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Step up to a pain-free back: A simple way to avoid back pain.

It makes sense that routinely taking the stairs can help improve your heart health, but what about improving your low back pain? 

A recent study found that more stairs climbed equaled less incidence of low back pain, especially in women with chronic low back pain.  On average, this translated in to people with low back pain took 13-26 flights of stairs  LESS than their pain free counterparts per week.

Why do stairs help low back pain?  Weakness in the large butt muscle, the gluteus maximus, is related to getting pain in the back.  Step climbing is a movement that strengthens this muscle.  It makes sense that climbing more steps = stronger glutes = less low back pain. 

What is a good number of steps to try to get in?  The average  taken by the non-low back pain people was 51 to 61 flights of steps a week vs 35 to 37 in the low back pain group. Any increase in taking the stairs will help strengthen your glutes but a good number to shoot for is 55 flights. 

It is great that something so simple and easy to do can have such an impact on your back and health?  Take the stairs today and improve both your heart AND your back!

Amabile AH, Larson SL, Hoglund LT, Guarnieri JP, McDonald M, Reich MR. Greater number of weekly stairs climbed is associated with lower low back pain prevalence among female but not male physical therapists. PLoS One. 2023 Oct 5;18(10):e0292489. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0292489. PMID: 37797076; PMCID: PMC10553291.

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