Does Backward Treadmill Walking Help Low Back Pain?

By Brett Sears, Guide

There are many different options available to help low back pain. Postural instruction, mobilization, and exercise are proven ways to help. But which exercises are the best? Which exercise can help your specific problem?
A recent study examined the effect that walking backwards on the treadmill had on low back pain in college athletes.  Ten people were recruited for the study.  Five people had low back pain and five did not.  All were instructed in backward treadmill walking and then participated in 15 minutes of backwards treadmill walking 3 times per week for 3 weeks.  Outcomes measures were low back range of motion, stride measurements, shock attenuation, and pain measures.

In the low back pain walkers, all showed improvements in lumbar motion, stride, and shock attenuation.  Most importantly, all reported a significant decrease in subjective pain levels after the retro walking.

Of course, a study with such a small sample size would not be considered very strong evidence that backwards walking decreases low back pain.  Plus, a study such as this makes it impossible to blind the experimental group.  Simply put, the low back pain sufferers knew that they were in a study investigating the effects that walking backward had on low back pain.  Their reduction in pain could be due to simply knowing what was expected and reporting as such.

Many times, low back pain occurs episodically.  This means that it may strike, last for a few days, and then slowly dissipate.  Many of the athletes participating could have experienced a reduction in low back pain simply due to the passage of time, and not necessarily due to the intervention.

Regardless, if you are suffering from low back pain, talk to your doctor and physical therapist.  Ask about backwards walking on the treadmill to see if it may help you.  Be sure to stay safe-walking backwards can be a little tricky.



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A warm welcome to Sg Home Gym! We are a group of gym enthusiast who enjoy hitting the gym to get ourselves in shape. It was through these gym sessions that we got to know each other better and started this website selling quality exercise equipments that are not overpriced vs commercial stores. We are in the business of providing our customers quality after sales service, in addition to our fleet of affordable fitness equipment. Threading on our experience of selling gym equipment for homes, we are stepping out to venture into commercial equipments and services like ops leasing and gym management. As such, we welcome all opportunities, from avenues like condominiums, community centres to commercial buildings. Contact Us now for attractive corporate rates discount. We are also working together with ATEM LLP for all our machine servicing and technical support. Riding on their 16 years of experience in this industry, we hope to service our customer with more than what they expect from us. With a guaranteed response time to our customer s' needs within 3 days. Do feel free to make an appointment with us for the viewing of the displayed equipments that are for sale, but do let us know 1 day in advance.

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