Ever wake up with a stiff low back or just a bit of low back pain? Outside of chronic, severe low back pain, there is a little-known trick that can be of tremendous help. Do you have access to a treadmill? Maybe you have one at home, or your friend has one, or you have a membership at a gym or rec center. If you can somehow get on a treadmill, you’re in luck.
Place the speed at 2.0-2.5 and same with the incline. This speed is slow enough that you shouldn’t be wobbly and off-balance. This much of an incline ensures that you are leaning backward just a bit, which changes the way you move – your gait. In other words, because backward walking eliminates the typical heel-strike to the ground (the toe contacts the ground first), it can change the way your pelvis is aligned, alleviating pressure that may be causing the low back pain. It also puts less strain on your knee joints, making it ideal for those with knee injuries or problems.
Interestingly enough, backward walking has neurological benefits as well. Some call it “neurobic” activity because it requires brain activity that can help you stay sharp mentally. When you walk backwards, your heart rate tends to rise higher than it does when walking forward at the same pace, so you can get greater cardiovascular and calorie-burning benefits in a shorter period of time.
Every time I get low back discomfort or pain, I walk backward that day or the next and it goes away the same day. Works every time! If you wait too long or the pain is severe, do not hesitate to get it looked at by your physician, or try Bowen Therapy right away to see if that doesn’t eliminate it altogether.