Back Hurt? Take a Hike
Friday, 17 August 2012
Walking may help relieve lower-back pain
By Scott Douglas
An Israeli study has found that a regular walking program was as effective as targeted strength training in relieving lower-back pain.
In the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, researchers describe putting sedentary people with lower-back pain in two groups: one that walked twice a week for six weeks, another that did strengthening exercises for the lower back twice a week for six weeks. After six weeks, both groups reported less pain and greater functioning, and they performed better on tests such as core muscle endurance. The differences in improvement between the groups weren't statistically significant.
Note that the subjects were sedentary at the start of the study. It stands to reason that doing any moderate activity would probably alleviate their pain. Still, this study isn't irrelevant to runners, many of whom pooh-pooh walking as a form of exercise, sort of the non-alcoholic beer of exercise to running. So many of us spend so much of our time sitting, which places a lot of strain on the lower back, especially when we sit with poor posture. Adding a couple of short walks to your day should help you feel looser when you run, and should alleviate or help prevent lower-back pain.
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