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I’ve Heard that Walking is Good for the Spine?  If So, Why?

walkingYes, walking is a simple, low-impact exercise that offers numerous benefits for spine health:

  1. Increases Blood Flow: Walking enhances circulation, which helps to nourish the spine’s structures, including the intervertebral discs and muscles, by increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen.
  2. Improves Flexibility and Posture: Regular walking can help improve flexibility and posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Good posture helps in maintaining proper alignment of the spine and reduces the risk of back pain.
  3. Strengthens Muscles: Walking strengthens the muscles in your feet, legs, hips, and torso. Strengthening these muscles can help support your spine and reduce the likelihood of back pain.
  4. Reduces Stiffness: Movement from walking can help reduce stiffness in the spine. This is particularly beneficial for people with chronic lower back pain, as gentle activity like walking can promote mobility and comfort.
  5. Promotes Weight Management: Walking is an effective way to burn calories and manage weight. Being overweight or obese puts extra stress on the spine, so maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for spinal health.
  6. Decreases Stress: Walking can also decrease stress levels, which is beneficial because stress can lead to muscle tension and exacerbate back problems. The rhythmic nature of walking has a calming effect on the brain and can help to reduce mental stress, which in turn can reduce physical stress on the spine.
  7. Encourages Healthy Discs: The spinal discs receive nutrients through the pumping action generated by movement. Walking helps in this nutrient exchange, keeping the discs healthy and preventing them from degenerating prematurely.

To maximize the benefits of walking for spine health:

It’s important to wear supportive footwear, maintain good posture while walking, and start with a distance and pace that’s comfortable for your current fitness level, gradually increasing both as your strength and endurance improve.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery