Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 15, 2019
According to a new study out of South Korea, the easiest way to protect your spine and keep it healthy as you get older may be to simply keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The study, which was published in Spine Journal, revealed that regular and prolonged walking was associated with a reduced risk of low back pain in individuals over the age of 50. The survey looked at the health of nearly 50,000 South Koreans between the years of 2010 and 2015. Participants were asked to complete health questionnaires about three specific areas of their life:
- If they had low back pain
- How often they walked
- If they had other comorbidities
After analyzing the questionnaires, researchers uncovered that 54.1 percent of individuals with low back pain reported walking fewer than three days a week for more than a half hour at a time, and 73.2 percent of individuals reported walking for fewer than three days a week for more than an hour each session.
Negative Association Uncovered
On the flip side, there was a negative association between walking for more than thirty minutes at a time more than three days a week and having low back pain. In other words, individuals who walked at least 30 minutes at a time on at least three separate occasions throughout the week were at a decreased likelihood of having low back pain compared to their colleagues who didn’t hit these thresholds.
“Clinicians should be aware that regular walking for over 30 minutes three times per week is negatively related with low back pain; therefore, they should advise patients with low back pain to increase walking duration for optimal low back pain improvement,” study authors wrote.
Researchers were confident in the findings because it involved such a large cohort, but they did want to conduct further studies to help establish causation instead of the correlation that was determined in this study.
So there you have it. You don’t need to be a world class bodybuilder or a marathon runner in order to help protect your spine against low back pain as you get older. All you have to do is strive to go for at least a 30-minute walk on average of every other day, and you’ll be able to reduce your risk of spine pain. If you couple walking with a healthy diet, strength training exercises and posture awareness throughout the day, we’re confident that you can have a strong spine well into your wonder years.
For more tips, or to talk to a back specialist about your spine discomfort, contact Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.