Lower Back Pain

How can you walk with lower back pain?

After all it darn well hurts! Walking probably doesn't strike you as the best solution. 

We empathize. Geoff slipped a disc in his lower back many years ago. He still copes with significant back pain from time to time. (Especially if he falls off the 'walking wagon' and starts to carry a bit too much 'excess baggage'!)

So how can you walk with lower back pain?

Well it depends a lot on the nature of your pain. Is it from... 

  • Injury of the spine or a ruptured disc?
  • Injury to the bones in the back?
  • Muscle spasms or strains?
  • Injured muscles or ligaments?
  • Is it chronic (has it lasted over 3 months with little change?)

Your lower back pain could be caused by something very serious or something relatively minor.

You just know for sure it hurts, sometimes a lot. And self diagnosis is seldom reliable. 

As an example when Geoff injured his back, his leg and knee were in serious pain for some time. He had no back pain!

But his doctor figured out that he actually had a slipped disc. That disc had bulged out, pressed on the nerves going to his leg and knee area. For all the world he swore his back didn't hurt, it was his knee!

Wrong! His knee was fine. His disc was dislocated! He never would have guessed on his own!

Bottom line? Don't mess with back pain. The wrong conclusion could lead to very serious and permanent damage! You must ... 

See Your Health Care Provider!

You need to know what's causing your specific back pain before you start any walking program. Once you know, your physiotherapist can recommend the right blend of gentle exercises and movement therapy to rebuild your back strength, abdominal strength and flexibility.

Exercise is one of the most effective ways for you to get lower back pain relief. It will help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. With professional guidance, you may be able to start some very gentle walking soon. Or you may need to limit yourself to very gentle exercises for a while.

Remember that walking can be very beneficial. You just need to get the green light from your health professional first. 

Useful 'Tidbits'

Here's some tidbits for you as you head off to see your doctor.

A 1996 Finnish study found that people who continued their activities without bed rest after the injury occurred appeared to have better long term back flexibility than people who spent a week in bed.

Other studies suggest that more than 1-2 days bed rest may not make your back better at all, it will almost certainly make it worse!

Even more certain is complete inactivity will most certainly make things worse!

Once you've gotten the 'green light' from your physio, you're ready to start Fitness Walking Program that's just right for you.  

Why Walking Helps With Lower Back Pain Relief

  • Exercise walking is a great way for you to benefit from regular exercise without aggravating the structures in your lower back.
  • Walking tall with good posture will certainly ease your back pain.
  • Keeping your eyes focused at least 15-20 feet in front of you with your chin parallel to the ground will help you maintain your posture.
  • Good posture keeps you from leaning back or forward while you walk, and makes your recovery more comfortable.
  • Walking strengthens muscles in your feet, legs, hips and torso. This helps you with stability of your spine. Your muscles are better able to keep your body in the upright position.
  • Walking nourishes your spinal structure with better blood circulation. This pumps nutrients into the soft tissue and removes toxins.
  • Walking helps strengthen bone and reduces bone density loss.

Want More Detailed Info & Help? 

You're welcome to visit the Lower Back Pain Toolkit website of Paula Fitzpatrick, a fully qualified physiotherapisst.  Paula has specialized in the lower back for several years. 

Hang In There!

Stay with your program and leave your back pain behind you - WAY behind you! Hopefully for good!

Remember - when you get the green light from your health professional, you can start your Fitness Walking Program here. 

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