Back Pain: Walk This Way

September 19, 2018


When back pain makes it hard to enjoy a walk out with friends, or it stops you walking your dog comfortably or prevents you from being able to enjoy a stroll with your partner it can be very frustrating. 


For a lot of my patients, being able to walk around town with friends for the afternoon without their back hurting is all they want. 


Before getting their back pain sorted, they will often choose to just not go out at all through fear of irritating their symptoms.


The good news is that there are some simple things that can be done to help you walk more comfortably and for longer. 


In today’s blog I am going to share with 3 tips that I give to a lot of my patients when they come in for physio to get them walking with less back pain.


1. Wear Supportive Footwear


In other words, don’t wear flats / flip flops / sandals / or really unsupportive boots. 


When your foot doesn’t have the right amount of support, it has huge effect on how your hip and lower back work (surprising I know!). 


How can your feet and footwear affect your hip and lower back?


For exampe, if your foot does not have support, it can causes it to over rotate. 


This rotation transfers in to the hip and the lower back. 


Your back gets irritated because it does not like rotating. 


The solution? Where supportive trainers or walking boots. 


2. Try Some Gentle Stretching Before You Go Out


Stretching your back in each direction for a few minutes before you go out along with things like marching on the spot and bending your knees will help. 


Doing this will warm up the muscles around your lower back, which helps to provide better support for your back while you are walking. 


Thinking of it like you are activating your “core”. The support system around your spine which will help improve your movement and improve your movement control. 


3. Pace Yourself


Set yourself realistic goals and take regular breaks.


Think about how much walking you can do comfortably and use that as your baseline.


As you practice walking that distance every day you will find it becomes  easier and easier. 


Taking breaks every 20-30 minutes will help to allow your back to rest and recover and often means you can walk a bit further than if you had just kept going without taking a break. 


It’s important to do this daily, and as you practice, you will find it becomes easier.




Take Smaller Steps...


Sounds crazy but reducing your step length by just a fraction will take away some of the work your back has to do. 


This is particularly good for people who are suffering with more severe pain. 


So there you have it, 4 ways to help you walk with less back pain.


P.S. Thinking about Physio?


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