Pain In Back When Walking
Lower Back Pain When Walking or Running As Physiotherapists a regular complaint by patients is the experience of increasing lower back pain when walking or running. There is a common misconception that because we are undertaking exercises this should not lead to pain, it should be helpful shouldn’t it? To find out the answers to these questions and more keep reading below.
- Why do some people experience lower back pain when walking or running? The most common reason that lower back pain is felt when walking or running is due to positioning of your pelvis and your lower lumbar vertebrae during these activities.
- Your lumbar vertebral column has a natural curve in it called a lumbar lordosis.
This is what gives your lower back its arched posture. If you stand side on to a mirror you can view your natural spinal curves. Your neck also has a small arch, whilst your middle back is curved outwards, in the opposite direction. A pelvis that is controlled well with balanced and activated muscles firing, through dynamic movements such as walking, running, lifting, or even standing and reaching will maintain its natural curved state. Once any of your muscles that control these movements stop firing as well as they should or switch off altogether, you will develop what we call a muscle imbalance.
Muscles usually work in pairs that are opposites, when one is contracting the synergist or paired muscle will lengthen and vice versa. If a muscle imbalance dynamic is occurring this will create altered forces within the muscles, forcing one muscle to stay contracted and overworked, whilst it’s paired muscle or synergist remains lengthened and switched off.
The imbalanced muscle pairing dynamic creates an altered pull on your pelvis and vertebra leading to overarched lumbar spine. We call this excessive or hyper lordosis. The pain you feel is from your muscles in your lower back being switched on most of the time.
They are overworked and get tired and cranky just like us after a long work day! All muscles need a break and can’t stay contracted all of the time. Try and make a fist and hold it for 2 minutes, It’s really hard to keep that up isn’t it? But that is essentially what you are asking your back muscles to do for the entire time your are upright, standing, moving, lifting, exercising, walking or running.
We just aren’t designed to do that and that is why our body is sending you an alarm signal by giving you lower back pain. The good news about all of this is that your lower back pain during or after walking and running can be fixed by addressing the muscle imbalance issues that exist if you have hyper lordosis in your lumbar spine. Now the big question is why are some of your muscles overworking and others underworking? How does this occur? There are a number of possibilities as to why this may be the case.
Previous injury Pregnancy Prolonged Sitting Lack of Flexibility of Spine Lack of Flexibility of Muscles Lack of Endurance Capacity of Postural Muscles General Lack of Physical Fitness Anatomical Shape Your Pelvis, Shoulders, Spine & Hips
Apart from the shape of your pelvis, or other bony anatomical structures, we can retrain our muscles by targeting specific exercises to address each of the above issues. As Physiotherapists our job is to firstly assess and diagnose the cause of your lower back pain and secondly determine which treatments will be best suited to address each of the issues.
- Thirdly hands on treatments, soft tissue release, joint mobilisation and dry needling might be implemented to address your pain and to create some length to your overworked shortened muscles.
- Stretching exercises may be required to assist in this process.
- Then we move to learning to strengthen and increase the endurance capacity in your postural muscles.
The goal being to create longer term changes that correct the hyper lordosis in your lumbar spine and ensure you create good dynamic postural control (this means movement with control rather that static control which is of limited use during exercises such as running and walking). The team at City Physiotherapy is here to help you every step of the way. Don’t put up with back pain and stop your lower back pain from limiting your enjoyment of walking and running.
- 1 Why does my back hurt when walking?
- 2 Should I keep walking if my back hurts?
- 3 Should I walk or rest with a bad back?
- 4 Can walking strengthen your back?
- 5 What does a pinched nerve in back feel like?
Why does my back hurt when walking?
Treatment – Sciatica symptoms typically resolve within 4-6 weeks without intervention. Practicing proper posture, stretching, and regular light exercise can reduce symptoms. If lifestyle changes do not resolve symptoms, doctors may prescribe NSAIDS, muscle relaxants, and OTC painkillers.
In severe cases, corticosteroid injections, spinal manipulation, and surgery may be necessary. Lower back pain, when standing or walking, is not always a cause for concern and may get better with home treatment, such as rest, OTC pain relievers, hot and cold therapy, and gentle stretching. A person should see their doctor if the pain is severe, does not get better, or occurs along with other concerning or debilitating symptoms.
People with lower back pain should seek immediate medical attention if they experience loss of bowel or bladder control or if it affects leg movement. Some tips to help prevent lower back pain include:
Exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Where possible, try doing a mixture of low- and high intensity physical activities exercises, such as bike riding, walking, aerobics classes, swimming, or using an elliptical machine.Practicing good posture when walking, such as by keeping the back straight and avoiding leaning too far forward or slumping.Making appropriate adjustments to workstations to improve ergonomics. Examples include placing the computer screen at eye level and using a supportive and properly-adjusted chair.Using proper lifting techniques, including holding an object as close as possible to the body, maintaining a wide stance, bending from the legs and not the back, and avoiding lifting objects that are too heavy.Eating a healthful, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
People with specific questions or concerns about keeping their backs healthy and free from pain should talk with their doctor. Lower back pain, when standing or walking, is often a symptom of muscle fatigue or poor posture. People can usually treat this pain at home with rest, OTC pain relievers, hot or cold therapy, and gentle stretching.
Should I keep walking if my back hurts?
Low back pain: Why movement is so important for back pain Created: February 9, 2012 ; Last Update: February 14, 2019 ; Next update: 2022. One of the most important things that people with low back pain can do is to stay as physically active as possible in daily life and exercise regularly.
Things that have been proven to help include exercises to strengthen the core muscles, as well as certain exercises used in pilates, tai chi and yoga. Not moving enough can weaken your core muscles, make the pain worse over the long term, and also lead to other health problems. Because of this, people who have back pain are often advised to get “more exercise” and “stay active.” There are good reasons for this advice: For a start, regular physical exercise has been shown to reduce pain.
What’s more, it’s a good idea to go about your daily life as normally as possible, and not to let the pain limit your activities too much. Isolating yourself or no longer doing things you enjoy will make it even harder to cope with back pain. More than 100 studies have looked into various types of exercise.
So this is by far one of the best studied treatment approaches. Exercise and sports are also among the few treatments that have been proven to relieve back pain. This is the reason why most medical societies around the world recommend regular exercise for people with back pain. Although exercise programs don’t always make back pain go away completely, they often relieve the pain and improve your overall fitness and mobility.
Research has also found that doing regular exercise can reduce the frequency of recurring back pain attacks by almost half. It is often hard to stay active if you are in pain. Some people are even scared of moving too much. They might be worried that the pain is a sign of a back injury.
But that isn’t the case when it comes to non-specific back pain, which is usually caused by many different factors. These include weak or tense core muscles, inappropriate physical strain, a problem with the processing of pain in the brain, as well as stress and other types of emotional strain. It’s important to remember that if the doctor has ruled out (rare) serious causes of the symptoms, there is no need to be afraid of movement.
Types of exercise that have proven effective include the following:
Special programs consisting of exercises to strengthen and stabilize the deep abdominal (tummy), back and pelvic muscles, as well as endurance training and exercises to stretch the muscles in the calves, hips and thighs. Pilates : A total body workout in which strengthening the deep core muscles is key. Tai chi : Originally an Asian martial art, tai chi is now practiced with slow, flowing movements. It can improve your balance and coordination skills, strengthen your muscles, and is said to help you relax your body and mind. Yoga : An ancient Indian practice that aims to improve your body awareness and health. Yoga typically involves getting into various positions or carrying out certain sequences of movements that aim to promote strength and flexibility, body awareness and a good posture. Going on walks : Initial research suggests that going on a walk or brisk walking (Nordic walking) can help relieve back pain if done regularly – for instance, every two days for 30 to 60 minutes.
A doctor or physiotherapist can help you to find a suitable type of exercise that is tailored to your situation and that you enjoy. People who have medical problems often find it helpful to have a course instructor or trainer with the appropriate experience.
You may need patience to start off with: It can take several weeks for the exercise to have an effect. Your body also needs to get used to the extra movement. That can be tiring and lead to harmless muscle ache, and it sometimes makes the pain worse for a while. In order for it to help in the long run too, you have to stick to your exercise program.
This requires a lot of motivation, and many people find it tough after a while – particularly if they have a very busy job or home life. It is then important to find a way to fit the exercise into your daily routine. Many people find it easier to exercise regularly if they sign up for a class or exercise together with friends.
- Some make sure they pack their sports bag before going to work, or increase their motivation by rewarding themselves with a treat afterwards.
- It is also a good idea to have check-ups with a physiotherapist or doctor to adjust the exercise program if necessary.
- If you spend a lot of time sitting in an office, you can be kind to your back by taking regular breaks and moving your body – for instance, by getting up out of your chair, stretching, doing short exercises and going on a walk in your lunch break.
Some people find it helpful to wear a fitness tracker watch, or to set reminders on their mobile phone or computer. Other ways to get more exercise into your daily routine include the following:
Not using escalators or elevators (lifts), and always taking the stairs instead. Regularly getting off one stop before your actual bus or tram stop, and walking the rest of the way. Trying to walk or cycle as much as possible. Getting up and walking around while you’re talking on your mobile or cordless phone.
Patient education classes provide you with facts and techniques to help prevent or relieve back pain. There is usually both a theoretical and practical part. The classes typically include modules on the anatomy of the spine and the back, advice on postures and movements that don’t put harmful strain on the back, and back-strengthening exercises.
These courses are often offered at gyms and physiotherapy practices. Patient education classes haven’t yet been scientifically proven to help people with chronic low back pain. Some studies found that they helped a bit, while others did not. There are a lot of different patient education classes, sometimes differing greatly in terms of what they cover and the approaches they use.
This might explain why the results of the studies varied so much.
Should I walk or rest with a bad back?
Low back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight. There are many things you can do at home to help your back feel better and prevent future back pain.
Stop normal physical activity for only the first few days. This helps calm your symptoms and reduce swelling (inflammation) in the area of the pain.Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, and then use heat.Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).Sleep in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.Do not do activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins.Do not exercise in the days right after the pain begins. After 2 to 3 weeks, slowly begin to exercise again. A physical therapist can teach you which exercises are right for you.
EXERCISE TO PREVENT FUTURE BACK PAIN Through exercise you can:
Improve your postureStrengthen your back and abdomen, and improve flexibilityLose weight Avoid falls
A complete exercise program should include aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle. It should also include stretching and strength training. Follow the instructions of your health care provider or physical therapist. Begin with light cardiovascular training.
- Walking, riding an upright stationary bicycle (not the recumbent kind), and swimming are great examples.
- These types of aerobic activities can help improve blood flow to your back and promote healing.
- They also strengthen muscles in your stomach and back.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises are important in the long run.
Keep in mind that starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make your pain worse. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can ease the stress on your back. A physical therapist can help you determine when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.
JoggingContact sportsRacquet sportsGolfDancingWeight liftingLeg lifts when lying on your stomachSit-ups
TAKING MEASURES TO PREVENT FUTURE BACK PAIN To prevent back pain, learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these tips:
If an object is too heavy or awkward, get help.Spread your feet apart to give you a wide base of support.Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting.Bend at your knees, not at your waist.Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift or lower the object.Hold the object as close to your body as you can.Lift using your leg muscles.As you stand up while holding the object, do not bend forward. Try to keep your back straight.Do not twist while you are bending to reach for the object, lifting it up, or carrying it.
Other measures to prevent back pain include:
Avoid standing for long periods. If you must stand for your work, place a stool by your feet. Alternate resting each foot on the stool.Do not wear high heels. Wear shoes that have cushioned soles when walking.When sitting, especially if using a computer, make sure that your chair has a straight back with an adjustable seat and back, armrests, and a swivel seat.Use a stool under your feet while sitting so that your knees are higher than your hips.Place a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back while sitting or driving for long periods.If you drive long-distance, stop and walk around every hour. Do not lift heavy objects just after a long ride.Quit smoking.Lose weight.Do exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This will strengthen your core to decrease the risk of further injuries.Learn to relax. Try methods such as yoga, tai chi, or massage.
Back strain treatment; Back pain – home care; Low back pain – home care; Lumbar pain – home care; LBP – home care; Sciatic – home care Corwell BN, Davis NL. Back pain. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice,10th ed.
Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 31. El Abd OH, Amadera JED. Low back strain or sprain. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation,4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 48. Ibrahim M, Hurlbert RJ.
Nonsurgical and postsurgical management of low back pain. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans & Winn Neurological Surgery,8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 312. Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Can walking strengthen your back?
Strengthens Muscles – From your heart to your arms and legs, walking offers your muscles a strengthening workout. When you walk for at least 30 minutes a day, you engage your muscles and promote strength and stability. Walking engages your core and lower back muscles, and strengthening weak muscles can help alleviate low back pain from a more sedentary lifestyle.
What does a pinched nerve in back feel like?
Symptoms – Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:
Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward Tingling, pins and needles sensations (paresthesia) Muscle weakness in the affected area Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”
The problems related to a pinched nerve may be worse when you’re sleeping.
How do you tell if back pain is muscle or disc or nerve?
The Difference Between Muscle and Disc Pain – The main difference between these two types of back pain is the location. Your spinal disc is at the bottom of your back, so if you have pain in your lower back, you may assume it is a slipped disc. Furthermore, the feeling of pain will differ between the two.
When I get up from sitting I can hardly walk?
Standing and walking are considered simple human movements that require the use of gravity, balance, and coordination of limbs. It is not uncommon to feel ‘wobbly’ or unsteady on your feet after sitting for a long period. It can be due to reduced blood flow, tight muscles and ligaments, fluid pooled in the body’s lower extremities, or pins and needles sensations in the feet.
- When your loved one gets older, they no longer have enough strength for standing and walking.
- Due to this, seniors tend to sit more often than usual.
- So when they try to stand up and walk afterward, they may feel a bit unsteady and wobbly.
- It is a common scenario for older adults.
- Their limited mobility may lead them to feel less confident and less independent.
As someone who looks after an older adult, you must take a step in helping them feel more confident. We at Serenity Senior Care would like to offer you a simple and effective solution to solve this problem. In this article, you will find different ways to make standing up and walking easier for your loved one.
Why does my lower back hurt and leg weakness when I walk?
Leg pain and weakness Pain that originates in the lower back and travels down the legs – also known as sciatica – may signal a serious problem. Culprits may include a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Both conditions cause the space around the spinal nerves to narrow, which may result in nerve pain and irritation.