Want an easy way to reduce your back pain? Just put one foot in front of the other!
According to our Fareham chiropractor, walking is one of the best ways to combat chronic back pain.
When you walk, you lift your leg and bring it forward. This action requires you to use muscles in the legs, pelvis, arms and back. With each step you take, your body produces gentle muscle contractions. These small contractions help to keep your muscles healthy by maintaining strength. They also bring nutrient-rich blood to the muscles and help to get rid of waste products that have built up in the muscles.
The natural arm swing that occurs when you walk also helps to manage back pain by training connections between the arms, back, legs and pelvis. The movement between the joints that takes place when you walk helps to release synovial fluid from the cartilage into the joints which lubricates the joints. Just think of walking as a natural “back balm”!
Without doubt, walking is one of the best exercises you can do to improve your back health. Just look at the benefits you’ll reap from taking regular strolls:
You’ll strengthen the muscles in your feet, legs, hips, and core
Walking regularly will help to increase the stability of your spine by conditioning the muscles that keep your body in its upright position.
You’ll feed your spinal structures
Walking will help pump important nutrients into your soft tissues which will drain away nasty toxins.
You’ll improve your flexibility and posture
Walking will provide you with a greater range of motion which will help to lower your risk of sustaining spinal injuries.
You’ll strengthen your bones
Walking regularly can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help to manage any existing osteoarthritis pain.
As with any form of exercise, the better the technique, the better results you’ll see. To help you make the most of walking, our Fareham chiropractor has highlighted some top tips below. Just remember to always speak to a medical professional before undertaking any new exercise regime.
Before you begin your walk, you should always do some gentle stretching to prepare your joints and muscles for the bigger range of motion they need. A good way to “loosen up” your muscles and joints is to take a gentle, five minute walk before you start your main walk.
Your doctor, chiropractor or healthcare practitioner will be able to discuss the best way to do stretches, which will include the neck, arms, hips, upper and lower leg muscles.
Implementing the following techniques will help you to gain the maximum health benefits of walking:
Walk briskly, but with enough breath to be able to maintain a conversation.
Begin with a 5 minute walk and work up to walking for at least 30 minutes (around 2 miles) at least 3 to 4 times a week.
Walk with your head up and centred between your shoulders, keeping your eyes focused straight ahead. Your shoulders should be relaxed but straight – avoid slouching or hunching.
Using your abdominal muscles when you walk will help to support your trunk and your spine. To do this effectively, keep your stomach slightly pulled in and make sure your stand upright and avoid leaning forward as you walk. Your stride should also feel natural – not overly long or overly short. Some people attempt extra-long strides in the hope of finishing the walk quicker. You may end up getting to the finishing line in less time by doing this, but it will slow down the improvements to your health.
A life without back pain could start with a single step.
If you are suffering back pain or are seeking advice about your back then why not visit one of our experienced team of chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham. Call us on 01329 280 283 to book an appointment.