Walking for 5 to 40 minutes is usually recommended as soon after your adjustment as possible. The length of your walk is dependent upon your case, but in no circumstances should be continued if pain increases during the walk. Long, even, gliding strides are recommended that avoid concussive impact of the heal strike portion of the gait. Don’t climb hills during the early phases of care, and if using stair stepper or elliptical machine, avoid deep steps or a rapid pace.
The purpose of the walk is to let the joint begin to relearn motion that has not experienced while misaligned. This reintroduced motion begins the process of nutritional pumping to the disc as you walk, and in coordination with motion in the rest of the spine, retrains muscles, ligaments, and nerves around it. It is part of the re-patterning of nerve communication integral to long term recovery.
Commonly, there are noticeable phases to your walk, which will vary according to your phase of recovery and strength. Initially, the walking motion may not feel quite even. As your walk progresses, the stride will lengthen, become more even, and begin to settle into a more comfortable stride. In the final phase, it’s not uncommon to have the low back or legs suddenly get tired. At this point it’s time to finish the walk, get off your feet, and if recommended, put ice on the affected area.