Walking on a treadmill is supposed to be good for you, but for a lot of people, it seems to cause more back pain than just walking on the ground. Do you know why? Because your walking posture is not good, you are doing much exercise on incline levels, and underlying spinal or back problems. But don’t worry, we have solutions to get rid of back pain using a treadmill. So, keep reading.
It’s no secret that walking is great for your health, but can it actually cause back pain? It can be hard to know what’s good for your back and what’s not, especially when it comes to walking on a treadmill. You want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to protect your spine and keep yourself healthy.
Walking on a treadmill not only does it provide an excellent cardiovascular workout, but also helps strengthen your back muscles. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your back health then keep reading.
In this article, we will do some digging and find out can walking on a treadmill cause back pain? YES, walking on a treadmill can cause lower back pain in some cases. In fact, if you’re careful about how you walk on a treadmill, it can actually be really good for your back.
Here we will mention some causes of back pain while walking on a treadmill and also how you can avoid them.
6 Causes Of Treadmill Lower Back Pain
There are a few different reasons why you might experience lower back pain when walking on a treadmill. Here are some of the most common causes:
1. Weak Body Physical Conditions
When your body is not physically fit or when you have some sort of physical condition like obesity, it can put additional strain on your back. For example, when you are carrying more weight than what your body can handle, it will put extra pressure on your spine and other joints. Moreover, if your muscles are weak, it can also lead to lower back pain. If you have weak abdominal muscles, it can cause your pelvis to tilt forward and put a strain on your lower back.
2. Walking with poor form
If you walk with poor form, it can also lead to lower back pain. Poor form can include slouching, rounding your shoulders, or sticking your butt out. This puts extra strain on your back muscles and can lead to pain. If you walk with a rounded back, it can cause the disks in your spine to compress and lead to pain.
Make sure you maintain good posture while walking on a treadmill. Keep your shoulders down and back, tuck your chin, and engage your core muscles.
3. Over Exercising
It is also possible to experience lower back pain if you over-exercise. This is because when you overdo it, your muscles can become fatigued and start to ache. If you’re not used to walking on a treadmill, start slow and increase your speed gradually.
Your body needs time to adapt to robust exercises. Beginners should walk for short periods when they start using treadmills. For example, 3-4 minutes for the first week, 5-7 minutes for the second week, 8-10 minutes for the third week, and so on. Those with more experience can gradually increase their speed and duration.
4. Underlying back condition
If you have an underlying back condition, such as a herniated disk or spinal stenosis, walking on a treadmill can aggravate your symptoms. If you have a back condition, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Moreover, if you have any other health conditions like heart disease, it’s also important to talk to your doctor before walking on a treadmill.
5. Previous Injuries
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is previous injuries. If you’ve injured your back in the past, you may be more likely to experience pain while walking on a treadmill. This is because your back may not have fully healed and the repetitive motion can aggravate your symptoms. For example, if you’ve ever had a back sprain or strain, you may be more likely to experience pain while walking on a treadmill.
So, you need to be careful while performing any activity that may put a strain on your back.
Another cause of lower back pain is hyperlordosis. This is a condition in which the natural curve of your spine is exaggerated. This can put extra strain on your back and lead to pain.
Hyperlordosis can be attributed to an idle lifestyle with too much sitting or weak core muscles. It can hurt your spine and lead to lower back pain when walking on the treadmill.
How To Fix Back Pain While Walking On A Treadmill?
Now that we know some of the main causes of lower back pain while walking on a treadmill, let’s take a look at how you can fix it.
1. Improve your posture
One of the best ways to fix lower back pain is to improve your posture. Poor posture is one of the main causes of lower back pain. By improving your posture, you can take the strain off your back and prevent pain.
When you walk on a treadmill, make sure you maintain good form. Keep your shoulders down and back, tuck your chin, and engage your core muscles.
2. Strengthen your core muscles
You can also fix lower back pain by strengthening your core muscles. Strong core muscles can help support your back and prevent pain. There are a variety of exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles. For example, you can do crunches, planks, and bridges.
3. Stretch your back muscles
Stretching your back muscles is another great way to prevent lower back pain. By stretching your back muscles, you can take the pressure off your spine and improve your flexibility.
There are a variety of stretches you can do to stretch your back muscles. For example, you can do the cat-cow stretch, the child’s pose, and the Cobra pose.
4 Avoid Leaning Forward
Leaning forward while walking on a treadmill is one of the main causes of lower back pain. This puts strain on your back and can lead to pain. To avoid this, make sure you maintain good posture and keep your shoulders down and back.
5. Use High-Quality Treadmills And Shoes
Using high-quality treadmills and shoes can also help prevent lower back pain. This is because high-quality treadmills are designed to reduce the impact on your joints and shoes can provide support for your feet and ankles. For example, you may want to use a treadmill with a shock-absorbing deck or use shoes with good arch support.
6. Avoid Looking Down & Flexing Your Neck
Another cause of lower back pain is looking down and flexing your neck while walking on a treadmill. Your spine can be strained and cause pain as a result. To avoid this, make sure you keep your chin up and your neck in a neutral position. You may want to look straight ahead instead of looking down at your feet.
7. Squeeze Your Glutes
Lower back pain can also be prevented by squeezing your glutes. This is because it helps stabilize your pelvis and takes the pressure off your spine. To do this, simply contract your gluteal muscles (the muscles in your buttocks) while you walk.
Simple Tips To Help Keep Your Back Healthy And Pain-Free
In addition to the above tips, there are a few other things you can do to keep your back healthy and pain-free.
- Use a backpack or bag with two straps instead of one.
- Do exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
- Stretch your back muscles regularly.
- Avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long.
- Use a supportive chair with good lumbar support.
- Take breaks often if you have to sit or stand for long periods of time.
- Sleep on a mattress that is firm and supportive.
- See a doctor if you have back pain that doesn’t go away or is severe.
Also Read: How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles on A Treadmill
On the basis, of the above observation, it can be safely said that walking on a treadmill cause back pain but if you know about the cause and have the preventive measure for it then you may not have to worry about the pain.
If you’re just starting out, it’s best to walk on a treadmill until you build up your fitness level. And lastly, if you have lower back pain, you should consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.
John is a Certified Personal Trainer – Exercise Fitness Specialist who loves to share his experience to assist you reach your fitness goals.