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Is walking good for lower back pain?


Is walking good for lower back pain?

Should I keep moving or is rest better? When we have a patient with lower back pain we often recommend movement and walking. But why is this?

Walking is a low intensity exercise that keeps your muscles and joints moving. When we irritate a nerve, our bodies often seize up to guard and protect the body and prevent further nerve irritation. However, over time the back muscles fatigue and become painful too. The best way to break this pattern is getting the muscles doing what they are supposed to and that means moving then. The body then remembers the muscles usual job and this stops them from locking up. This in turn helps to speed up recovery.

Walking also releases endorphins – the happy hormones. These hormones not only make you feel better but they are also a natural painkiller. Just 10-20 minutes of walking in the fresh air a day can be enough to start the pain relieving process.

Not only does walking have all of these benefits for low back pain, but it also lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and helps to reduce stress. It is also a low impact activity, so has a healthy effect on all of your joints.

So now you’ve read all of that, leave your computer or phone for 5 minutes and go for a little walk! Your body will thank you for it!

Sophie Younghusband - Chiropractor