Causes of lower back pain when standing or walking

Lower back pain when standing

The misery of lower back pain such that you can barely walk is an almost universal experience, and it’s a very unfortunate one. Some people are lucky enough to get only the occasional discomfort but for untold millions of people the problem is often chronic. What causes lower back pain when standing?

Main causes of lower back pain when standing

Four in five adults deal with lower back pain at some point in their lives and people with sedentary jobs suffer the most. If you’re sitting down right at this moment reading this take a few seconds to examine your posture. Is your back straight?

Is your back properly supported by your chair? How long have you been sitting at your desk, one hour, two?

Poor posture triggers lower back pain can barely walk

Poor posture and prolonged sitting are the most common causes for lower back pain. Maybe you don’t feel it now, but you will certainly do when you stand up and try to walk. Some experience sharp acute pains, while others are left with a dull throbbing pain.

Wearing high heels all day every day also places a strain on your spine and you will pay a heavy price for it. Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder might also cause back pain. Maybe making a striking impression at the office was worth it, but keep in mind that constantly torturing your spine might have serious consequences later on.

Lower back pain when standing and not being in shape

Being overweight increases your risk of suffering from back pain for the very obvious reason that the lower back, the part of your spine below the rib cage, has a lot more of you to support.

To make matters worse, being chubby often goes hand in hand with being out of shape, as in not exercising enough. Carrying the pizza box to the couch does not count as exercise, nor does making the trip all the way to the fridge to grab another beer! Your spine needs strong muscles to help it do its job!

Herniated disc

Chronic back pain is often the result of a herniated disc. That is caused by the simple wear and tear of the lumbar vertebrae and this is an increasingly common problem for the over 50s. This annoying pain is one you can likely feel in your buttocks and often radiates down your legs.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

This is also part of old age. The pain is caused by the narrowing of the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves.

Lower back pain barely walk
Get in bed and relax. Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

How to deal with lower back pain when standing:


Resting is often the best medicine for lower back pain, although in some cases the relief might be only temporary. Find a comfortable position in bed and take it easy for a couple of days. That should do the trick.

Hot or cold packs

These packs are usually recommended to speed up the healing process for better back health. You’ll have to discover which of the two works for you.

Try taking a warm bath and then apply a heating pad to the affected area. If that doesn’t work, try an ice pack, a bag of peas from the freezer will do, just make sure you wrap in a towel so it doesn’t touch your skin directly.

OTC medication

It helps alleviate the pain of lower back pain when standing or walking. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are very effective in reducing the swelling and the discomfort it causes.

Improve your posture

Do so by paying attention to the way you hold your back while sitting and you might want to invest in a better chair that provides adequate support to the lumbar region.

Lose weight

Weight loss and hitting the gym can alleviate the burden on your spine. You’ll also start to tone muscles. While it is difficult when have lower back pain you can barely walk, it will get easier to do gym exercises as you start to shed the pounds.

Get a massage

Yes! It can effectively relax your muscles and consider doing yoga to strengthen your body and improve mobility.

Final thoughts on lower back pain when standing

If nothing works it might be time to see a doctor, but he’ll probably offer the same advice as surgical procedures are last resort options.

Now that you’ve read this, get up and do some stretches. Or, take a short walk. That will help more than trying to find a solution to your problem online.


  1. Love this, Christy! Lower back pain is extremely painful and can be absolutely debilitating! There are so many causes for it too, making it hard sometimes to pinpoint exactly what’s going on in the body. For women, it can even signal something going on with the reproductive system and is worth getting checked out by a medical professional.

    I had to laugh when I read this line of yours: “Carrying the pizza box to the couch does not count as exercise.” — Oh how true that is! Sadly, in our modern society, this might be the only exercise many are getting. (sigh) What’s worse is that if we were raised this way, we are more likely to repeat those same old, unhealthy patterns, without even thinking about them actively! Yikes!

    Spinal stenosis is a very troubling disorder. I’ve had 2 family members that had to have their entire backs reconstructed in a series of back surgeries as a result of it. It’s just my humble opinion, but I believe that years of poor lifestyle choices only increases the risk of developing stenosis. Obviously, that’s far from the only cause, but our choices all along in life either help or harm us later down the line.

    Your tips are awesome, Christy. It’s true – just moving our body in the way God intended can do so much for us. Chronic pain as a result of a sedentary lifestyle is avoidable and reversible. How about we go for a walk in nature now? 😉

    Sending my love and hugs your way.

  2. Dear Holly, thank you for such a thoughtful comment here! I’m sorry to hear about your two family members who had back reconstruction. There are so many things that can awry with our backs, isn’t there? I often wish we could get a guide in our teen years that says avoid this or that and our adult years will be less painful! I love your caring comment and YES let’s go for that walk now 🙂 xo


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