Walking to Relieve Back Pain
There are many causes for lower back pain. Lower back pain can emerge at any time for a variety of reasons, wreaking havoc on your overall quality of life. It may last a few days or upwards of six months, requiring you to make a visit to the doctor's office.Lower back pain is treatable and in many instances, preventable with the right lifestyle changes. Exercise is an excellent, natural way to relieve many of the things that ail us in our lives.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Common causes of lower back pain include the following:
- Bulging or ruptured disks
- Spinal curvature irregularities
- Low calcium levels
- Muscle injury
Unfortunately, the older we grow, the more common back pain becomes. While aging may be out of our control there are a few bad habits that many of us commit on a daily basis that may contribute to lower back pain issues. Carrying too much weight can place a lot of stress on our joints and our lower spine as it struggles to support the weight.
Carrying too much weight can place a lot of stress on our joints and our lower spine as it struggles to support the weight. Also, smoking can have a detrimental impact on our spine as it can reduce proper circulation and the delivery of vital nutrients to this region of the body, causing unwanted pain. Finally, the way we use our body can prove detrimental to the health of our lower back. Lifting heavy objects or improperly lifting anything for that matter, can lead to debilitating back pain.
While some back pain may require intense therapy and treatment, there are a few simple steps (literally) that you can take to self-manage your lower back pain issues.
Did you know that one of the best things that you can do to relieve back pain is to walk? Daily walks can have a positive impact on the inflammatory response of our bodies to pain by decreasing inflammation and swelling if done in moderation.
It was once thought that being immobile and resting your back was the best way to relieve back pain. However, studies have demonstrated that immobility can increase the intensity of back pain problems leading to a loss of up to three percent of muscle function in just one day.
Walking has been reported to relieve back pain in as little as seven days. Walking promotes the movement of fluid away from our muscles, improves blood flow and increases oxygen to the affected region (typically the lower back, buttocks and leg muscles) and has the capacity to relieve stiffness, pain and thanks to the increase of endorphins, it can boost our mood and relieve depression. Walking builds endurance, promotes healing and allows for low impact to the joints in the body.
Frequency of Walking to Relieve Back Pain
To reap the full benefits of walking for lower back pain relief, one should aim to walk three times per week for 30 minutes. If you haven’t exercised in some time or perhaps need to build your endurance up first, aim for 10-minute walks three times per day. The pace of the walk should begin slow to warm up the muscles in your body then slowly build to a brisk pace over time.
Of course before beginning any kind of a workout regimen, be sure to consult your physician. If after beginning walking, you experience numbness in your feet or legs, you should follow-up with your doctor.
For those who suffer from back pain that is related to prolonged sitting, a treadmill desk may be another flexible option to decrease the amount of time spent sitting while at work and a simple way to incorporate walking into your daily routine. Some desk-based workers and/or employers of office-based staff have invested in treadmill desks so that periodically during the day, workers are able to work while walking to prevent and/or relieve lower back pain.
The typical speed recommended in using a treadmill desk is between 1 and 1.5 mph. By walking at this rate, there is a decreased risk for quickly becoming out of breath or sweating. It is not intended to be a work out but simply an activity to get you moving.
Treadmill desks are not cheap. Some can cost as little as $1000 and upwards of $4500, therefore one may need to find a creative solution in converting an existing treadmill into a treadmill desk.
Walking has a lot of benefits to offer for those who suffer from lower back pain. Looking to get started? Where might you begin your walking regimen? Consider starting right in your neighborhood, the local park or go to your local mall. For those willing to spend a few bucks, you could invest in a treadmill for your home or consider joining a gym.
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