The Back Pain Reducing Benefits of Dog Walking

Dog Walking for Back Pain

Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens

Dog Walking for Back Pain 

My mind has been on dogs recently as my family has added puppies to the mix.  While it does come with stress, tension, training, and time, I like to look at the benefits of things as well.  I do this for multiple reasons.  First, by keeping a positive outlook, I have found myself able to work through the stresses that can build up and keep them as acute stressors instead of chronic stressors which lead to inflammation.  That inflammation is the cause of neck pain and back pain that I see all too often in the office.  Another reason is that I like to find ways to incorporate healthy options to talk to my patients about if they are also going through similar stresses.  While all the work that is needed for having a puppy is a stressor, the benefits of dog walking for back pain that comes with it is amazing.

Since they are still small, they require a lot of time outside to make sure I’m not cleaning messes off the floor inside.  Plus, by wearing them out with walks and play time, they are more likely to sleep through the night which means I sleep better through the night.  You can begin to see the further motivation I have to get my family out for longer walks and multiple walks.  While that is good for the dogs, it is also increasingly good for my family.  We have turned it into a family exercise which encourages all of us to get more physical activity and spend quality time together.  I also appreciate instilling the habit of daily walks into my daughters as there are too many people that don’t get the proper amount of activity every day.  Over time, this creates the swelling and inflammation that leads to neck pain, back pain, and chronic disease.

 

Approximately half of adults and more than a third of adolescents and youth in the United States do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity.”

Epping, Jacqueline N. MEd. Dog Ownership and Dog Walking to Promote Physical Activity and Health in Patients. Current Sports Medicine Reports 10(4):p 224-227, July 2011. | DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318223ee41

Medical expenditures for physically active adults have been estimated to be $1,000 less annually than those for inactive adults”

Epping, Jacqueline N. MEd. Dog Ownership and Dog Walking to Promote Physical Activity and Health in Patients. Current Sports Medicine Reports 10(4):p 224-227, July 2011. | DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318223ee41

 

Whether or not you have a dog, or even like dogs, find some way to get exercise in.  Walking is free and has great benefits on your health.  As I mentioned earlier, it is not just the physical exercise I am trying to teach my daughters, but the quality time that we make out of it to lower the other stresses that can build through the day.  I encourage you to test it out and see how your mood is affected along with your health.

 

Our Message

We love to help our patients in McKinney stay healthy. We are here to relieve back pain, neck pain and headaches while also teaching about how our diet and stress effects our over all health. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diseases. Our Doctors, located near West Ridge, near the corner of S. Stonebridge Dr. and Eldorado Pkwy., want to help you stay healthy and out of pain.