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How much walking do you do for your back?

crashdummieccrashdummie Posts: 38
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi all,

I have a 3mm buldging disks on L5-S1 and L4-L5. I'm thinking about getting a treadmill and doing some serious amounts of walking on it to hopefully help strengthen my back. I heard walking is the best exercise for back suffers.

I'm thinking I'll walk an hour a day on it. What about jjogging, is that hard on buldging disks? I'm thinking yes since its a pounding exercise.

Are treadmills ok for walking exercise, for the spine?



  • Hi -

    It was stressed to me before surgery the 'best' exercise before/after surgery is walking. I've always been a walker, did my best to do as much as I could before surgery. Got myself a pedometer and aim to do more steps each day, I'm now at over 10,000 steps/day. I also do treadmill/elliptical, but at a slow, even pace, and only after my five week check when OSS okayed it. I personally wouldn't consider jogging, feel it would be too risky w/ the problems I have. I would suggest you ask your MD before you began doing any type of new exercise.

    Hope this helps.
  • Thanks pfd,

    Yes that definetely helped. I don't think you would have gotta to where you are now without pushing yourself to walk everyday. Yea I'm gonna start off with an hour a day and see how that goes. I can get a treadmill for a 100 bucks off kijiji too.
  • Keep in mind that if you use a treadmill you leave the incline at 0. My ortho made a big deal of not walking up hill more than necessary. He wanted me to stick to flat land after surgery. Also walking only. No jog/run. Check with your surgeon as opinions differ.

    Walking is most certainly about the best thing you can do if you are a spiney. Sitting is the worst. At least in my opinion.

  • I'm a total believer in treadmills. Depending on how I feel, I will walk anywhere from 3.5 to 5 miles a day. I usually break it up into two walks and one is at a higher intensity/pace, for conditioning. Graham is right though, make certain you speak with your surgeon and get his take on it all.

  • i don't walk on a treadmill, but i do walk as much as possible whenever i can.. :D it is easy on my back and i always feel good afterwards. of course swimming is also very good for the back and totally pain free.... be sure and check with your doc or pt before you start a big walking program... :-C better safe than sorry!!! good luck and i hope you have some pain relief soon. :D Jenny :)
  • Hi Crash. I was never a big walker even though I had a park near my house. Since we got a puppy in April, now I walk at least once a day for about 30-45 minutes. My puppy, Wally, won't take no for an answer when it comes to our walk in the morning, even if there's 2+ inches of snow on the ground like today.

    Anyway, I'm glad you asked this question because it really is important to walk since there are a lot of things spineys shouldn't to for exercise. I would never consider jogging as it's very hard on our spines.

  • I try to walk at least three times a week, 1.5 miles or so each time. Not far, but enough to get things moving.

    You might look into an elliptical trainer. My PT suggested that because it's zero impact.

  • Glad it helped, just listen to your body, if an hour is too much, rest and do a little more later. Let us know how it goes.
  • i walked the dog about 3 miles a day on the sidewalk but now i carnt walk more than is necessary due to pain ..i would suggest that you use a crass trainer rather than a tread mill as this will reduce the wear on your knees
  • Cross trainers and elliptical machines can if not used properly, place torque or stress on the lower back.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    The best way to avoid having it become worse is treating it with tender loving care!
    Walking is great, and most specialists agree.But not till it hurts!
    Swimming is also great if you follow the specialists guide lines.
    DON'T do any kind of a pounding exercise like jogging or running. Or anything high impact to further damage the discs.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. For my issue I find walking to be the best form of treatment. I have had issues with running on a treadmill b4 and we have an elypitical machine that exaggerates my problems if I'm in the midst of having bad back pain. Just my experience though.
  • I think all docs agree that walking is the best and safest exercise for spineys. It is best to walk on level surfaces and better to walk on a road or whatever rather than a treadmill. Any time you are doing an exercise that is repetitive it is harder on the joints, etc. On a treadmill you walk at the same pace at the same stride at the same tempo for minutes on end. This is more punishing that walking on a road, path or mall where you vary the pace, etc. even if it is ever so slightly. You always move your upper body more than when on a treadmill.

    The common wisdom is that swimming is a great exercise, but in reality, it isn't that great for spineys. If you are swimming strokes, the back is naturally arched somewhat and you are reaching overhead which is not helpful. Reaching overhead and kicking the legs can cause problems. Turning the neck can be hard on the cervical discs. (Some serious swimmers swim with a snorkel to eliminate this problem!) I still like to swim, but I try to do it cautiously.

    You can get one of those flotation belts and get in shoulder deep or deeper water and go through the motions of running or cycling with your legs and arms if you want an aerobic work-out.
  • well me i cannot walk on the treadmill, nothing to with bouncey. i had 2 major back surgeries in 06 L-4 L-5 S-1 now L-2 L_# L_$ L_% S-1. i hit the pool and walk or i reide the stationary bike i cannot walk long esp on concreate , i am fusing now but i have burning pain going from my groine to my kness and in the buttoches area stabbing not to mention that one of the cages has shifted out 5mm not to worry stable , there is a radiofrequencey injection that bcbsppo will not approve it will reall help!! fighting the fight i know i will never be 100 percent but i do want to return to work and go on with my life!!dtinking this herbal tea does help with the pain and also flushes out my med i take soma 3x a day and 2 vicoden a day.. not tooo bad was and or still taking neurotin but i rwalize the numbness will never go away!!i only wish i could walk on the treadmill it is kinda hard with 10 screws rods and plates
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