I have back pain. My doctor recommended that I walk and I feel worse. Why does this happen?
I have chosen this topic as my first post on this web because it is the simplest and worst resolved issue that I encounter on a daily basis. The doctor’s recommendation to walk when we have back pain is very common. The frequency of misunderstandings is alarming when a physician prescribes a patient for this simple task. Perhaps because of its simplicity, doctors omit a series of details that can turn a healthy and favorable activity into something harmful. That is, they do not usually explain how to do it right and, if we do it wrong, it is possible that we hurt ourselves and worsen our back pain.
To understand how to perform the marches correctly I will comment on two concepts to be understood:
- We lose strength in the back: When we have had a lumbar injury or an intervention in the back, a very curious phenomenon occurs in the body. The muscles that are attached to the vertebrae and whose mission is to provide stability to this entire region of the spine suffers a loss of their abilities. In other words, the lumbar muscles lose power and endurance.
- Training the muscles with pain does not improve us: Another very interesting phenomenon. If while training a muscle produces pain, we will not achieve our goals because the muscle will gain neither strength nor endurance. In addition we can be aggravating the injury.
In short, we have a weak musculature in the back and we have to do physical exercise without reaching an effort that is excessive for our precarious musculature or that causes pain for the training to be profitable.
Well, the usual thing is that we go for an hour or so, or stop when the back is really upset (BAD EVIL).
Imagine that we had surgery 2 months ago or had a backache recently and went out for an hour. The first ten minutes our poor muscle will hold us well and there will be no problem. But the next 50 minutes we have more and more tired muscles and it can not properly stabilize the vertebrae. At this moment we are exposed to be able to do us harm.
Some reader may tell us that he has no back pain while walking. This is true sometimes, but it does not mean that we are not forcing it. Being active, it is possible that the pain appears a few hours later or is even very typical the pain in the early morning that can advance the time to wake up. All this is indicative of overexertion.
So how do I walk correctly? Returning to the previous example, instead of walking an hour at a time, we can start walking 10 minutes and sit down to do a rest of 2-3 minutes. Then we can resume the march another 10 minutes to complete the hour that the surgeon has recommended. These times are orientative since in each moment of the evolution of our ailment the capacities of our musculature will vary.
If we cause back pain (whether immediate, a few hours or the next morning) we have to think that maybe we are making too much effort. The effort can be excessive for two reasons: O the total exercise time is too much or the partial times or efforts are excessive.
If pain appears while walking (say 20 minutes) and we sit, we do well not to continue hurting but it is too late. If we provoke pain and inflammation, the damage is already done and it will take some time to remit. The correct thing is not to get us to cause the pain. That is, before we reach the 20 minutes that we have set an example (at 15 can be) we sit and rest. This way we do not hurt and the muscle rests to be able to stand another time walking. It’s a little tricky concept because you do not know when you’re hurting yourself. That’s why we recommend starting with a very simple pattern of sitting every 5-10 minutes walking and walking a total of 20-30 minutes.
These recommendations are simple but it is very important to perform them correctly because walking can be a very good tool for our recovery in addition to cheap and healthy. But if we do it incorrectly we can cause pain, in addition to the desperation of a recovery that never comes.
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