While there’s no denying that running is a good way to get regular exercise, the repetitive nature of the movements involved with this activity can also place stress on the lower back. It’s the constant pounding of the feet that tends to cause back pain due to the vibrations that cascade upwards, affecting even seasoned runners. The key to avoiding, or at least minimizing, back pain is to take as many preventative steps as possible.
Change Your Running Course
Changing the running course to include smaller hills or longer stretches of flat surfaces can provide some much-needed relief. Another option is to consider running on a track that’s specifically designed for runners or scheduling some days to use indoor treadmills. Additional ways to minimize or prevent back pain while running include:
- Comfortable running shoes (or sports shoes with insoles for cushioning)
- Massage therapy (to target muscle groups affecting the back area)
- Cross training (to avoid putting too much stress on back muscles)
Warm-up Exercises to Minimize Back Pain
Low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking and swimming can also help strengthen key muscle groups that also come into play when running, specifically the abdomen, pelvis, and thighs. Some other warm-up exercises to consider include:
- Hamstring stretches
- Hip stretches
- Knee to chest stretches
- Leg crosses (performed while laying down to target very specific back muscles)
Back pain after running that’s only experienced occasionally and goes away within a relatively short period of time can usually be remedied with a mild pain reliever. However, back and leg pain that occurs frequently should be evaluated by a doctor to determine if a more substantial problem, such as a herniated disc, may be causing the pain. If this is the case, a doctor may refer you to a spine surgeon in Los Angeles.
When it comes to any type of back pain, it’s best to be as proactive as possible. If you would like to learn more about the cause of your back pain, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Located in Santa Monica, CA and headed by Doctor Hyun Bae, our advanced team of spine surgeons and specialists can help you properly diagnosis your back pain and provide you with the best treatment options available. Call (310) 828-7757 to schedule a consultation today.