The repetitive stress associated with running can sometimes contribute to back pain. Stretching before going for a run or jog may help ease spine-related pain, but discomfort can also be triggered by the shoes you wear. While running on a treadmill may keep you on a smooth, flat surface, it’s not as enjoyable as getting outside on a nice day, and it isn’t practical if you’re a competitive runner. Prepare your spine for a variety of surfaces and running conditions by looking for the following features when selecting your shoes.
1. Proper Arch Support
Tendons in your feet are supported by three arches. If these thick tissues aren’t properly supported, you may develop tight hamstrings, which could lead to hip and back pain. Arch support shoes are designed to fit with your arch and provide the necessary support as you run to prevent excessive strain on muscles. Another option is to see a podiatrist and get a recommendation for arch support insoles.
2. Motion Control
The tendency for feet to move downward or inward (pronation) is natural. However, if you have issues with your arch, your foot’s ability to balance this roll can result in excessive inward and downward motions (overpronation). Too much overpronation can throw off spinal alignment and contribute to back pain. The solution is shoes that offer some type of motion-control to correct this motion, or consider specially designed shoes specific to your arch and related movements.
3. Sufficient Sole Cushioning
Normally, your spine absorbs the shock from your daily steps and movements. However, when you are making repetitive motions and constantly pressing down on the soles of your feet on hard surfaces as you run, you may be placing too much pressure on your backbone and its supporting discs and joints. Give your spine a break by looking for shoes with sufficient cushioning in the soles to absorb some of the impact of your running motions.
4. Maximum Durability
There’s nothing wrong with saving money, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your back. If you run or jog on a regular basis, invest in high-quality shoes designed for durability. Shoes that are purchased solely based on price rather than quality often wear out sooner and provide less support with each use, resulting in less cushioning and support and a greater risk of experiencing related back pain. Instead, pick shoes that are:
- From a trusted brand
- Recommended from your doctor, a podiatrist, or a Los Angeles spine surgeon
- Made with materials designed for durability
You should also pay attention to the shoes you wear when you’re not running. Regardless of the activity you’re doing, your shoes should provide the right balance of comfort and support. If you’re still experiencing back pain after a run even with the right shoes, see your doctor, especially if you have a history of back-related issues. Applying heat or ice after a run can also help soothe muscles that directly or indirectly support your spine.
If your back pain is affecting your quality of life, it might be time to consider surgery. There are a variety of minimally invasive procedures that could help you find relief, from decompression surgery to Mobi-C disc replacement. Los Angeles is home to The Spine Institute Center, and our team of expert surgeons are available to help people find relief for their back pain. Give our office a call today at 310-828-7757.