Does simply standing or walking make your back ache?
Walking is usually great for wellbeing. But what if it makes your back ache? If even the act of standing triggers increased discomfort, what could be wrong?
When these two simple actions hurt, it’s more challenging to keep mobile. Over time, this may result in loss of muscle strength, spinal motion, function and flexibility. You guess correctly, this can then make your pain worse.
WHAT COULD BE CAUSING YOUR PAIN, AND WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
There are many structures in your back that can cause pain which is made worse by walking and prolonged standing; these include muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, bones, and joints.
When we stand, the discs and vertebrae become compressed. If you have a herniated disc, the pressure of weight bearing can push the damaged disc onto a nearby nerve and cause back pain. This can also happen with a condition called lumbar spinal stenosis. Stenosis means narrowing. In this condition a narrowing of the spinal canal occurs. This can result in too little space for the spinal cord and its nerves.
Then there is our posture. The gentle natural curves of our spine support stress from movement and gravity, and help us stand upright. If these curves are too pronounced your posture is affected, which can increase pressure on your spine, particularly when standing for long periods. In turn this can affect your muscles, discs, joints, and nerves; causing pain.
If you’re overweight or obese, walking can increase the risk of back pain from strain on the muscles − especially those that support the lower back. With all of this in mind, how can you find relief? To open a lock, you need the right key. So it is with treatment. To fix a problem, you need to first identify the cause. Your chiropractor may use a variety of evaluation tools. Your history, including any trauma, physical examination, chiropractic assessments, and scans might be needed. Once the cause of your pain is determined, the right treatment can be recommended.