The way you walk may do a number on your back and neck over time. It’s the misalignment of your spine as you walk and move that can cause pain to radiate to nearby joints, muscles, and tendons. Misdirected pressure on any part of the spine will likely influence the aches and pains you feel in your back or neck. Santa Monica spine surgeons recommend improving your walk to find some much-appreciated relief.
Let Your Arms Do Some of the Work
Your arms have other purposes beyond fiddling with handheld devices while walking. By letting your arms swing naturally at your side as you walk, your movements will be more controlled, subsequently increasing your stability and improving your posture, two things that are very good for your back and neck. Avoid twisting or swerving at the hips to retain an optimal balance.
Keep Your Toes Forward
Outward pointed toes increase stress on your knees and throw off your balance and placed added pressure on parts of your foot, sometimes resulting in pain cascading to your lower back. Board-certified back doctors suggest putting proper pressure on your foot while walking by:
• Allowing your heel to strike the ground first
• Pushing off from your big toe (from your foot of choice)
• Completing the walking motion by flexing at the ankle
Keep Your Shoulders Relaxed
Hunching and shrugging while walking puts unnecessary strain on the bones, joints, and muscles supporting your back and neck. Letting your arms swing naturally while walking can help keep your shoulders relaxed and in the right position.
Keep Your Head Held High
Neck, shoulder, and back tension can be the direct result of added weight from your head when its in a downward position. This added stress and weight can also throw off your balance as you walk. Achieve the correct stance by imagining that you’re balancing a book on your head while walking.
A study on chronic lower back pain and gait found that better arch support may help improve how your walk. After participants were fitted with shoe inserts to improve balance, most of them reported decreased back pain, suggesting that a trip to the podiatrist may be just as beneficial as a visit to the chiropractor.
If conservative efforts to obtain pain relief have failed, consider speaking with Dr. Hyun Bae in Beverly Hills. Dr. Bae is the Medical Director of The Spine Institute Center and renowned for his innovations in the field of spine surgery. Call (310) 828-7757 and request and in-person consultation.