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Who’s Walking Who? Proper Steps To Avoid Back Pain While Walking Your Dog

February 6, 2017

Walking your furry little friend is a great way to maintain a healthy daily exercise routine. In fact, regular walking can help with chronic low back pain. Walking is an essential exercise for the dog but as a caretaker it is important for you to continue walking without injuring your back. Follow these 5 steps before heading out with your favorite canine friends:

  • Pay attention to the shoes you are wearing, even if it is a brisk walk around the block.
  • Footwear should provide comfort and adequate padding with heal support (i.e. avoid flip flops).
  • The leash should be a comfortable distance so that your arms are not overstretched, allowing slight flexion at the elbows.
  • Allow flexibility with the leash to avoid over extension if your dog suddenly lunges forward; however, try to not let your dog get too far ahead of you.
  • Avoid erratic movements to avoid injury. Sudden extension can injure your back, particularly the facet joints.
  • Use your core to stand straight and avoid too much flexion or extension.
  • Walk at a steady pace.
  • Turn the dog using your body.
  • Do not go to the point of exhaustion, but rather gradually increase the distance every 1-2 days.
  • Take frequent breaks if you need to; it gives your dog a break too.
  • Treat walking just as you would any other physical exercise. Make sure you stretch before and after to avoid pulling a muscle!
  • Bend with your knees and use your leg muscles.
  • Use your core for stability.

Walking regularly not only benefits your dog, but you as well, so grab the leash and enjoy the warm weather. Fido and your back will thank you!


Virginia Spine Institute’s reputation is unmatched as a world-renowned luxury destination in spinal healthcare, dedicated to providing an elevated level of concierge care for those suffering from neck and back conditions. For three decades, their proven methods have led them to dramatically improving the quality of life for over 100,000 patients, from 32 countries.


People seek care from Virginia Spine Institute because of their elite team of board-certified spine-specialized physicians offering unique approaches to safe and effective back and neck pain relief. As one of the few centers that begin treatment with non-surgical options before recommending surgery, 90% of their patients get better without spine surgery. Through a comprehensive model, Virginia Spine Institute is able to offer regenerative medicine, non-operative treatments, minimally-invasive spine surgery, and physical therapy through their team of spine specialists.


The team’s dedication to detail and patient success is a shining light in the field of spinal healthcare. As pioneers and leaders in this field, they have also accomplished many of the world’s firsts in spine surgery by using modern treatments and cutting-edge technology not offered anywhere else.

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