Walking for Back Pain and Health

Walking for Back Pain and Health

“The best thing you can do after your adjustment is go for a walk. The worst thing you can do is go home and sit.” If you’ve been to our office, you’ve likely heard us say that. Walking for back pain is an important part of most care plans we prescribe. It is easy, free, can be done inside or out depending on weather, and has numerous health benefits. 

Benefits of Walking for Back Pain

According to Harvard Medical School, walking causes weight loss, tames a sweet tooth, lowers risk of breast cancer, boosts immune function, and eases joint pain. Not only does walking reduce arthritis-related pain, but five to six miles of walking per week can stop arthritis from forming at all. Walking not only lubricates the joints, it strengthens the muscles that surround them. As you strengthen the muscles, they pull on the long bones which strengthens them as well, having a positive impact on osteoporosis. In chiropractic school, we learned the best way to prevent osteoporosis is exercise, including walking and weight training. 

Another benefit of walking involves the lymphatic system. The lymph system is similar to the heart and blood vessel system that pump blood throughout the body. Instead of blood, the lymph system pumps clear fluid containing toxins to be removed. There is no heart muscle to pump this fluid. It relies on motion of the body including breathing, walking, and muscle movement. Lack of movement can cause fluid build up in the body. 

Getting Started Walking

Before beginning any exercise program, including walking, speak to your doctor. There are other things to consider too. First, when was your last chiropractic adjustment? If the spine or pelvis is out of alignment, that puts stress on the hip, knee, ankle, and foot, which can lead to injury and you being sidelined. Second, invest in a great pair of walking shoes. Many stores today will help determine which shoe is right for you. You may even consider custom orthotics for added support. We offer Foot Levelers custom foot orthotics, casted right in our office. Third, start slow. If you haven’t walked or exercised much recently, don’t overdo it in the beginning. Start with short walks and build your time slowly. Fourth, walking doesn’t have to be vigorous to be beneficial. Slow, relaxing walks are great too! Walk outside as often as possible – being out in nature has a long list of health benefits itself!

Here are some photos from our outdoor walks this past year…

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