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Can Walking On A Treadmill Hurt Your Back: Cause, Solutions

Can A Treadmill Make Your Back Hurt?

Walking on a treadmill has long been touted as an effective form of exercise. It’s low impact, low stress, and even though it feels like you’re working out, it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your joints.

Walking is often the healthier option because it allows you to get more done without putting too much pressure on your body.

You can use a treadmill to do aerobic exercise and stay in shape. You can also use it to relieve back pain. However, walking while standing on a treadmill can cause injury.

The problem is that the treadmill acts like a conveyor belt, and the sudden changes in speed and direction can cause you to fall off, which can cause muscular pain.

Yes, walking on a treadmill may cause back pain if you do not have good posture. A study published last year found that those who walked at a faster pace on a treadmill were more likely to suffer an injury than those who walked at a slower pace.

As long as you read the instructions carefully before using the treadmill, you shouldn’t suffer any health issues while exercising.

If you want to learn more about how to properly use a treadmill, read on to learn more about the benefits and risks of walking on a treadmill workouts.

Why does my Back Hurt after Walking on the Treadmill?

As a treadmill users, there are two main reasons your back might hurt:

1. The first reason is when you stand up from sitting or lying down on the machine.

If you don’t maintain proper walking posture during this transition, then your spine will be forced into unnatural positions. This could lead to muscle spasms and other injuries.

2. The second reason for back pain is when you change speeds or directions suddenly.

When you step onto the moving surface of a treadmill, your feet must move quickly enough so they won’t slip. But if you aren’t careful, your legs can become tangled together, causing them to drag along with the tread belt.

This causes your knees to bend inwardly, which extra pressures your lower back. In addition, your hips lift upward, which forces your pelvis forward. These movements can make your back ache.

Risk of walking on a Treadmill

There are many potential problems associated with using a treadmill session. Here are some of the most common treadmill mistakes:

  • If you have arthritis or another condition affecting your ankles, consult your doctor before starting to use one.
  • When you sit on the treadmill, your weight shifts toward the front of the seat. That means that your center of gravity moves backward, increasing your risk of falling over. 
  • Don’t lean against the wall when you’re running on the treadmill. Instead, keep your hands away from the sides of the machine’s frame.
  • People who have back problems may find themselves unable to run on a treadmill safely. They need to ask their doctors whether they can use one.
  • Never try to increase your workout intensity by stepping up the treadmill speed. If you push too hard, too fast, it can strain your heart and lungs.
  • Treadmills also pose hazards for people with certain medical conditions. For example, anyone taking blood thinners needs to watch out because the metal parts of the treadmill can cut through veins easily.

How do I Prevent Lower-Back Pain after Using a Treadmill?

People who have been around the fitness industry for a while will tell you that walking on a treadmill is not as bad as it seems.

It’s true – it’s not like you’re doing the walk of shame during your lunch hour at work, but walking on a treadmill can definitely cause some minor soreness in your back, especially if you’re not used to it.

The best way to prevent back pain after using a treadmill is to exercise in moderation. You don’t need to spend hours every day working out on a treadmill; however, 30 minutes per week is usually sufficient.

You can perform aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing, dancing, hiking, basketball, tennis and skiing.

Or, you can work out at an elliptical trainer, stair climber, stationary bike, cross country ski simulator, rower, stepper, or any other piece of equipment designed specifically for cardiovascular workouts.

In general, avoid doing strength training while exercising on a treadmill. Doing so places additional stress on your joints and muscles, especially those located near the bottom part of your body.

Strength training is much better done outside. Remember not to rush yourself when using a treadmill. Warm up properly and ease into each session slowly.

Ways to Prevent Injury while Using a Treadmill

There are some things you should keep in mind to avoid getting injured while using a treadmill.

  • First, always check the manufacturer’s manual before starting to use the treadmill. There might be certain warnings regarding safety precautions that need to be followed.
  • Second, never try to run while wearing high heels. They can easily twist your ankles and cause serious ankle sprains. If possible, wear flat shoes instead.
  • Third, take frequent breaks whenever you feel uncomfortable. Even though you’re just doing light cardio exercises, you still need to give yourself time to rest every now and again.
  • Fourth, watch where you place your hands when you step onto the treadmill.
  • Stay off the treadmill when experiencing severe pain or leg cramps. It takes only seconds for a calf cramp to turn into something worse.
  • Use correct walking posture or upright posture.
  • Always wear footwear. Your shoes should fit comfortably without being tight or constricting. Make sure you choose comfortable sneakers instead of high heels.
  • Be aware of where you place your feet. Think ahead of time about what you plan to do next. You shouldn’t take any sudden steps in order to prevent accidents like spinal disc or road of pain.
  • Do not jog backwards! When jogging backwards, you put additional stress on your knees and thighs.

Final Words

In conclusion, walking on a treadmill will be a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and begin a fitness routine that you can be proud of.

The first step is to choose a treadmill that will be comfortable to use and safe for your body type and level of activity.

Then, follow all instructions provided by the manufacturers.


Randy Lucas

Randy here - Fitness enthusiast and avid runner - besides running I also love playing with my two German Shepherds Peter and Bruce - oh and I love cooking. I am the Webmaster over at where I ramble about all things fitness in an effort to make the world a healthier place.