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What Can Runners do to Help Alleviate Back Pain?

People choose to run for many reasons. Running helps improve cardiovascular fitness, weight loss and releases endorphins (hormones that provide a positive emotional response). Running is wonderful way to exercise, but what if back pain starts to interfere with your running routine?

Many people stop running if they experience back pain, but they don't realize that it shouldn't stop you from continuing your favorite form of exercise.

Running can be beneficial if you have back pain and is even considered a treatment for lower back pain. Running is so helpful that runners have been found to have stronger spines than non-runners.

If you are experiencing back pain while running, you may wonder how to best address the symptom while continuing your running program. This article will address steps to help with back pain while running.


Structural Versus Mechanical Pain

Back pain can be classified as structural or mechanical. For mechanical back pain, recommended therapies include stretching, physical therapy, heat, and ice. With treatment efforts, you should be able to continue your running program.

Structural back pain is more severe and can affect your running program. When there is structural issues of the spine, extra stress can worsen symptoms. If this is the case, a diagnosis and treatment plan with a spine doctor is necessary.


How Stretching Can Improve Back Pain

Stretching is necessary for runners, especially those experiencing lower back pain. Make sure you stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles. It is important to stretch these muscles both before and after your run.

Muscles of the thigh connect to your pelvis and hip. If not appropriately stretched, it can cause a pelvic tilt, leading to tightness in the lower back.


How Cross-Training can be Beneficial

Cross-training can give your body a break from the stressors of running. It does not mean you should stop running altogether but implementing other exercises can help you with managing your back pain.

For example, weight lifting helps to strengthen muscles that support the spine. You can also try swimming or biking as they may be less strenuous on the spine.

For runners who do not want to incorporate cross-training, try to change speed and distance as it can be beneficial to prevent overuse injuries.


Why is Rest Important Between Workouts?

Your body and your back need adequate rest between workouts. When you are just starting a running program, start slowly and ease into running. Set goals that are reasonable yet obtainable. Remember doing too much too fast, you are at an increased risk for pain and injury.

Allow for rest between workouts, especially if you are new to running. With time you can progress your distance and speed without putting too much strain on your legs and back muscles.

How Visiting a Spine Doctor can Help Your Pain

If you are a runner experiencing back pain and need guidance to best address your pain, then Pinnacle Orthopaedics is here for you!

Spine Specialists at Pinnacle Orthopaedics are a team dedicated to helping patients with pain in the spine. They help develop a treatment plan involving surgical or non-surgical care for managing pain.

We have five convenient locations to serve you:

Need help with managing your back pain? Schedule a consultation with one of our physicians today!




The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.