Pain In Lower Back 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.
- 1 Why does my lower back hurt when walking?
- 2 Should I keep walking with lower back pain?
- 3 How do you tell if my back pain is muscular or skeletal?
- 4 Can walking heal the lower back?
Why does my lower back hurt 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.
Should I keep walking with lower back pain?
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.
Is it better to walk or sit with back pain?
Walking is better than sitting,’ he says. Movement is often the best medicine when it comes to relieving pain.
How long is too long for lower back pain?
What is back pain? – Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. There are two types of back pain:
Acute (short-term) back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. It usually resolves on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no long-term loss of function. Chronic back pain is pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of back pain has been treated.
Risk factors for low back pain
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50 and may become more common as you age. Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit, as their muscles may not properly support the spine. Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on your back and cause pain. Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis that affects the spine), have a genetic component. Job-related factors: Job that requires heavy lifting, pushing or pulling, or twisting or vibrating the spine can injure your back, as can sitting at a desk all day, especially if you have poor posture or sit in a chair with not enough back support. Mental health: Anxiety, mood, and depression can influence how you perceive your back pain and stress can cause muscle tension. Smoking: This can restrict blood flow and oxygen to your discs, causing them to degenerate faster. Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
Recommendations for keeping your back healthy
Avoid movements that jolt or strain your back. Exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong and flexible. Consult a physician for a list of low-impact, age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles. Maintain a healthy weight and eat a nutritious diet that promotes new bone growth. Use ergonomically designed furniture and equipment at home and at work. Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around the office or gently stretch your muscles to relieve tension. Put your feet on a low stool or a stack of books when sitting for a long time. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up in a fetal position can help open up the joints in the spine and relieve pressure by reducing the curvature of the spine. Always sleep on a firm surface. Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy. Lift from the knees, keep a straight back, and objects close to the body. Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Smoking also increases the risk of osteoporosis and impedes healing. Coughing due to heavy smoking also may cause back pain.
Learn About Clinical Trials Clinical trials are studies that allow us to learn more about disorders and improve care. They can help connect patients with new and upcoming treatment options.
What does a slipped disc feel like in the lower back?
What are Herniated Disc Disorders? – In between each of the 26 bones, called vertebrae, that make up your spine are discs. These discs are made up of a jelly-like substance and act as cushions for your spine. A herniated (or slipped) disc occurs when all or part of a disc is forced through a weakened part of the spine.
Pain that occurs on one side of the body. Sharp pain in one part of the leg, hip, or buttocks and numbness in other parts. You may also feel pain or numbness on the back of the calf or sole of the foot. The same leg may also feel weak. These are usually indications of a slipped disc in the lower part of the spine. Pain when moving your neck or deep pain near or over the shoulder blade. You may also feel pain that moves to the upper arm, forearm, and fingers and numbness along your shoulder, elbow, forearm, and fingers. These are common symptoms when you have a slipped disc in your neck. The pain of a slipped disc often feels worse:
After standing or sitting At night When sneezing, coughing, or laughing When bending backward or walking more than a few yards
How do you tell if my back pain is muscular or skeletal?
It can be difficult to differentiate between bone and muscle pain, because they affect similar parts of the body. The pain may also be similar in intensity. However, in general, bone pain feels sharper, deeper, and more debilitating than muscle pain. Bone pain may also last longer than muscle pain and require greater medical attention.
In contrast, muscle pain feels more “generalized,” and its exact location is difficult to pinpoint. People should visit a specialist if the pain is unbearable, or if it lasts longer than 48 hours. Doctors who specialize in the musculoskeletal system are called orthopedists or orthopedic surgeons, Keep reading to learn more about the various causes of bone and muscle pain.
The following are some potential causes of bone pain. Osteoporosis, like the name suggests, is a disease of “porous bones.” It is more common in older adults, resulting from a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. Other causes include hyperthyroidism, menopause, and a family history of osteoporosis.
- However, it is important to note that osteoporosis is not painful until it causes a collapsed vertebrae, or a fracture.
- Osteoporosis makes the bones thin, weak, and brittle.
- This increases the risk of bone injuries.
- The International Osteoporosis Foundation say that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience a broken bone because of osteoporosis.
Most people do not show symptoms, making osteoporosis a “silent disease.” Watch out for early signs such as:
severe back painloss of heighta stooped or hunched posturea bone injury caused by minor falls or bruising
Osteoporosis is treatable if a doctor diagnoses it early. Treatment includes medicines that slow down bone loss and support bone growth. This may be accompanied by nutritional supplements, exercise, and a balanced diet. A bone injury can result in partial or complete breaking of the bone.
trauma that results from a road accident, a hard fall, or a sports injuryosteoporosisbone stress caused by muscle overuse (called a stress fracture)
Symptoms of a fracture include:
intense sharp pain at the site of injuryan inability to move the injured areabruisingdeformity (a limb that looks out of place or protrudes from the skin)
The doctor will do an X-ray to confirm if a bone is broken. Treatment for a fracture includes cast immobilization, where the injured site is wrapped with a plaster or fiberglass cast. This helps the bone heal, which could take several weeks. Some people may require invasive surgery to internally adjust the bone fragments.
osteosarcoma non-Hodgkin lymphoma multiple myeloma chondrosarcoma giant cell tumor of the bone
Bone cancer is rarely seen in adults. According to the American Cancer Society, osteosarcoma is more common in younger people between the ages of 10 and 30. Just over 10% of cases are seen in people in their 60s and 70s. Some people develop bone cancer due to hereditary conditions.
pain that feels like a dull, deep ache in a bone or bone region (arms, legs, back, ribs, or pelvis)swelling or inflammation, as if a mass or lump is presentsudden and unexplained weight lossfatigue, especially as the cancer begins to spread
Surgery is the usual treatment of choice for bone cancer, where the doctor removes the entire tumor. Other types of bone cancer may require a combination of treatments that include chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy. Learn more about bone cancer here.
Muscle pain is more common than bone pain, but its cause may not always be clear. Also called myalgia, muscle aches and pains can involve the joints, ligaments, tendons, and the soft tissues that connect these with bones and organs. Muscle injuries are common in athletes and people involved in high demand sports.
Research shows that muscle injuries make up 10–55% of all acute sports injuries. A muscle can be injured as a result of the impact from a fall, or from an external force such as a sports tackle, or road accident. Muscles can also get stretched — what most people call a muscle strain,
stinging pain at the site of injury, which may become duller with timesorenessinflammation or swellingrednessreduced movement of the affected area
A muscle injury is diagnosed by physical examination, and may require imaging tests such as an ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Treatment for muscle injuries involves heat or cold therapy to soothe the affected muscle, light stretches if the pain is tolerable, over-the-counter pain relievers, and rest.
Fibromyalgia is an increasingly common type of muscle pain that causes widespread intense pain across the body. It also affects a person’s sleeping habits, and is known to cause mental and emotional distress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fibromyalgia affects over 4 million adults in the United States, which is about 2% of the adult population.
Most people are diagnosed during middle age. People with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are at higher risk of developing fibromyalgia. Other factors that increase a person’s risk are obesity, a family history of fibromyalgia, and certain viral infections.
body pain that lasts more than 3 monthsfrequent fatigue and tirednessanxietydepressionsleep problemsheadaches and migrainestingling feeling in the hands or feet
Fibromyalgia is treated with a combination of prescription medicines and pain relievers, muscle strengthening exercises, and stress management activities such as yoga, massages, and meditation. These are a group of diseases that cause long-term muscle inflammation, weakness, and pain.
So far, researchers have identified four myopathies: polymyositis, dermatomyositis, inclusion body myositis, and necrotizing autoimmune myopathy. Although their names may seem confusing, all the inflammatory myopathies are a kind of autoimmune disease, An autoimmune disease occurs when a person’s immune cells (that are supposed to fight infections) begin to attack the body’s own tissues, muscle fibers, and blood vessels.
Low Back Pain While Walking? Why?
This leads to symptoms such as:
muscle weaknessfatigue or tiredness after standing or walkingmuscles that feel tender to touchmuscle pain
There is currently no known cure for inflammatory myopathies, but some treatments may help to reduce symptoms. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recommend physical therapy, exercise, medication, heat therapy, and rest, to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
Learn more about myalgia, or muscle aches, here. It is best to consult a doctor if the pain lasts longer than 48 hours, or if it interferes with daily life. Contact a doctor immediately if the pain is unbearable, if a limb looks odd or out of place, or if fever accompanies the pain. Several short-term and chronic conditions can cause muscle pain and bone pain.
Many of these conditions can be treated with simple over-the-counter medicines, heat therapy, and rest. However, some may require urgent medical attention. It is important to closely observe symptoms over a 24–48-hour period. If the pain persists, contact a doctor.
How do I know what source my back pain is?
The underlying cause of pain may be hard to identify – It is usually difficult for the brain to distinguish between injury to one spinal structure versus another nearby. For example, a torn or herniated disc may feel similar to an arthritic facet joint due to their close proximity.
In some cases, the same nerve root can be compressed or irritated by different structures, such as a disc or bone spur. See Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerve Roots Your physician will take a thorough medical history, discuss your symptoms, and conduct a physical exam in order to accurately diagnose the cause of back pain.
Sometimes diagnostic tests—such as X-rays, MRI scans, or diagnostic injections—are needed when trying to locate or confirm the underlying cause of pain. See Getting an Accurate Back Pain Diagnosis
Can walking heal the lower 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.