Top Reasons You Should Be Walking For Back Pain

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For all of you, who suffer from chronic back pain, listen up. Today I want to discuss the top reasons you should be walking for back pain.  Walking is one of the ways that I deal with my back pain, and you should consider this a viable option as well.

Exercise is an essential aspect of dealing with back pain, especially low back pain.  Exercise helps to keep the muscles that support the spine strong. When these muscles are weak, this can lead to added wear and tear on the vertebrae and discs which are important components in your spine.

One study shows that people who walked more were less likely to experience low back pain, which is noteworthy since about 25% of these folks experienced back pain.

If you are fit for walking, it is a fantastic low impact way to get some exercise.  The reason I say “if you are fit,” there have been times in my life when I was recovering from a back injury where I could barely walk, so in those cases, I was stuck at home.

I would recommend walking on a flat surface for starters if you are recovering from an injury.  This comes from experience. In 2011 I injured myself picking up my daughter, and I hobbled around for 16 months.  Walking long distances was difficult enough, I couldn’t even think of walking on uneven terrain, so that is why I bring that up.

Now let’s get into some of the top reasons you should be walking for back pain. Also, if you are just getting started and need a good pair of shoes for walking, these are great shoes for back pain.

When I don’t want to go to the gym

Some days I just don’t have it in me to hit the gym.  The fact that other people are also at the gym is sometimes a significant deterrent for me LOL.  This is especially true on weeknights after a long day of work; sometimes the last thing I want to do is pack up and make the trek to the gym.

Walking can be a reliable alternative, and it’s so easy to do, just go for a walk!  One of the best parts about going for a walk is tranquility, which is fantastic after a long day at work.

Get outside!

When I have been cooped up all day, driving to and from work, and then being inside at work, sometimes it is really nice to get outside and go for a walk.  Often I will go for a walk around the building while I am at work, but it’s still really nice to get outside in the evenings after work as well.

This is especially true when I don’t want to be inside yet again with a trip to the gym.  Sometimes I just want to breathe in that fresh air and go for a nice brisk walk.

Great conversations with my wife and/or kids

My wife and I both work full-time, and we are in charge of two teenagers (well, sometimes I wonder who is in charge LOL). It’s nice to get my wife and me out for a walk, or sometimes we make the kids go with us.  I find that we have great conversations when we are out walking, and it’s a chance for everyone to kind of decompress. 

More core exercise than you would think

Walking actually offers a lot more of a workout than you might think.  I know that when I walk, I can feel my butt, hamstrings, low back, and abs all working as a cohesive unit.  These are all muscle groups that make up your core.  So, don’t knock walking until you have tried it, you can actually get some good exercise in.

It’s funny though, I see people “running” but they are going slower than I am walking. I feel like all they are doing is just putting added pressure on their joints.  My advice for those folks is to just walk, it will be less wear and tear on your body.

Takes your mind off the pain

Honestly for me, one of the biggest reasons I like to get out of the house is to just take my mind off of the pain.  Exercise helps to release endorphins which are your body’s natural pain reliever. If I am engaged in a nice long walk and conversation with my wife (and/or kids), there are often times I forget about the pain.

My muscles are loosening up, and endorphins are kicking in, helping to relieve some of the pain I had been experiencing.  Either way, it’s nice to take my mind off my back pain. However, that happens.

Great low impact exercise

Of course, walking is a low impact form of exercise as I touched on earlier.  Low impact exercises, like walking or using an elliptical trainer have been great ways for me to work out when dealing with back pain.  One thing that I notice is that when I don’t get some kind of lower body workout in, my glutes and other muscles around my hips get tight.  So walking is a great low impact way to help loosen and build my muscles.

You can walk inside or outside

I know that earlier I touched on NOT wanting to go to the gym, BUT you certainly can get a good walk in on the treadmill if you have to.  If the weather isn’t cooperating, or there is a game on TV you want to watch, going to the gym for a walk on the treadmill can kill two birds with one stone.

Photo by Taylor Jacobs on Unsplash

A couple of great things about a treadmill are that you can adjust the speed so you can pick up or slow down the pace if you need to.  Also, you can often change the incline for a more intense workout.  I know if said earlier to walk on a flat surface, but if you are up for it, an incline is available for you.

Conclusion: Walking for back pain

Well, I had fun writing this post, and I hope you enjoyed reading it.  Walking for back pain is often an overlooked option that has some great benefits.  As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to timeframes for walking, and places to walk.  You can enjoy some great conversation, or go it alone, it’s up to you.

If you want to walk inside, or outside, there are benefits to both options.  At the end of the day, getting some exercise is vital in helping with back pain and walking is a great low impact way to accomplish that.

2 thoughts on “Top Reasons You Should Be Walking For Back Pain”

  1. About 20 years ago, our health authority used to make everyone with a workplace injury go into a walking program (if they could walk). Many people not in the program thought it was a waste of time. The program was later discontinued (no doubt a lack of funding).

    Now that I have been off work for 2 years with a shoulder injury, I totally get it. Walking is a great way to get back into the world after being cooped up. As well, since there were always injured people at work (healthcare.sigh), there were new people to meet and the activity takes your mind off your own problems.

    I am going to start walking more often as the weather starts to get nicer. Great post Steve, and a great reminder to get outside. Thank you!

    • Thanks for stopping by Irma! I do a lot of walking, it’s easy on my body for the most part and it gets me out of the house, or away from my desk at work. I am more productive when I get out and move my body. Walking has been a great source of exercise for me, given my back problems.


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