If you suffer from lower back pain, you need not go to costly and time-consuming sessions with a physical therapist – just walk! That is the advice from a researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer and her colleague Ilana Shnayderman, a graduate student at Tel Aviv University’s department of physical therapy and a practicing physiotherapist at Maccabi Health Fund, maintain that a simple aerobic walking program is as effective in alleviating lower back pain as muscle strengthening programs that require specialized equipment in rehabilitation clinics. One need walk only two to three times a week for 20 to 40 minutes to enjoy the benefit.
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Lower back pain is very common at all ages and often requires many hours of physical therapy. But the researchers, whose study was just published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, say their treatment option fits easily into a daily routine and allows those with back pain to be more responsible for their own health.
According to their study, people suffering from lower back pain should not rest in bed and be immobile. When people walk actively, abdominal and back muscles work in much the same way as when they complete exercises that target these areas, the researchers found. And unlike muscle-strengthening programs, which often call for specific equipment and can involve exercises that require expert supervision, walking is a simple activity that can be done alone.