The Effectiveness of Walking Versus Exercise on Pain and Function in Chronic Low Back Pain

In recent posts we have mentioned that keeping active is an extremely important way of managing existing lower back pain, and possibly preventing it from ever occurring. But exactly what exercise and movement should you be doing?

A recent study has found that walking is as effective at managing lower back pain as other methods of more intense exercise.

Low back pain (LBP) is a significant cause of activity limitation, absence from work and has been associated with high levels of economic burden. The overwhelming majority of patients (90%) return to pre-injury levels of activity within 2 months, but the rest are at high risk of developing chronic pain and possibly disability.

During the period of time when you are suffering from LBP a reduction in movement and mobility can be a contributor to increased pain.

Walking is one such way of keeping active during periods of LBP. Walking is easily accessible, low impact, healthy and free. But how does it compare to other forms of exercise with regards to pain management and alleviation?

The below is taken from a recent study carried out by Vanti C, Andreatta S and Borghi S, et al.

For patients with chronic low back pain, walking was found to be equally as effective as intensive exercise on all chosen outcome measures at short-, mid-, and long-term follow up. Similar effects were seen in pain and disability when walking was added to exercise. A reduction was seen in pain, disability, and fear avoidance beliefs, and an improvement was seen in perceived quality of life with both walking alone, walking combined with exercise, and exercise alone. There was a slight superiority in results for recovery of function with walking alone, and for reduction of fear-avoidance beliefs with exercise alone.

The take-away from this is simple: if you are suffering from lower back pain then walking can be an effective way to alleviate symptoms as well as reducing the impact of avoidance beliefs, which are almost as insidious as the pain itself.

To find out more about treatments for lower back pain, or to book an appointment with one of our chiropractors whom have years of treating people with LBP simply get in contact with us on 0113 2383693 or contact us here.

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