Did you know that the way you walk, can cause you back pain? Most people have something in their style of walking that can cause long-term wear and tear. For example, a foot turned-out, a weak abdomen or poor posture contributes to stress on their body. Physical therapists are experts that are trained to treat walking disorders and teach corrective walking techniques. By changing the way you walk, it is possible to eliminate and prevent back pain.
On a daily basis, you walk more than any other physical activity. How you walk defines most everything about you, including your physical abilities. We can help you discover that something about the way you walk may be the reason you have pain, and help you change it.
You walk over a million steps in a year
Your walk involves many body parts, interacting together to produce your walking style. It’s as natural as breathing, and if any of your six (two ankles, two knees, two hips) weight bearing joints are not in good alignment, you’re at risk for structural pain. One minor walking error repeated millions of times can do an incredible amount of damage to your back, muscles, nerves and joints. This can eventually cause pain and arthritis.
Often, the cause of back pain is poor strength — specifically, weak abdominal muscles. The pelvis is held in place by numerous muscles, including the abdominals, hamstrings, gluteals and hip flexors. An imbalance or weakness in these muscles can lead to pelvic misalignment, causing the pelvis to tilt forward or backward. Forward tilt of the pelvis leads to a sway back.
In addition to abdominal weakness, a lack of strength in the gluteals and hamstrings leads to forward pelvic tilt. While the abdominals stabilize the pelvis by pulling upward on the front, the gluteals and hamstrings offer stability by pulling down on the rear of the pelvis. Exercises must be done to strengthen both the abdominals and gluteals. Walking correctly can give the gluteals a good workout. The abdominal muscles can be conditioned through physical therapy and easy weight training exercises.
Walking Abnormalities: Solutions For Those Who Want Natural Relief
Studies of people with chronic low back pain show that they have walking abnormalities. When these are corrected by physical therapy and sometimes shoe inserts (orthotics), back pain is reduced significantly. Research has also shown that chronic back pain responds very well to walking, exercise and physical therapy.
For those seeking natural long-lasting relief, nothing could be more natural or self-empowering as learning how to correct your walking and stride to relieve your back pain. Contact Willow Physical Therapy today to speak with one of our physical therapists and discuss the solutions to your problem.