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What Causes Lower Back Pain When Walking?

Illustration depicting a person walking outdoors with text overlay: 'Walking - The Easiest Exercise for Everyday Life. 5,000 to 7,000 steps a day. Lower back pain while walking? Causes and solutions explained.

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In terms of exercise and everyday life, walking is the easiest thing to do. In fact, the average American takes between 5,000 and 7,000 steps each day.

It’s also not something we put much thought into as it’s a necessary activity that comes naturally to us. As natural as walking is, however, there are instances when we feel lower back pain as soon as we stand up.

Every step counts, and if you’re experiencing lower back pain when walking, there could be several reasons why. Keep reading to learn more.

Do You Experience Lower Back Pain When Walking?

Back pain is something that affects 80% of adults in the United States. Fortunately, most back pain can improve with a little TLC, as postural stress is usually the cause. Postural stress is the result of pressure build-up on the spine that causes the lower back muscles to tighten and spasm.

The most common lower back pain symptoms that people experience include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Shooting or Stabbing sensations
  • Pain that extends through the legs
  • Pain that worsens when standing, lifting, bending, or walking
  • Pain that is relieved when in a reclining position

If you have back pain when walking that has come on suddenly and only lasts up to about six weeks, it’s considered acute. Acute back pain is typically caused by lifting heavy objects improperly or a fall. If you have lower back pain that won’t go away, lasting longer than three months, it’s considered chronic. Chronic back pain is typically caused by a medical condition due to aging or a traumatic accident.

Whether you’re experiencing back tightness or severe lower back pain when walking or standing, there are a few common conditions that your doctor may identify as the issue:

A Muscle or Ligament Sprain

Your back muscles and ligaments can easily become strained by repeated heavy lifting and sudden not-so-smooth movements.

It’s especially easy to hurt yourself if you’re in poor physical condition and are trying to lift something that your body isn’t conditioned to lift.

Ruptured, herniated, or Bulging Disks

Your disks are the cushions of your spinal bones. They’re filled with a soft material to provide spinal support and comfort. However, they can easily be ruptured, herniated, or begin to bulge for several reasons, which may cause them to press on a nerve.


Arthritis of the spine, or, osteoarthritis, can cause the space around your spinal cord to become narrow. This is due to the thinning of the cartilage inside the spine, and it leads to a condition known as spinal stenosis.


Osteoporosis causes your bones to become porous, brittle, and weak. This can lead to compression fractures which could cause chronic lower back pain.

Irregularities in the Skeleton

Conditions such as Scoliosis, which cause your spinal cord to curve to one side, can lead to back pain later in life.

Lower Back Pain Is Serious

Even if you only experience minimal lower back pain when walking or standing, it’s not something you should take lightly. This is especially true if the pain is related to a work injury.

If you have a work-related injury, call  (888) 590-4030 today to get the proper care.


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