How To Prevent Lower Back Pain After Running
#1 Keep good posture
Proper running form and posture will help you run in the most efficient way possible so the least amount of stress is put on your muscles and joints.
Running form includes everything from your posture when running to your arm swing and cadence.
Check out our guide on proper running form for more information and tips.
#2 Warm up before each run
Muscles like the glutes and hamstrings are directly connected to your lower back, so if these become tight it can cause lower back pain.
Make sure you target these muscles in your pre-run warm up by doing some dynamic stretches.
#2 Move regularly
A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing lower back pain.
Your muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and abs become tight and weakened as a result, which can have a negative impact on your running form and performance.
If you sit behind a desk all day for work, then find ways to move more regularly by stretching and going for walks.
#4 Mix up the terrain
If youre used to running on hard surfaces and regularly experience lower back pain, then now is the time to switch up your training.
Opt to run on softer surfaces such as a treadmill.
If you cannot fathom the idea of running on a treadmill, then try trail running instead.
#5 Strength train
Strength training will help you to stay strong and healthy as a runner.
Aim to include 2-3 strength training sessions in your training routine each week.
#6 Progress slowly
#7 Wear the right running shoes
Why Does Your Back Hurt During Or After Running
Running can cause lower back pain due to muscle strain, herniated discs and exaggerated curvature of the spine. Most frequently, this pain comes from the discs of the spine. While you run, the discs in your spine absorb the shock of your body as it bounces up and down. As you grow older, these discs may deteriorate and lead to pain.
Hyperlordosis, or exaggerated inward curvature of the spine, is another leading cause of back pain while running. Hyperlordosis pushes your stomach and tailbone to curve outward, creating an exaggerated S curve in the spine. You can test for hyperlordosis by standing against a wall and checking to see if your back is flush.
As with any exercise, running may also lead to muscle sprains and strains. Intense physical activity can cause muscle tension, torn ligaments and hyperflexibility.
Strengthen The Core To Beat Lower Back Pain When Running
One common culprit of low back pain is weakness through the core muscles, more specifically the deep stabilizer muscles. These muscles are responsible for keeping us upright and balanced with minimal rotation side-to-side or back-and-forth, and have attachment points throughout the spine and pelvis. A strong core also helps us absorb the impact of our daily activities and running in particular. As thousands of steps build up throughout a run, a strong core will provide shock absorption for your body.
Less shock absorption isnt the only downside of a week core. Your posture will also likely be affected. When the core is weak people tend to default to an overextended, mildly arched low back since those stabilizing muscles are disengaged. Not only does this lead to instability throughout your body, it also hinders your ability to engage your glutes. These muscle powerhouses are particularly important to all athletes and runners. Strengthening the core and correcting this arch to find a more neutral spine position is critical to keep running long-term and injury-free.
Lets experiment with spinal positioning and how it affects your glute and core engagement to get a better understanding of how to prevent lower back pain when running
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What Causes Back Pain In Runners
Lower back pain after running is common both in new runners, and in runners returning to the sport after a long break. The pain can range from mild to severe and becomes worse the harder you push yourself. In these cases, running isnt the direct reason for back pain. But if you suffer from existing spine conditions or muscle imbalances, running can cause stabbing back and aching muscles.
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.
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:
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What Causes Lower Back Pain After Running
Maybe you dont actually feel any pain during your run, but once youre at home recoveringthats when the pain kicks in.
Back pain before and after running has many of the same causes, but here are a few reasons you might be feeling it after the run.
- You might be dehydrated: If you didnt hydrate properly before or during your run, or if its a particularly hot day out, dehydration can cause muscle spasms that you would feel in your lower back. Adjust your drinking habits and rule out dehydration before moving on to other causes.
- Overuse: If you took on too many miles too fast without giving your body ample time to recover from the repetitive stress, it could cause the back pain youre feeling.
- Your hamstrings could be too tight: The hamstrings and glutes are directly connected to your lower back. Make sure youre stretching properly before a run to make sure your hamstrings are loose and warmed up.
- Muscular imbalance in the hip flexors and coremuscles: When we spend all day sitting down, the glutes are relaxed and the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thighs will often be overly tight, negatively affecting the lower back muscles and spine. This can be prevented by strengthening the glutes, hip flexors, lower back, and abs.
Should I Run If I Have Pain In My Lower Back
If you experience pain in your lower back, it is important to consult with a doctor or physical therapist to determine the cause of the pain. Depending on the cause of the pain, running may or may not be recommended.
If the pain is due to a musculoskeletal issue, such as a strained muscle, running may aggravate the condition and should be avoided. However, if the pain is due to a degenerative condition, such as arthritis, running may actually help to improve the symptoms by increasing blood flow and joint lubrication.
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Causes Of Back Pain After Running
Runners back pain can be caused by a variety of things, from poor posture to incorrect running form. Tight muscles, weak muscles, and joint problems can also lead to back pain in runners. Improper footwear and overtraining are other potential causes of runners back pain. In many cases, the cause of the pain cant be identified.
If youre like most runners, you probably think about the muscles in your legs and feet when youre planning a run. But what about your back? Your back is actually made up of three main regions: the spine, the pelvis, and the sacrum. The lower back is particularly important for runners because its responsible for transferring energy from the upper body to the legs. If your lower back is injured or not functioning properly, it can affect your running performance.
Here are some tips for keeping your lower back healthy and strong:
1. Make sure youre using proper form when you run. Keep your head up, shoulders down, and core engaged.
2. Stretch regularly. This will help keep your muscles loose and flexible.
3. Strengthen your core muscles. This will help support your spine and pelvis.
What Causes Low Back Pain In Runners
There are a variety of root causes and risk factors for low back pain in runners. A 2020 review found that the most common risk factors include physical characteristics, such as height and weight, as well as training errors, like progressing too quickly. New runners are also at a higher risk for experiencing low back pain. The following are some of the most-commonly cited causes and risk factors for lower back pain in runners:
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How To Prevent Lower Back Pain When Running
There are certain strategies you can do before and throughout the run to relieve lower back pain when running.
This can be avoided by regularly moving the nerve.
Do a standing toe touch stretch before each run, but instead of maintaining and stretching for 30-60 seconds, do three sets of 15 reps, holding the lowest position only for a second or two.
Runners who solely run on asphalt or concrete all year are also more likely to have lower back pain when running or afterward.
Cross-training on softer terrain is often recommended trails and tracks combined with road training can have a stabilizing effect on your low back and all the muscles down the hierarchy.
Furthermore, with proper strength training, overuse issues, such as lower back pain when running, can be decreased by up to 50%.
Now, lets talk about some of the more effective tips to prevent lower back pain when running.
Unable To Maintain Good Posture In Running
There is lots made about the importance of running form and posture And of course, it is important but we all have our own unique styles and ways that we run. Just look at some of the most elite athletes in the world they don’t all run with what you consider perfect form or a technique yet they’re still the top of their game.
Of course, being fit and conditions and strong and supple makes a big difference to how you look when you’re running, just think about how you feel towards the end of a training run or a race when you’re tired and fatigued everything starts to suffer including form.
Of course, if you have excessive spinal movement in one direction or another – in the form of pelvic tilt forwards or backwards , then you may well be putting extra pressure on your lower back which can, in turn, cause you pain and discomfort. Pelvic tilt can be caused by all kinds of separate issues whether it be tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors weak abs or overly tight muscles of the low back.
But remember we’re all different and we’re all unique, and what makes one person run and look straight isn’t necessarily what’s going to make you look and run straight. But its worth noting a great athlete normally does look good in motion, so if it looks good it probably is good.
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Leg Pain From Hip Disorders
When the hip is affected, you may have groin pain on the affected side, reduced range of motion of the hip, thigh pain, knee pain, or buttocks pain. The pain usually does not go down below the knee, and there is no associated numbness or tingling. You may feel more pain when walking or standing, and the pain improves with rest. You may sense a limited range of motion when trying to get out of the car, chair or bed. Occasionally, pain in the hip could be secondary to inflammation of a hip bursa. This can happen if you have tight hip abductor muscles, difference in leg length or hip arthritis. Hip pain can also be caused by something more serious but less common, like fractures, tumors, infection or avascular necrosis.
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Lower Back Pain After Running: Causes + 7 Ways To Prevent It
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a common injury for many people, including runners.
Symptoms of lower back pain can range from a minor irritation to pain that stops you in your tracks.
The good news is lower back pain usually improves in a matter of weeks, however, in some rare cases it can become chronic if left untreated.
So what exactly causes lower back pain after running? And how can you prevent it for good?
In this guide well explore:
- What is lower back pain?
- What are the symptoms of lower back pain?
- What causes lower back pain after running?
- What conditions cause lower back pain?
- Who is at risk of developing lower back pain?
- How to treat lower back pain after running
- How to prevent lower back pain after running
Lets get started!
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Commit Yourself To A Running Program
Making a running schedule can be extremely useful.
Overtraining can create complications of its own, so adhering to a well-planned schedule can be really beneficial.
Make a routine to run three to four days a week.
It may be a good idea to vary your training, such as completing a long run weekly, tempo runs on one day, and speed training on another.
On alternate days, you can perform cross-training exercises to strengthen other muscles while relaxing your legs.
Also, pay attention to how you proceed through your routine.
If you feel the desire to increase your distance or speed, be cautious not to do it too rapidly. This can result in serious injury!
What Are The Warning Signs Of A Serious Problem
Very rarely back pain or pain that travels down the leg is a sign of a serious problem.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attention:
- difficulty controlling or passing urine
- loss of control of your bowels
- numbness around your back passage or your genitals
- serious weakness in your legs so you find standing really difficult
- severe and ongoing back pain that gets worse over several weeks.
The above symptoms could potentially be linked to a rare but serious condition that needs urgent medical attention.
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Why Is Inactivity Bad For Shooting Radiating Back Pain
The sciatic nerves are actually bundles of many nerves branching out of the different levels of the spine and form two branches that run down each side of the low back. Lack of fitness creates weak, shortened muscles that press on the sciatic nerves and cause constant pain. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles can be very helpful. Sitting for prolonged periods can also cause back pain to flare or worsen due to poor posture. Try to sit up straight with your shoulders back and your lower back supported with a special chair, a rolled towel, or pillow. You should also try to stand and stretch every so often.
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Types Of Leg Pain That Are Actually Caused By A Back Problem
No doubt about it, your legs endure a lot of stress throughout your life, leading to a general wear and tear that may result in pain. However, not all sources of leg pain are caused by issues related to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage that make up your lower extremities.
Its possible that the electric shock sensation you feel shooting down your leg every time you reposition your body is due to a back problem. At Texas Spine Consultants in Addison and Plano, Texas, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine health and help many people get relief from their leg pain by treating the underlying back problem responsible for the traveling pain sensations.
To save you from unnecessary testing and treatment of your legs, we want to share with you the types of leg pain that are actually caused by a back problem.
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Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain When Running
It can be hard to find the exact culprits for your lower back pain, especially if you normally suffer from it. For runners, common causes of lower back pain include improper form, weak muscles, and possibly more severe issues.
- Poor form: Researchers of a recent study published in the journal Pain Research and Management found posture and running gait were one of several causes for lower back pain after surveying 800 marathon runners. Proper form is important for any runner. If you improve your posture and your form, youre more likely to prevent injuries and you will also be able to run with ease.
- Muscle weakness: Muscle-related back pain happens when the muscles that surround your backyour core, hips, glutes, and hamstringsarent strong, which forces your back muscles to pick up the slack. If you have weak hip and gluteal muscles, for example, as they become fatigued during a run, your lower back is forced to work harder to keep you upright and stable, and you become vulnerable to injury, Metzl says.
- Bone issues: Bone-related pain may be caused by arthritis, and discogenic pain is caused by a bulging or slipped disc, he says. You should see your doctor if you suspect you have either of these.