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Can Running Cause Back Pain

How Do I Start Jogging For Low Back Pain

Lower Back Pain in Runners

You might be asking, how much jogging do I have to do to see a benefit?

While the exact amount will be different for everyone, the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week in at least 10-minute increments. A 2007 study in Physical Therapy Journal, found that this increase in activity resulted in a 41% reduction in pain, a 31% improvement in function, and a 35% reduction in stress.

Possible Causes Of Lower Back Pain When Walking

There are many possible causes of lower back pain when walking. Your posture and your form while walking can affect the way your back and spine feel. Injury factors like muscle sprain, muscle strain, sciatica, and disc injury can also cause discomfort.

Furthermore, certain chronic medical conditions can require medical attention, emergency care, or spine surgery. These include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cauda Equina Syndrome

In order to assess the type of treatment you require, your doctor will need to determine what is causing your back pain. Here are some possible causes of lower back pain when walking.

Reduced Thoracic Spine Mobility

This is especially common in the many office-based athletes I meet who present with low back pain while running.

I find that these runners frequently lack the ability to comfortably extend and rotate properly through their thoracic spine.

This video analysis of elite marathon runner Shalane Flanagan demonstrates the importance of extension and rotation of the torso in running gait.

Picture the spine as a segmental unit, achieving motion in all planes as a net result of all the individual segmental motions.

If a number of segments are restricted in the desired motion , then the overall spinal extension and rotation needed in running will come predominantly from the lumbar spine.

This type of compensation results in undue demand on the region by placing the lower back in the hyperlordotic position described in the first point above.

Heres a great exercise you can use to improve thoracic spine mobility.

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Lower Back Discomfort While Running

Back spasms often occur when muscles are imbalanced, causing your spine to pull out of natural alignment. If one muscle is strong and the opposing muscle is weak, it causes an imbalance that can affect posture.

For example, if your quad muscle is much stronger than your glute muscles, your pelvis tilts forward rather than sitting straight in spinal alignment, a condition called anterior pelvic tilt. This places significant pressure on the spine, causing lower back discomfort while running.

Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain When Walking

Lower Back Pain After Running

If youre experiencing pain in your lower back when walking, you may have felt some of these symptoms already.

Pay attention to what your back is telling you. What type of discomfort are you feeling? Is it dull pain? Is it shooting pain? Identifying the type of pain will help your doctor figure out whats going on.

Also, pay attention to where you feel the pain. Is it in one specific area? Is it acute pain that radiates across your lower back?

The type of pain and its location may help you and your doctor determine whats going on.

If you are experiencing lower back pain when walking, here are some pain symptoms you may be feeling:

  • Stiffness

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What About The Role Of Core Strength & Stability In Running With Back Pain

Firstly we need to define what is meant by core strength and core stability.

There are many definitions out there for these generic terms, many of which speak of providing stability to the lumbar spine through strengthening the deep and superficial abdominal muscles.

Consider the fact that the bony and ligamentous architecture of the lumbar spinal segments gives them a good level of inherent stability

If your back pain stems from having truly unstable spinal vertebrae, being able to run is probably the least of your problems.

What we should instead be considering in terms of core strength and stability is this:

The ability to maintain good pelvic posture throughout the functional movements for our sport

Strength, stability and mobility, all in the right areas will allow your core to maintain a neutral lumbro-pelvic posture.

Free Workouts

in addition, having adequate thoracic motion is going to also be a factor in enabling you to be more effective in keeping the lumbar spine in a neutral position through the motion of running.

While typical core activities such as floor-based pilates will be great for getting a feel for the activation of the correct core muscle groups, the real focus for a runner should be to train these muscles to provide pelvic control through functional ranges of motion in load-bearing positions.

In terms of load-bearing exercises, Im a big fan of various plan variations when it comes to building core strength in runners:

You Are Overtraining Or Have Had A Drastic Change In A Training Regime

Overload injuries are some of the most common causes of injury in runners. Think about stress fractures or tendonitis. These can be considered to be overload injuries, it’s not just the ankle and knees and hips that take a lot of force whilst running, the low back also takes its fair share of the load.

If you susceptible to back pain then doing too much can put excessive pressure on the back and cause pain. Equally by Simply not being strong enough or flexible enough you can perhaps put undue stress on the back and cause yourself an overload injury.

This is where clever scheduling of a training regime comes into play as overtraining or drastic changes in what you are doing can add to an excessive or Chronic workload and you could be causing yourself problems in the short or medium term in the form of low back pain.

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For Your Convenience We’ve Divided These Causes Into Five Categories As Follows

  • Low risk: This can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications or by avoiding the movement/stressor causing your pain.
  • Low-medium risk: Usually managed as an outpatient by your doctor with prescription medication.
  • Medium risk: May require a visit to your doctor or hospitalization. Prescription medication may be necessary.
  • Medium-high risk: Hospitalization or urgent intervention. Although not life-threatening get help immediately of some kind.
  • High risk: Serious and potentially lethal complications possible emergent intervention needed Intensive Care Unit care often needed.

A Lack Of Lower Limb Strength

Lower Back Pain From Running (Why this Happens)

The foot bone is connected to the leg bone. The leg bone is connected to the Hip bone. The Hip Bone is connected to the Backbones

Yes, the body is interlinked and problems in 1 region can cause issues in another. Its the reason for example that differences in leg length cause Low Back Pain – unequal stress applied through the limbs are transmitted to the Back.

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How To Avoid Upper Back Pain When Running

Imagine how much the average person actually slouches during a day.

Slouching during breakfast, then hunched over the kitchen sink to wash dishes, slouching while driving a car, and then slouching while sitting at work or at a school desk.

Dont forget about slouching while texting, watching TV or using the computer. When you are not slouching, youre bending over to clean or pick up children and/or pets. The list of slouching possibilities is endless!

Now envision your running posture. Does it look any different? Many of us run in a forward head and rounded shoulders positiona slouched posture! Runners experience many of the same aches and pains as their sedentary counter parts. Upper back and neck pain is a common occurrence. The most typical cause is almost always poor posture.

Activation Of The Nervous System

In the case of poor posture, its common that the upper trapezius muscles become over active while the lower portion of the trapezius muscles become weak and disengaged. This is partially due to the nervous system. The nervous system often works like a dimmer switch for lights. It can cause certain muscle groups to become over active while dimming the involvement of other groups.

The trapezius muscle is an important postural muscle. The more you slouch and hold a forward head and rounded shoulders posture, the more signals the nervous system will send to the upper portion of the trapezius. This causes pain and spasms.

Work to improve your posture by keeping your shoulder blades back and downward while engaging your lower trapezius. When this occurs, the nervous system will automatically send increased signals to the lower trapezius in order to help the muscle hold the posture. Meantime, the signal to the upper portion is reduced. This combined with improved thoracic mobility should immediately reduce muscle spasms and pain.

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Book A Physiotherapy Assessment For More Information

But wait! Remember that jogging can also be hard on your body, especially if you have poor form.

For that reason, its important to consult a primary care practitioner when planning to start any new exercise routine. They can help assess the cause of your low back pain, work with you to set goals, and develop a custom treatment plan just for you.

Why wait? Book an assessment and see if jogging can help your back pain!

Hyperlordosis & Poor Dynamic Control Of The Lumbro

Can Running cause Upper Back Pain?

With every running stride, your body moves through the various phases of running gait. By its very nature, your gait pattern is both cyclical and repetitive.

Understand the Phases of Running Gait < – You can learn more about the various phases of running gait here

As our legs swing forward and back through the swing and stance phases of running gait, a great deal of the movement that allows us to create the required stride length for the given pace comes from the hips.

However, to create efficient movement from the hips you need both adequate hip mobility and stability at the pelvis, which should provide a stable base.

Runners who either lack range of motion at the hips, or dynamic control of pelvic position , frequently find themselves compensating by extending excessively through the lumbar spine as the pelvis rotates forward into an anteriorly tilted position.

Not only does this anterior pelvic tilt and hyperlordosis make it difficult for you to engage your glutes, but it also places more demand on the muscles of your lower back.

Over time these muscles, such as quadratus lumborum can become tight and painful.

Heres a great video to demonstrate what you can do about this common problem

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Weight Loss/toning Shoes And Back Pain

Paying attention to your footwear can help to prevent back pain caused by shoes, but which shoes are the main culprits of back pain in the first place?

First on our list is perhaps the most problematic and the least known about: figure-fixing shoes.

Toning shoes are designed with little mini pods on the soles that are similar to wobble boards. These mimic walking on an unstable surface and the aim of this is to make you work muscles in the legs that wouldn’t normally be used when walking. However, the unusual sole of this shoe results in the abnormal distribution of body weight which, in turn, can lead to strain in the Achilles tendons, as well as injuries in the ankle, knee and back.

Toning shoes may also have a curved sole, which is again designed to make you use extra leg muscles when walking. These can also cause a change to walking posture, thus resulting in back pain. Without a flat sole on the shoe, there is also an increased likelihood of falls.

Treatment For Back Spasms

Rest your back, but do not confine yourself to a bed, which can worsen the condition. Avoid activities that aggravate your pain, such as running. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain while muscle relaxants might also be prescribed to help treat lower back discomfort with running.

Less commonly, you might require a steroid injection in your back to help decrease inflammation in your spine, according to Mayo Clinic. In rare cases, surgery might be needed to eliminate the causes of your back pain while running.

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Other Types Of Running Injuries

Other injuries that runners tend to experience include:

  • Ingrown toenails. An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of your nail grows into your skin. It can cause pain and inflammation along your toenail and may ooze pus if it becomes infected.
  • Bursitis. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs beneath your muscles and tendons. They help to lubricate your joints. Repeated friction against these sacs from running can lead to irritation in your hip or around your knee.
  • Meniscal tear. A meniscal tear refers to a tear of the cartilage in your knee. It often causes a sensation of your joint locking.
  • Anterior compartment syndrome. Anterior compartment syndrome occurs when the muscles in the front of your lower leg put pressure on your nerves and blood vessels. This syndrome can be a medical emergency.
  • Calf strain. Repetitive trauma from running can lead to a calf strain, also known as a pulled calf.

If you experience any kind of pain or discomfort or find it hard to run, its a good idea to follow up with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and to rule out other conditions.

For many common running injuries, treatment often includes:

Causes Of Back Pain After Running

4 Causes and Treatments of Back Pain After Running

Its completely normal to feel a variety of aches and painsafter running, especially if youre pushing your bodys limits when it comes toexercise. Persistent and recurring back pain after running, on the other hand,may be a sign of a deeper problem.

Often, this will just be a muscle strain or spasm, which will hinder your ability to stay active but will disappear fairly quickly if treated correctly a short period of rest, gentle stretching and anti-pain medication will generally do the trick, and taking care to maintain good posture throughout the day will help to prevent it.

In most cases, running isnt the direct cause of back painbut the stress and repetitive impacts it involves could well be exacerbatingexisting back problems you may have. Symptoms of back pain that may worsen withrunning include:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Pain when lifting or bending
  • Stabbing pains

More severe and consistent back pain could potentially beindicative of more serious structural problems such as a herniated disc ordegenerative disc disease.

If you are finding that running is bringing you severe andconsistent back pain, it is important that you seek medical advice and, in themeantime, look for a lower-impact form of exercise to avoid making the problemworse and causing yourself further and potentially permanent discomfort.

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How To Choose Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain

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Your back pain can be caused by other factors. But did you know that it can be due to the selection of a wrong footwear? If has been determined that the pain in you back is caused by a flimsy running shoes, you need to make a move now. Know how to choose running shoes for lower back pain in this guide!

Your back and feet are distant to one another. However, they are somehow interrelated, especially in the aspect of running and walking. For instance, people who experience lower back pain might be the ones that are not wearing the appropriate footwear.

How to choose running shoes for lower back pain? It is quite a peculiar question, but it is certainly a justified one. Accordingly, back pain is among the prevalent reasons why runners and ordinary folks go to their attending physicians and doctor. Of course, there are a plethora of possible causes for this condition. But if the diagnosis is right, your back pain could be caused by your shoes.

Dont Ignore Your Lower Back Pain When Running

In the vast majority of cases, this type of lower back pain isnt something you simply have to accept and put-up with. An appropriate rehab and strengthening plan, alongside your running, will help you run pain-free.

I previously stated that there are many different types and causes of back pain in runners. Not all of the exercises above will be appropriate in every case.

Please do seek the help of a good physio or doctor to get specific advice for your injury.

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What Is Radiating Pain

Radiating pain is pain that “radiates” from one area of the body to other areas of the body. When pain in one area of the body causes pain in other areas, this is known as “referred pain.” In fact, radiating lower back and hip pain can cause pain in all kinds of places near these areas like

  • Thigh muscle pain
  • Pain back of the knee
  • Knee pain at night
  • Pain in the upper thigh
  • Numbing of nerves in leg
  • Hip and groin pain
  • Pain in the back of leg behind the knee
  • Pain in one side side
  • Pain in the calf
  • Pain in back of the knee
  • Hip and groin pain
  • Sharp pain in the toes
  • Lower calf pain

Note your symptoms from the list above and use these to learn your diagnosis with our helpful descriptions of symptoms, possible causes, and when you should get to a doctor or emergency room to know how to treat your injury.

Four Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain When Running

Lower Back Pain After Running

There are numerous potential reasons for you to experience running-related lower back pain too many to list in this article. Instead, Im going to focus on the four most common situations Ive seen when treating runners with lower back pain symptoms, aggravated by running.

Please do bear in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list. If youre in doubt, please consult your physio.

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