the neighborhood may be the last thing you feel like doing. Although moving may not seem like a good idea when you have a backache, a walk may actually ease your pain.
In a study published in the Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine, study participants who walked regularly reported less back pain. Another study explored whether walking worked as well as other methods of reducing back pain. Participants with chronic low back pain were assigned to one of three groups: walking, physical therapy, or group exercises. Those in the walking group improved just as much as the physical therapy and exercise groups, according to the study, which was published in American Family Physician.
Walking, in addition to chiropractic treatment, can help you keep your back flexible and reduce pain. Have you been struggling with back pain? Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine: Association Between Walking and Low Back Pain in the Korean Population: A Cross-Sectional Study, 10/31/17
American Family Physician: Walking Program Effective for Chronic Low Back Pain, 8/1/15
SPINEHealth: 2 Reasons Why Walking Is Good for Your Lower Back, 9/23/19