Is Walking Good for Lower Back Pain?

If you’re one of those who are asking “Is Walking Good for Lower Back Pain?” then you’re at the right place. In this article, I’m going to answer all of your questions related to this query. For example, is walking good exercise for lower back pain? How to walk with lower back pain? How often should you walk for reducing lower back pain? And many more.

If you’re facing lower back pain, you’re not alone. According to the statistics, lower back pain is the most common type of disorder that almost every human being faces once in their entire life. And exercising in lower back pain is also painful whether your LBP is moderate and severe.

That is why people with lower back pain try to ease their ache by doing low-impact exercises. And when it comes to low-impact exercises, walking and isometric training are two good options.

Here, you’ll learn about walking exercises for lower back pain and I’ll also share some isometric exercises that will help you relieve your lower back stress.

You may also like: 6 Dumbbell Workouts For Lower Back

So, let’s start with main question:

Is Walking Good for Lower Back Pain?

Yes, walking can be a good exercise for lower back pain. Out of several studies and articles published by authoritative sites such as CINAHL, Medline, AMED, EMBASE, PubMed, Cochrane, and Scopus databases, three lower-ranked studies demonstrated that walking has a positive impact and reduces lower back pain (LBP). 

Whereas, some highest ranked studies indicated no changes in lower back pain.

So, walking may help you decrease your lower back pain. However, further investigation is required to authenticate the efficiency and effectiveness of walking in the management of lower back stress. (source1)

How is walking a good exercise for lower back pain?

Walking may work positively on for your lower back pain because of the following reasons:

  1. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise.
  2. It is easy to perform.
  3. It has a low risk of injury.
  4. Walking reduces low back pain, disability, and improves the quality of life.
  5. It may be a less-expensive alternative to physical exercise for low back pain.
  6. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force system, walking can be recommended as an effective form of exercise or activity for individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain. (source2)
  7. Walking exercise can be as effective as strengthening exercise that requires specialized equipment in rehabilitation clinics.
  8. People who walk regularly are less likely to suffer typical aches and pains over their lifetime.
  9. Walking exercise is the safest way to strengthen the trunk, core, and lumbar spine muscles which play an important role in maintaining the movement and stability in your lower back.

Other health benefits of walking include;

  1. It reduces systolic blood pressure and improves overall cardiovascular health.
  2. Daily walk reduces body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI).
  3. Walking strengthens bones and improved balance.

How to walk with lower back pain? Speed? Time? Distance?

Speed

It is recommended to run at your self-selected speed. Your walking speed depends on several factors such as age, gender, weight as well as height.

For example, if I’m a 45 years old male, height 180 cm, and weigh 180lbs, then my moderate walking speed would be 6 km per hour.

Time

If you want to know how much time should I walk every day to reduce low back pain? So the answer is only a 10 to 15 minutes walk daily at a self-selected speed. A study published by the National Institute of Health found that the 15 minutes of walking on the treadmill at your own pace led to a reduction in the LBP. But, when you’ll be fine, you should at least walk 30 minutes a day to stay active.

Distance

So, now the question is how much should you walk? Well, for an active person, walking 10000 steps a day is recommended. But If you’ve lower back pain, then you should at least aim for 3000 steps each day until you feel a reduction in your LBP.

Is walking on a Treadmill Good for Lower Back Pain?

Yes, walking on the treadmill is as efficient as walking outdoor. A study found that walking 10 minutes on a treadmill will help you ease your lower back pain.

Here are some of the reasons why walking on a treadmill is good for lower back pain:

  • The treadmill is easy to use and allows you to walk at your selected pace.
  • Walking on a treadmill has a low risk of tripping as its surface is predictable than the sideways or trails.
  • The treadmill gives you an option to use its handrails while walk which is good if you have lower back pain.

How to walk on a treadmill to reduce LBP?

A treadmill is a great piece of equipment that offers you much functionality to help you walk, jog and run efficiently. However, the incorrect way of using the machine or improperly walking/running may have a reverse effect on your LBP.

So, if your aim is to reduce LBP with treadmill run, you need to keep certain things in mind. For examples:

  • Avoid walking in an incline position because walking up an incline may put more stress on your lower back. Eventually, your pain may increases.
  • Try to walk on a flat surface with keeping your body upright. You can also use handrails during the walk.
  • Sometimes the wrong selection of shoe can negatively work on your low back pain. So, you can also see if changing your shoe works or not.

Final Words

Lower back pain is the most common type of disorder that everyone faces at least once in their life. There are different types of LBP such as “acute” (lasted for up to three months) and “chronic” (that lasted for more than three months).

Its always a good idea to consult a doctor if your pain doesn’t improve within 72 hours.

Additionally, you can try walking because walking up to 20 minutes every day at a self-selected pace can help you ease your lower back pain (but not in all cases and not every time). Because it also depends on the type of pain.

Along with walking, you can try some of the isometric exercises for reducing your lower back pain: Bird dog facing, locust pose, McGill Curl-up hold, superman hold, etc.

Please note that: I’m not a doctor, and the above article I wrote is based on surveys and studies. So, if you feel you should take a walk, you can. However, for better treatment, I would suggest you see a doctor.

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