Back pain is a common ailment suffered by millions of Americans every single day. There are a number of “normal” methods used to treat back pain, and also a large number of “unorthodox” ones; however, walking isn’t often seen as the answer to the pain, as many believe that walking itself is the trigger for the pain to begin with. Well, according to recent research, walking is as effective at strengthening the back as many physical strength exercises.
Walking on a treadmill at moderate intensity just twice a week, has been seen to yield much better results when compared to no activity whatsoever, in those suffering form back pain. During testing to prove this theory, two separate groups were formed, treadmill users and non-treadmill users. At the end of testing, it was determined that those who used walking as a tool to decrease pain, ranked their pain levels far lower after walking then those who did nothing.
For walking to be an effective tool at helping to relieve the pain associated with the lower back, proper form and posture must be had while walking. Proper posture helps to decrease the pressure on the back and can also help the spine to strengthen and align correctly. Good posture allows you to properly breathe while avoiding back pain.
Proper posture starts by standing up straight without leaving any arch in the back. Walking, even up hill, should never be done whilst leaning as this can put small amounts of pressure on the back in various places. Keeping your back straight up and the eyes forward helps to reduce tension in the neck. Rotate the hips forward, this is done by tucking in the rear as much as possible; the elbows should be at a nice and comfortable angle, roughly 90 degrees. The elbows should be close to the body, and swinging them outward, from side to side is ill-advised. As the feet strike the ground, the heel should make contact first, as you roll through to the toe. Steps should mirror one another, and be evenly spaced strides.
Walking for three hours a week, roughly an hour and a half each time, can drastically lower the risk of heart disease, as well as ease tension on the back. Accompanied with frequent visits to the chiropractor, walking can be a great tool to keep you from pain, and to distance yourself form any age-related or bone-related ailments that may come from improper care of the bones and the vertebrae.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.