There are a number of products, programs, and services out there that are designed to help manage back pain, but getting out and walking may be as effective.
Working in an office all day, one of my biggest challenges is dealing with posture and back issues. It’s an issue caused by sitting in a chair all day, where it’s up to me to find opportunities to get up and move around. As such, I often find the best opportunities during my walking commute to and from transit stops. This is the time where I get vertical, move around, and breathe fresh air.
Now, a new study suggests that walking may be just as effective in treating lower back pain as strengthening programs offered by rehabilitation clinics. This is because walking strengthens the abdominal and back muscles targeted in many of these clinical treatment programs.
A recent study associated with Tel Aviv University assessed 52 patients for back pain, feelings of disability, avoidance of daily activities, and muscle and walking endurance. Researchers then had half of the participants go through a clinic-based muscle strengthening program where participants attended two to three exercise sessions per week for six weeks. Meanwhile, the other participants walked two to three times a week for six weeks, starting with 20-minute sessions and then working their way up to 40-minute sessions.
Researchers found that both groups improved significantly, suggesting that the walking program was just as effective as treatment from a clinic. The advantage of the walking program is that it doesn’t require specialized equipment that often requires careful supervision.
A half-hour of vigorous walking can burn up to 180 to 250 calories and releases endorphins which can reduce both pain and stress.
Other health benefits
(from “I Walk; Therefore I am”)
Make a Move
Do you find yourself at a desk, or some other type of cramped space, all day? Find ways to get out and make walking a part of your day.
Remember: Always consult a health practitioner to see what types of walking programs may be suitable for you.