Walking for Low Back Pain

Walking for Low Back Pain

 

Did you know that walking for low back pain is the best self-treatment?

 

More people are unfortunately living sedentary lives and thus are becoming more prone to low back pain due to lack of physical activity. While issues like this help keep us busy at our clinic locations, we also love to see our patients without unnecessary back issues.

The old stereotypes of bed-rest and sitting in a recliner for low back pain are history. Clinical practice guidelines generally advise people with an acute episode of low back pain to stay active.

 

Why walking for low back pain?

 

back pain fitnessThe American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons notes that exercising for 10 to 30 minutes one to three times per day is recommended during recovery from a bout with low back pain.

Walking is much less intense than many other forms of exercise and thus less likely to aggravate your back pain. It is also a particularly good form of exercise because it is less likely to damage the joints than other activities and helps maintain bone density.

Walking for low back pain works because it stimulates the brain to release serotonin and endorphins, which are neurotransmitter chemicals that make you feel better physically and mentally.

 

Benefits of walking for low back pain

 

walking back painA steady walking practice can lessen pain, hasten healing, boost strength, increase flexibility and core strength, and, in the long run, prevent recurrences of low back pain.

Walking strengthens your bones and muscles, including those in your feet, legs, hips and torso along with the core muscles that hold you upright.

Stretching before walking will improve your back’s flexibility, range of motion and posture, which can help prevent future back pain or reduce its severity.

Incorporating walking into your routine also helps to improve your spine’s strength; walking benefits your circulation, helping pump nutrients to tissue and drain toxins, which nourishes your spine.

 

How to start a walking regimen

 

walking shoesPurchase athletic walking shoes that fit your feet correctly and feel comfortable. If you’re in physical discomfort with your footwear, you’re not going to want to go very far. Don’t abandon your new routine before it even starts with ill-fitting shoes.

Make sure you stretch before exercising. Use some gentle stretching techniques to stretch your neck, arms, hips, legs, hamstrings, and ankles.

Start out slow and easy, take breaks if necessary. Be prepared for some discomfort — at first. Walking will help build your endurance and core strength over time. Be patient and persistent.

When you walk, keep up a rapid pace but do not exercise to the point of breathlessness. You should be able to carry on a conversation without gasping for air. Begin with a slow five-minute walk and continue until you’re walking for at least 30 minutes, or 2 miles, three or four times a week.

Make sure to maintain correct posture to prevent further injury to your back — use your core muscles. Try to “suck in” your tummy so you’re more upright. Swing your arms and keep your hands relaxed.

Once you’re into a routine, you can incorporate hand and ankle weights into your walks to get more strength and cardio endurance.

 

Walk off the low back pain

 

outdoor fitnessWhile it can be difficult to motivate yourself to keep moving despite your back pain, the results should be less pain and discomfort along with faster recovery.

One of the best advantages to establishing a walking routine for low back pain is that it doesn’t require a doctor, a physical therapist, or any fancy equipment to do.

You’ll also garner other wonderful health benefits from walking such as weight loss, decreased depression symptoms, and better sleep.

 

Originally published on Ohio Therapy Centers


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neck pain over the holidays Ohio Healthcare Partners Fairlawn Akron

Neck Pain: Getting Through the Holidays

Protecting your neck over the holidays

 

The holidays can be hard on your neck. Traveling, hosting guests, setting up decorations, and attending family events may require your body to move in ways it’s not used to doing. These activities can result in stiffness, soreness, or a sharp pain in the neck. 

Try these 4 tips to help keep your neck healthy and happy this holiday season.

 

1. Pack and travel smart

 

Ohio Healthcare Partners Fairlawn smart travel advice for neck pain holidaysIf you travel this holiday season, you may have to carry luggage or sit in a cramped space for a long time, causing neck pain. Here are some ways to protect your neck while you travel:

Use a neck pillow. A travel-sized neck pillow helps keep your neck straight and upright so it doesn’t accidentally bend in an uncomfortable position.

Pack in multiple bags. Lifting luggage that’s too heavy can easily stress or injure your neck. Pack your travel items in multiple small bags instead of 1 large, heavy bag. Ask someone to help you take luggage in and out of your trunk or the overhead compartment on an airplane.

Bring heat/ice therapy. Heat therapy encourages blood flow and can reduce neck stiffness, and ice therapy helps reduce swelling and inflammation. So pack a heating pad, disposable heat wraps, and an ice wrap (or empty plastic bags you can later fill with ice) to use in case neck pain flares up.

 

2. Stick to a nutritious diet and exercise

 

eat healthy holidays Ohio Healthcare Partners Fairlawn AkronThe holiday season can throw off your daily routine, and exercise is often the first item to get cut from a shifting schedule. Eating habits often change this time of the year, too, as many people enjoy home-cooked meals and delicious desserts with family and friends.

But if you commit to exercising and eating nutritiously over the holidays, your neck will thank you. A balanced diet, which includes adequate protein and plenty of fresh vegetables, supplies vitamins and healing properties that your soft tissues need. And an exercise program can help improve your cervical spine’s strength and flexibility, which may reduce the risk for neck pain.

 

3. Save your energy and know your limits

 

holiday relaxing Akron Fairlawn Ohio Healthcare PartnersBefore the holidays arrive, consider which traditions and festivities are worth doing and which are too demanding. Some holiday activities, such as stringing up lights, baking cookies, and washing dishes are all physically strenuous and can cause or worsen neck pain.

Listen to what your body is telling you and decide ahead of time which activities to skip. Ask your family, friends, or neighbors to help carry out difficult chores. Take some time for yourself this holiday season, relaxing in bed with a good book or soaking in a warm bath.

 

4. Ask for gifts that help relieve neck pain

 

holliday gifts for neck pain Ohio Healthcare Partners AkronIf you exchange gifts with loved ones to celebrate the holidays, here are a few items you can put on your wishlist:

Massage therapy gift certificate. Massage therapy, such as a Swedish massage or deep tissue massage, can help you relax, encourage blood flow to your soft tissues, and reduce your perception of pain.

Pillow. The right pillow is the one that has just the right height and firmness for you and will help keep your neck in a supported position with neutral alignment.

Neck massage device. If you want to treat neck pain at home, you can bring the massage to you. Research the best neck massagers and muscle rollers on the market.

Neck pain can be especially difficult to handle during the holiday season. Using this list, you can try a few tips to see what helps you find relief.

 

Originally published on Spine-Health

 


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