Lower Back Pain While Walking – Brighton Chiropractor On How To Find Relief

Walking is a simple and effective way to maintain your spinal health. However, for many people, what should be an enjoyable experience can become a painful one due to lower back discomfort. If you’ve ever experienced this, you know how frustrating it can be.  

Lower back discomfort while walking can manifest in a variety of ways. Some people may experience a dull ache or tightness in the lower back, while others may feel sharp, shooting pains. The discomfort can be localised to one side of the lower back or radiate down the buttocks and legs, indicating potential nerve involvement. In addition to the physical sensations, lower back discomfort can also impact daily activities and quality of life. Walking may become limited due to the pain, and you may find it challenging to perform simple tasks like bending or lifting objects.

Lower back discomfort while walking can have various causes. One common reason is poor posture. When we walk with improper alignment, it puts stress on our lower back, leading to discomfort and pain. Another factor is muscle imbalances. If certain muscles are weak or tight, it can affect the mechanics of our gait, putting strain on our lower back.

Structural problems in the spine can also contribute to lower back discomfort while walking. Conditions like herniated discs or degenerative disc disease can cause nerve impingement and result in pain during walking. Additionally, previous injuries or trauma to the lower back can lead to chronic discomfort, especially when engaging in physical activities like walking.

Back pain while walking, Brighton chiropractor

So What Can Be Done?

Treatment options for lower back discomfort vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition.

Treatment may include:

  • Physical Therapy. A chiropractor or physiotherapist can design a personalised exercise program to strengthen weak muscles, improve flexibility, and correct posture. They also incorporate manual therapy techniques to alleviate pain and promote healing.
  • Pain Medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with lower back discomfort. However, long-term or excessive use of these medications should be avoided – for more information about the dangers of long-term use of painkillers, go here. 
  • Hot and Cold Therapy. Applying heat or cold to the affected area can provide temporary relief. Heat helps relax muscles and improve blood flow, while cold therapy can numb the area and reduce inflammation.
  • Posture Correction. Making conscious efforts to improve posture while walking can significantly reduce lower back discomfort. Engaging the core muscles, keeping the shoulders relaxed, and maintaining an upright position can help distribute the load evenly and minimise strain on the lower back.
  • Ergonomic Modifications. This may include using supportive footwear, using a lumbar roll while sitting, or adjusting workstations to promote proper posture. Lower back pain while walking also has its roots in how we sit – to learn more about ‘dynamic sitting’, read our blog post all about it here.

Exercises For Lower Back Discomfort

Exercises and stretches can help alleviate lower back discomfort while walking. These exercises target the muscles that support the spine, improve flexibility, and promote proper alignment. Here are a few examples for you to try out. 

  • Pelvic Tilts. Lie on your back with knees bent. Gently tilt your pelvis backward, pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Cat-Cow Stretch. Position yourself on all fours, with hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips. Arch your back up towards the ceiling like a cat, then lower it down and extend your spine, looking up towards the ceiling. Repeat this movement 10-15 times.
  • Hamstring Stretch. Stand with one foot slightly elevated on a step or curb. Keeping your leg straight, lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
  • Bird-Dog Exercise. Start on all fours, with hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips. Extend your right arm forward while simultaneously extending your left leg backward. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Remember to listen to your body and perform these exercises within a pain-free range of motion.

Most cases of lower back discomfort can be managed with self-care techniques and lifestyle changes. If you would like to take the first steps to pain-free walking, book in with Sundial for a personalised treatment plan. We’re always happy to help you.