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How to remedy lower back pain when walking for leisure?

hopefuldreamfairyhopefuldreamfairy Member Posts: 67 Member Member Posts: 67 Member
I seem to get lower back pain even walking, does anyone have any suggestions? I stretch and use epsom salt...but not really sure why my back is cramping up so easily?
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Replies

  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 6,922 Member Member Posts: 6,922 Member
    are you stretching WELL beforehand? if not, try stretching before and after.

    I'd go see a good chiropractor if you are continuing to have problems. Hubby sees his twice a week most of the time.
  • Go_DeskerciseGo_Deskercise Member Posts: 1,522 Member Member Posts: 1,522 Member
    Posture is also pretty important when working out (and in general).

    I have to remind myself throughout the day as I sit at a desk most of the day working.
    Also, echoing the last comment - stretching before and after - I find stretching throughout the day to be beneficial to me.
  • Alinouveau2Alinouveau2 Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    Make sure to stretch your hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. They all can loosen your back. Perhaps check your shoes too they could throw off your gait causing other muscles to work and spasm
  • bold_rabbitbold_rabbit Member Posts: 967 Member Member Posts: 967 Member
    I had a PT use this description of good posture: tuck your shoulders into your back pockets. I've found that to be very helpful.

    I will echo above about good shoes/ insoles.

    And I will add that a daily routine of core exercises can do wonders for your back. You should be able to find a good list online if you search. Focus first on exercises designed for physical therapy rather than body building. Read descriptions carefully so you support your back well during the exercises.
  • heybalesheybales Member, Premium Posts: 18,379 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,379 Member
    Likely some imbalance in muscle strength and tightness.

    Lower tight back could be tight hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors pulling the hips forward.

    Could be other reasons too - best to know.

    Get some ideas and go in with knowledge, or perhaps figure it out on your own anyway.

    Here's a PT showing you some tests to do, and therapy.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,106 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,106 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    are you stretching WELL beforehand? if not, try stretching before and after.

    I'd go see a good chiropractor if you are continuing to have problems. Hubby sees his twice a week most of the time.

    IMO, to be honest if one is seeing a chiropractor most of the time twice a week, the chiropractor is using the patient as an annuity to fund their retirement. They are not a good chiropractor.

    A good chiropractor will work to identify an issue, perhaps do a few adjustments on the patients give the patient home exercises to use. It should not be a lifelong 2X a week date with the person.

    Yeah, when I have issues (aging body, stuff happens), my university-clinic osteopath typically makes improvements that take effect instantly or at worst within hours (sometimes with a little post-exercise-like soreness at first). When it's a persistent problem, it's usually that the improvement is only partial, or I slip back into the triggering movement patterns and re-initiate it.

    So far, every time (other than true structural problems like arthritis or connective tissue injuries), he's been able to resolve everything in a few sessions, and improve symptoms of even some of the structural stuff. In the rare cases where there's been an underlying issue, he's recommended I touch base with primary care for referrals to other specialties that he believes are needed, or to physical therapy.

    Beyond the manipulation in the office visit, he will give me exercises/stretches to do, or changes in movement patterns to work on, at home on my own.

    Ironically, except during the pandemic, I do see him on a regular schedule . . . but because he catches/fixes things *before* they become persistent problems. He doesn't hook me in by persuasion, let alone by *not* fixing things; he hooks me in by caring and effectiveness as preventive maintenance.
  • socajamsocajam Member, Premium Posts: 2,506 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,506 Member
    I find doing plank exercises also help me - even kneeling planks
  • MaltedTeaMaltedTea Member, Premium Posts: 4,223 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,223 Member
    Posture, better shoes, progressions. Ultimately, though stop that day if you're hurting.

    Currently, I max out at ~13k+ non-stop steps before lower back pain starts (and hangriness, tbh). If I know I'm gonna walk/run long, I keep an eye on my smartwatch's step tracker.
  • westrich20940westrich20940 Member Posts: 64 Member Member Posts: 64 Member
    Don't go too hard on the stretching (static at least)....a little is fine. Make sure your posture while walking and form are good.

    Start doing some glute/hip flexor exercises to strengthen those muscles.

    Look up some dynamic stretching and try some of that before your walk, save the static stretches for after.
  • lemongirlbclemongirlbc Member, Premium Posts: 373 Member Member, Premium Posts: 373 Member
    Depends what is causing it. I've had the same for years and years, terrible low back pain when on my feet or walking for any length of time. Recently have found a WONDERFUL chiro/spinal specialist who has determined that my left glutes aren't firing, and as a result of that (and poor sitting posture), my tailbone is essentially twisted. Getting that sorted out and strengthening my glutes has make a massive difference, I haven't had pain in ages. Not saying this is the cause for you, by the way - just an example of one of the many many things that could be causing it, and recommend you get either a quality physio or chiro to identify the cause with you, and help correct it.
  • AmunahSkiAmunahSki Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    I thought it might help to expand on the ‘better posture/form’ advice... with the proviso that I am NOT qualified to give medical advice, this is just my own experience.

    Lots of people - ladies in particular - walk with their backs arched because their pelvis is tilted forward (anterior pelvic tilt). I have had to try and correct this ‘learned’ posture in order to ski better as it prevents the full range of movement in the hips - and going too far the other way (posterior pelvic tilt) is just as bad for you! It takes a while to get used to a more neutral, stacked posture, and yoga or Pilates can certainly help.

    These videos may help to explain it better:



    When going on long walks, I try to be mindful of my pelvic tilt - if I have suffered any twinges as I get tired, I will usually find I have reverted back to that ‘anterior tilt’ without noticing.

    I hope this helps, and you can enjoy your walks - but as previous responses have said, seek help from a professional if the pain continues.
    edited January 11
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 122 Member Member Posts: 122 Member
    AmunahSki wrote: »
    I thought it might help to expand on the ‘better posture/form’ advice... with the proviso that I am NOT qualified to give medical advice, this is just my own experience.

    Lots of people - ladies in particular - walk with their backs arched because their pelvis is tilted forward (anterior pelvic tilt). I have had to try and correct this ‘learned’ posture in order to ski better as it prevents the full range of movement in the hips - and going too far the other way (posterior pelvic tilt) is just as bad for you! It takes a while to get used to a more neutral, stacked posture, and yoga or Pilates can certainly help.

    These videos may help to explain it better:



    When going on long walks, I try to be mindful of my pelvic tilt - if I have suffered any twinges as I get tired, I will usually find I have reverted back to that ‘anterior tilt’ without noticing.

    I hope this helps, and you can enjoy your walks - but as previous responses have said, seek help from a professional if the pain continues.

    This is me (although it's better now), and surprise surprise, have had chronic low back pain for years. However, it's much better now because I'm aware of this (plus PT and exercises). In sitting in an unsupported/not-well-supported chair or on the floor, I have the opposite posture (posterior pelvic tilt). Really, really trying to do everything with more neutral alignment.
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 6,922 Member Member Posts: 6,922 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    are you stretching WELL beforehand? if not, try stretching before and after.

    I'd go see a good chiropractor if you are continuing to have problems. Hubby sees his twice a week most of the time.

    IMO, to be honest if one is seeing a chiropractor most of the time twice a week, the chiropractor is using the patient as an annuity to fund their retirement. They are not a good chiropractor.

    A good chiropractor will work to identify an issue, perhaps do a few adjustments on the patient give the patient home exercises to use. It should not be a lifelong 2X a week date with the person.

    well, when you are 50 years old and spider monkey-ing around for your job as a sheet metal worker and welder, then working on your own farm the rest of the time.... regular chiropractic care can be far more effective and keeping you limber.

    doctors want you to take a pill or have surgery for back pain.

    you do you and we will do us.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,557 Member Member Posts: 1,557 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    are you stretching WELL beforehand? if not, try stretching before and after.

    I'd go see a good chiropractor if you are continuing to have problems. Hubby sees his twice a week most of the time.

    IMO, to be honest if one is seeing a chiropractor most of the time twice a week, the chiropractor is using the patient as an annuity to fund their retirement. They are not a good chiropractor.

    A good chiropractor will work to identify an issue, perhaps do a few adjustments on the patient give the patient home exercises to use. It should not be a lifelong 2X a week date with the person.

    well, when you are 50 years old and spider monkey-ing around for your job as a sheet metal worker and welder, then working on your own farm the rest of the time.... regular chiropractic care can be far more effective and keeping you limber.

    doctors want you to take a pill or have surgery for back pain.

    you do you and we will do us.

    To be honest, I'm in my 60's spent 40 years at a desk job along with a 2 hour driving commute so I am familiar with issues from poor work positions and have been around the block more than once with doctors, chiropractors and PTs.

    If you find a good doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor they will give you techniques to help you fix your body. I worked with a very good physical therapist who did some manual work, very similar to a chiropractor and provided me with home exercises to strengthen what was needed. I was a very interesting experience as he had an intern working with him who was in his last semester before he got his Dr of PT. He had been a chiropractor and was getting his Dr of PT so he could work in a practice where he could actually work toward solutions instead of just binging people in a couple times a week for adjustments.



    edited January 11
  • hopefuldreamfairyhopefuldreamfairy Member Posts: 67 Member Member Posts: 67 Member
    Thank you everyone for your answers :smile: I was told to limit my walk to 20-30 minutes. I have multiple herniated discs in the cervical region as well as IT band syndrome. This is just another ailment on top of that. Frustrating to say the least but thank you all for your help. I'll look at everything now especially the videos!
  • CherimooseCherimoose Member Posts: 5,169 Member Member Posts: 5,169 Member
    First thing i would do is actually to focus on keeping your abs braced while walking. Your abs help support your spine & pelvis, and it's easy to let the abs relax while walking, causing excessive spinal movement and pain. Turn off any audio and slow down if necessary so you can focus inwards on your abs. The technique is to pull in your lower abs and brace your abs as if preparing to be punched by a little kid.

    By the way, almost all shoes have a slightly raised heel, which unfortunately creates a clunkier walking gait, contributing to all sorts of pain issues. Good walking shoes have a zero "heel-to-toe drop", such as Altras and most skateboard shoes (which is what i wear). You should notice a more flowing movement in them. :+1:

  • bold_rabbitbold_rabbit Member Posts: 967 Member Member Posts: 967 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    First thing i would do is actually to focus on keeping your abs braced while walking. Your abs help support your spine & pelvis, and it's easy to let the abs relax while walking, causing excessive spinal movement and pain. Turn off any audio and slow down if necessary so you can focus inwards on your abs. The technique is to pull in your lower abs and brace your abs as if preparing to be punched by a little kid.

    By the way, almost all shoes have a slightly raised heel, which unfortunately creates a clunkier walking gait, contributing to all sorts of pain issues. Good walking shoes have a zero "heel-to-toe drop", such as Altras and most skateboard shoes (which is what i wear). You should notice a more flowing movement in them. :+1:

    Altra shoes changed my life!
  • bcalvanesebcalvanese Member, Premium Posts: 17 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17 Member
    Get some zero drop shoes that are good for walking (running shoes make great walking shoes). Warm up by moving your joints around and getting your heart rate up a little. Do your walk with good posture. Then stretch after. Warm muscles stretch much better than cold muscles.
    edited January 12
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 6,922 Member Member Posts: 6,922 Member
    Thank you everyone for your answers :smile: I was told to limit my walk to 20-30 minutes. I have multiple herniated discs in the cervical region as well as IT band syndrome. This is just another ailment on top of that. Frustrating to say the least but thank you all for your help. I'll look at everything now especially the videos!

    that's a much different issue than a normal sore back! I would work on stretches, and follow your physicians advice on exercise amount and intensity!
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