Pain in Lower Back When Walking

For most people, walking has been a consistent daily part of life from a young age. Many of us walk so much that we can even do so subconsciously.

However, everything changes when we notice pain in our lower back while walking. Every step can become very calculated to avoid pain. Perhaps you find yourself in this situation.

Our highly trained specialists at Virgin Islands Neurology have helped many by providing various treatment options to help alleviate back pain while walking. If you have been experiencing pain for a prolonged period, schedule an appointment at our U.S. Virgin Islands office for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

A woman with pain in her lower back while walking.

What Causes Lower Back Pain When Walking?

You might be experiencing pain in your lower back for many reasons. Below you will find some of the most common causes of lower back pain that can be felt while walking.

  • Muscle fatigue: Prolonged standing or walking can strain or tire out the muscles in your lower back and legs. This can lead to aches and pains. Generally, pain tends to subside once you sit or lay down.
  • Weight: Your weight can play a significant factor in experiencing pain while you walk. If you are overweight or obese, this additional weight can put more pressure and stress on joints and discs, resulting in pain.
  • Muscle spasms: If you have a strain, the muscles in your lower back can start to spasm or contract uncontrollably. These spasms can be extremely painful and, at times, make it difficult or impossible to stand or walk. Although painful in the moment, this pain does not usually linger.
  • Strains and sprains: These are the most common causes of back pain. If you injure muscles, tendons, or ligaments, you may feel pain while walking and have trouble moving. In addition to pain, these injuries can cause cramping, spasms, bruising, and swelling.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis:  Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs in the lower part of your back (lumbar spine) when your spinal column is too narrow.  This pinching of the spinal cord can cause severe sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain. You may feel relief from spinal stenosis once you sit down.
  • Sciatica: Damage, pressure, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve can cause sudden and sharp pain. The sciatic nerve starts in your lower back and runs through the hips and buttocks down the legs into your feet. You may also feel burning, numbness, tingling, and radiating pain.
  • Degenerative disc disease: This occurs when your spinal discs, that act as shock absorbers, degenerate over time. This can result in bone-on-bone rubbing, thus causing pain.
  • Poor posture: Having poor posture can put an increased amount of pressure on your back, which can impact how you walk. Improper posture can also affect your muscles, joints, nerves, and discs.
A patient being treated with physical therapy for lower back pain.

When Should I See a Doctor for Lower Back Pain?

You should consider seeing a doctor for lower back pain if your pain is severe and persists despite the following:

  • Resting
  • OTC pain relievers
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Gentle stretches

You should also see a doctor if your pain is coupled with debilitating symptoms, restricted leg movements, incontinence, fever, or chills.

A trained medical specialist will be able to evaluate your symptoms and medical history to identify the potential cause of your pain.

How Is Lower Back Pain Treated?

While the type of treatment you receive will depend on the root cause of your pain, lower back pain generally gets better without the need for surgery. However, some back injuries and conditions do require surgical repair.

Since each individual circumstance is different, we offer non-surgical and surgical treatment options to best relieve your pain.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Our doctors may recommend that you try the following non-surgical treatments to help alleviate your back pain:

Surgery to Treat Back Pain

Once all non-surgical options have been exhausted, your specialist may recommend surgery to correct the problem. If surgical repair is required, there are several surgical options available, including minimally invasive procedures.

How Can Lower Back Pain Be Prevented?

Lower back pain can sometimes be prevented by trying to implement the following steps:

  1. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day by doing a combination of low and high-intensity physical activities.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Keep good posture, including when you are walking.
  4. Adjust your workstation, as needed, to create a more ergonomic space.
  5. Use proper lifting techniques and avoid lifting objects that are too heavy.
  6. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet by incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Walking is a part of your daily life. It shouldn’t be hindered by pain. Schedule an appointment with our experts at Virgin Islands Neurology today! 

Our expert doctors in the U.S. Virgin Islands are ready to help. We can give you the guidance you need and provide the correct treatment so you can return to an active and healthy lifestyle as soon as possible!