Research shows that walking for 3 hours or more a week helped low back pain patients have less pain. Specific back exercises tended to make the condition worse rather than better.
For Low Back Pain - Keep MovingUCLA researchers studied 681 low back pain patients. One group did specific low back exercises, another group walked the equivalent of 3 hours of brisk walking per week. The walking group had less pain, disability, and psychological distress. Unfortunately, the low back exercise group had more pain and distress. This may be due to patients doing the exercises incorrectly. The study was published in the September, 2005 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
The Walking Prescription for Low Back PainPhysicians and chiropractors have long prescribed walking for low back pain patients. They must motivate patients to keep moving despite the pain, as the result is less pain and a faster recovery. The old notions of bed rest and the La-Z-Boy recliner for low back pain are dead.
Posture Important for Walking with Low Back PainThose with low back pain should practice good walking posture so as to relieve low back stress. Common walking posture mistakes are leaning forward, leaning back, and failing to keep the head up and eyes forward. Simple corrections to your walking posture can prevent low back pain when you walk and assist in pain relief and recovery for those with low back pain.
Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain
Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H, Chiao C. "Effects of recreational physical activity and back exercises on low back pain and psychological distress: findings from the UCLA Low Back Pain Study." Am J Public Health. 2005 Oct;95(10):1817-24.