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Is Walking Good for Lower Back Pain?

According to our summary of research on low back pain, lumbar area discomfort is a leading cause of disability worldwide. If you live with lower back pain, it’s possible to strengthen your back muscles with exercise. It may sound uncomfortable to work out when you are feeling stiff, but exercise for back pain is worth a try.

In addition to boosting muscle strength in your lower back and keeping you from feeling sore, physical activity can improve your mobility and help to enhance natural movement. You may also notice improved circulation in your lower body along with a release of endorphins, which will provide a natural way to help relieve pain in the body.

Young, athletic male running on the beach on a sunny day

Low impact exercises are usually the best choice when you are dealing with a back condition, but it’s important to know which ones are right for you. Is walking good for lower back pain? We will answer this question and explain more about the effects of exercise through walking. Once you discover more about this popular type of physical activity for your back symptoms, you will know whether it can help to relieve your pain and enhance your life.

Can I Walk with Lower Back Pain?

Some patients may need to rest after an acute back injury or a surgical procedure. In most other cases, walking is beneficial to your lower back. When you walk regularly, you help strengthen the muscles supporting your lower spine. This helps to reduce fatigue, weakness, and pain. Walking also enhances muscle health by increasing blood flow to your back and flushing out toxins that can lead to stiffness and decreased mobility.

Walking increases flexibility in your lower back and legs, helps you maintain an optimal weight, and boosts the natural production of endorphins throughout your body. If you’ve recently had back surgery, have a serious health condition, or are concerned about severe back pain, talk to a doctor before you begin an exercise routine. They can help you determine if you need bed rest or treatment.  

Young, fit woman walking up the stairs on a sunny day

Can I Get Lower Back Pain From Walking?

You may feel some discomfort or pain when starting a new exercise routine. This is because your back muscles are not used to the activity. You can also expect to feel some degree of soreness a day or two after you begin to exercise, regardless of your health or fitness level.

To prevent pain when you begin your walking routine, start slow. Walk for 5-10 minutes, and then gradually increase your walking time in your next session if you do not feel too much discomfort or stiffness. While the most popular place to walk is outdoors, you can also use a treadmill or take a stroll in a shallow pool of water or at the beach. Practice correct posture by relaxing your shoulders and keeping your head balanced on top of your spine.

By walking regularly, you will feel less pain. You will also help to restore function and enhance the wellness of your lower back tissues. If you continue to experience pain when you exercise, talk to your back care specialist or a primary care physician. They will let you know if there is another reason for chronic back pain while you walk.

How Do I Prevent Pain While Walking?

Prevent pain while walking by staying active as much as possible. Stretching may also help to keep your muscles loose and limber. Try some of the most common stretches to relieve lower back pain, such as the cat-cow stretch, the trunk rotation, or the seated forward bend. Other ways to avoid pain when you walk include choosing even surfaces and smooth terrains.

Grass and wet sand will help to absorb shock and protect your back muscles as you move. Avoid surfaces like concrete and dry beach sand, which can increase the wear and tear on your joints. You should also find a place that is free of debris and other obstacles, which could cause you to slip and fall. Wear comfortable footwear designed for athletic activity.

It can also help to drink water while you walk. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, which will only enhance your pain level. Carry a lightweight, handheld water bottle with you or wear a hydration belt designed to hold your bottle while you exercise.

Why Do I Get Lower Back Pain After Walking?

Back pain can inhibit everyday activities and lead to long-term chronic pain if left untreated. Walking can be a great activity to relieve back pain so it can be frustrating when it makes it worse. Here are 5 reasons you may be experiencing back pain after going for a walk.

  • Poor posture - Walking with a poor gait or bad posture places strain on the back muscles causing the load on the spinal column to be unbalanced resulting in pressure and increased tension. This can lead to weakened tissues, muscle and disc injury, and long-term lower back pain. Practice cues to be aware of your posture during your walk and stretch before and after.
  • Pronation issues - Your feet can lead to several spinal and hip issues. Pronation is either overpronation where the feet turn excessively inward or underpronation where the feet turn excessively outward. Having one of these issues can lead to low back pain during and after walking. Wear the correct footwear to provide the needed support to help prevent these issues. You may also need to see a doctor for special footwear designed for pronation problems or to discuss corrective surgery.
  • Obesity - With extra weight around your midsection, your upper body is pulled forward and the pressure to support the extra weight comes directly from your lower back. This causes alignment issues, and adds stress to the lumbar section. Try incorporating a healthy diet to boost weight loss and the use of a back brace during your walks to aid in support.
  • Underlying health conditions - Sciatica, degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, and many other health conditions can contribute to lower back pain that increase with physical activity such as walking. Seeking treatment from a healthcare professional and discussing physical activity and limitations is strongly advised. Possible alternatives such as swimming may be better suited to remain active and decrease lower back pain.
  • Weak or tight glutes - The glutes are responsible for keeping our body upright and aligned when we stand and walk. Having glutes that are weak or too tight can create an imbalanced pelvis resulting in a small curve and rotation in the lower back resulting in back pain. Stretching, walking, and preventing prolonged sitting can help correct tight glutes. Walking uphill, squatting, and performing step ups on a chair or bench can help prevent weak glutes.

Staying active should be an enjoyable, healthy activity, not painful.It's important that you don't ignore lower back pain and seek treatment to discuss potential causes and solutions.

Young, middle aged woman trying on a Curavi laser therapy belt

Laser Therapy for Lower Back Pain

Walking can help to decrease your lower back pain over time, but you need to reduce discomfort while you wait. You also need a reliable treatment that you can turn to whenever new back pain arises. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), which was previously often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for pain management, is a laser technology that can penetrate the skin to modulate pain and inflammation in lower back muscles.

In just 30 minutes, our laser therapy belts can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling in your lower back, all without the use of invasive drugs or procedures.

Since there are three different Curavi™ laser light therapy devices to choose from, you will be able to find the right relief for your symptoms or condition. The economical and convenient CuraviUltra™ Belt offers great coverage of your lower back for fast relief. During your 30-minute sessions, you will receive 420 mW of pure laser light through an auto-timed treatment that is programmed to shut off, so you do not have to watch the clock.

Or you can choose to upgrade to the 800 mW CuraviPlus™ Belt, which provides excellent coverage for your acute or chronic lower back symptoms.

If you are looking for professional-grade relief from your lower back pain, the CuraviPro™ Belt is for you. With our premier device, you can quickly and effectively relieve mild to moderate aches, muscle spasms, and inflammation with 1000 mW of pure laser light. It comes with the same features as the CuraviUltra™ and CuraviPlus™ Belts but with more medical-grade laser diode power. Enjoy your device made with breathable LaserFlex™ technology, which effortlessly adjusts to your unique body shape. You will also receive a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, a universal AC adapter, and a portable, lightweight case so you can take your device wherever you go.

By combining your exercise routine with treatments like laser therapy, you can find the relief you desire. You can also enhance your flexibility, mobility, and quality of life. We encourage you to take the steps today to begin your walking routine and to experience the benefits of a laser therapy belt for yourself. With three choices in revolutionary devices, you are on your way to relief.

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