We know from the research that low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems affecting the quality of life in the elderly. In fact, roughly 80% of the general population reports experiencing LBP at least once in their lifetime. So really, experiencing an episode of LBP should be considered a normal part of our life-much like catching a cold or the flu. We should not be surprised when we experience it and we should know that the majority of LBP is short-lived and will get better with time. However, if there is something we can do to prevent it from occurring in the first place, we should use it.
In 2018, a group of authors published a study in the Spine Journal that showed that decreasing the risk of LBP does not have to be complicated. In fact, an activity that we have done our whole lives, can have a very positive impact on decreasing our risk of developing an episode of LBP. The activity is simply walking on a regular basis.
17,113 people over the age of 50 were included in the study. Those participants who walked for more than 3 days/week for over 30 minutes at a time had a lower risk of developing back pain. In addition, the risk of developing back pain was even lower for people who walked more than 5 days per week for over an hour at a time.
So, if you have never had low back pain and want to try and prevent ever experiencing it, walking may be a good solution for you. If you have had an episode of back pain in the past and want to help prevent it from returning, walking could be your answer. If you currently have LBP that stops you from walking longer distances, please reach out to me so you can get some help to allow you to get back to walking pain free. Walking is not only good for your back- it also has many other benefits to help your overall health. Other great things about walking, is that it does not require a gym membership, equipment, and you can do anywhere and whenever you want!
Bob Brady is the Owner and Physical Therapist at ProMotion Physical Therapy in Howard. ProMotion specializes in helping people of all ages stay active, healthy, and enjoying the things they want to do without the use of medication, injections, or surgeries. To talk with Bob, call (920)857-1622, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he would be happy to talk with you.
Thanks for reading.