Lower back pain is one of the most common medical ailments in the United States. Part of the reason for this is because of the constant demands on bones, joints, and muscles in this part of the body. One of the most effective ways to keep back-supporting muscles and joints healthy is through the simple act of walking. Back surgeons in Beverly Hills recommend walking regularly for the following reasons.
1. Promotes Functionality
The purpose of keeping the muscles directly or indirectly supporting your spine healthy is so you can easily move about throughout your day. Walking promotes this functionality by focusing on the parts of your body that facilitate such motions. Specifically, walking primarily works the 4 muscles in the front of your thighs (quadriceps), muscles behind your knee (hamstrings), and muscles in your hips and buttocks, all of which provide some level of support to your back. Walking is also a form of exercise that can easily fit into most schedules. Even 20 to 30 minutes of daily walking can be beneficial.
2. Releases Endorphins
Exercise spurs the production of the body’s natural painkillers in the form of hormones called endorphins. These hormones naturally activate the body’s opiate receptors, resulting in less pain. Though endorphins work similar to opioid medications, they provide relief without the risk of dependence that can accompany the use of strong painkillers. If you stick with a regular walking routine, you may reach a point where you’re less dependent on some of your medications as your lower back muscles become stronger.
Walking is a highly adaptive form of exercise. If you’re new to regular walking, start off slow and stay on flat surfaces. When you’re ready for more of a challenge, pick up the pace or consider adding ankle weights. If regular walking is too much for your back, consider water-based exercises to ease the burden on your muscles. Check with a board-certified back doctor first if you have existing back pain.
Though walking can be helpful, it is not the be-all and end-all solution to relieving back pain. Learn about your options for fusion surgery and the back fusion alternatives Beverly Hills surgeons provide by getting in touch with The Spine Institute today at 310-828-7757. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons can diagnose the source of your pain and help you start down the path toward a pain-free life.