Regular walks effective for relieving low back pain

Wednesday 03rd July 2024 06:48 EDT

Research published in The Lancet journal suggests that the simple act of walking can significantly alleviate low back pain, based on a study involving approximately 700 adults who had recently recovered from such pain episodes.

Participants were divided into three groups: one engaged in a personalized walking program, another underwent physiotherapy sessions over six months, and a third received no intervention. The study, which included researchers from Macquarie University, Australia, revealed that the walking group experienced greater relief and enjoyed a longer pain-free period before any recurrence.

Professor Mark Hancock, a senior author and physiotherapy expert, emphasized that walking is a low-cost, universally accessible exercise suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of their location or socio-economic status. He noted that these findings could significantly influence the management of low back pain.

Lead author Natasha Pocovi highlighted the potential scalability of walking as an  effective exercise intervention compared to more resource-intensive physiotherapy sessions, which require expert supervision and specialized equipment, making  them less accessible to many patients.

While the exact reasons for walking's effectiveness in pain relief are not fully understood, researchers speculate that its gentle movements strengthen the spine, promote relaxation, and trigger the release of endorphins—natural "feel-good" hormones. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low back pain is the leading cause of disability globally, significantly impacting quality of life.

In 2020, approximately 620 million people were affected by this condition, a number expected to rise to over 840 million by 2050.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter