One of the most common musculoskeletal problems that a person will face in their lifetime is lower back pain. Nearly 70% of the population will experience low back pain. However, there is some good news! Studies have shown that exercise can alleviate this pain and even something as small as a brisk walk will help to relieve your pain.
Study Confirms That Walking is “As Effective As Treatment That Could Have Been Received In The Clinic”
Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer and her colleague Ilana Shnayderman from Tel Aviv University conducted a study on 52 sedentary people aged 18-65 with chronic lower back pain. The volunteers were divided into two groups: the “walking” group and the “exercise” group. The walking group was instructed to walk for 20 minutes on a treadmill twice a week, switching to 40 minutes per session as their strength increased. The exercise group was assigned specific back strengthening exercises to be performed twice a week. Both groups carried out these activities for six weeks.
The researchers’ results, which were published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, showed that there was great improvements in both of the groups, regardless of the type of exercise they had practiced. This is good news for people who cannot afford to pay for a gym membership or buy the high-tech equipment. All it requires is leaving your house and going for a brisk walk. Dr. Katz-Leurer said that their study confirmed that walking is “as effective as treatment that could have been received in the clinic.”
Give Active Walking A Try!
The research shows that active walking engages the same muscles that are used with targeted exercise. The reason why you may find that your back hurts after a day at a museum or when browsing the shops is that walking slowly causes the spine and supporting muscles to be under constant pressure. The compressive pressure on the lower back when strolling is about two and a half times your body weight and the spine does not move much.
However, even though the lower back experiences the same amount of compressive pressure when walking fast, there is a cyclical effect on the muscles supporting the back that relieves the static pressure, particularly if you swing your arms as you walk. So take some time each week to get out for a brisk walk and it may improve your general health and significantly improve any chronic pain in your lower back. It becomes more and more important as we get older to alleviate the aches and pains and try to improve our health, all it takes is a brisk walk!
For Your Health,
Dr. Frederick Savard