Walking Away from Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common complaint, and treatment often requires many hours of physical therapy over multiple weekly clinic visits -- a costly commitment. Now Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer of Tel Aviv University's Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine says that a simple aerobic walking program is as effective in alleviating lower back pain as muscle strengthening programs that require specialized equipment in rehabilitation clinics. The program includes walking two to three times a week for a period of 20 to 40 minutes.

... when people walk actively, abdominal and back muscles work in much the same way as when they complete exercises that target these areas. And unlike muscle strengthening programs, which often call for specific equipment and can involve exercises that require expert supervision, walking is a simple activity that can be done alone. [emphasis mine]

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I can believe it.  I've not had much back pain in my life, but 4 months ago, pain started in my upper left leg and spread to my knee and shin.  

My doctor couldn't determine why, but I think it was due to sitting most of the day in an easy chair that was a little broken and not level.  The pain was there as long as I sat, but not when I stood or walked.

I had been walking quite a bit during the summer, but when cold weather came, I just sat.  In front of the computer in the morning and afternoon, and in front of the movie screen in the evening.

I started bundling-up and walking a little again the last 2 months and the pain has been slowly declining.  I'm almost back to normal now.  :)

I always had and have back pain, sciatica, etc. - I'm not very strong. But moving helps, and paying attention to your body posture. Straight up and not too tense. Better find a good chair that helps your body posture.

I know you're right Chris.  I've been procrastinating getting rid of this chair because it's big and heavy, and needs to be taken up a narrow stairs before another chair can fit in this tiny computer/entertainment room.  I probably should take a sledge hammer to it, so I can take it up in pieces. 

My own research convinced me that walking ended my LBP.

During 20 years in SF I walked a lot but visited a chiropractor regularly. After each adjustment I did the recommended daily exercises for a while, just as regularly quit doing them and had to visit him again. It was so predictable that with a bit of arithmetic I figured the cost in dollars of skipping a day's exercises.

Upon moving to Napa County I had to walk more and the back pain stopped. In a couple of years I got lazy, started riding a bicycle, and the pain resumed. I put the bicycle away, started walking and the pain stopped. Finally convinced, I got rid of the bicycle. For about twelve years now, no more pain.

Tom, do you still visit a chiropractor?  I think it's interesting that the first chiropractor I visited was in Napa County.  It was for the only time in my life when I had intense lower back pain.  It might have been coincidence, but immediately after the adjustment, by back pain was gone.

I've visited a few chiropractors off & on since then, but never saw any improvement, especially on my neck which has always been a little stiff.  I finally stopped going because from what I've read & heard, there's no good evidence that they help people, and evidence that they can do harm to the neck.  However, it may be that they can sometimes help lower back pain, like the one in California may have done for me.

In SF I went to one chiropractor who made claims I didn't believe. I never went back.

I no longer need a chiropractor. I will continue walking.

I understand chiropractic education is now almost as demanding as medical education.




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