60-Second Back Pain Fixes
A New Solution For Back Pain
Pain in the back can be a real pain in the you-know-what. If you’re looking for relief, take note:Walking is just as effective at easing lower back pain as muscle-strengthening exercises, according to a new study out of Tel Aviv University in Israel.
For the study, researchers put 52 patients with chronic lower back pain on an exercise regime—half on a strength training program, and the other half on a walking program. None of the participants had been physically active on a regular basis before beginning their respective routines, and both groups trained two to three times per week. The walkers began with 20-minute treadmill sessions (a five-minute warm-up, followed by 10 minutes of faster walking, capped off with a five-minute cool-down) and eventually built up to 40-minute sessions. At the end of six weeks, both groups showed a significant reduction in back pain, as well as improvements in walking speed and back and abdominal muscle endurance.
While walking doesn’t target specific muscles the way strengthening moves do, it still helps build muscle tissue, says Nick Shamie, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the UCLA Spine Center and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, who was not involved in the study. That may be why participants in both test groups saw similar results. Plus, Dr. Shamie says, walking is one of the safest forms of aerobic activity, but it still gets your blood flowing and endorphins pumping. “I think walking is a great form of exercise, and it’s underrated,” he adds.
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