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Running Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain

If you’ve ever experienced low back pain while running, you may have wondered if you should give up the sport altogether. But fear not, because there are ways to prevent and manage this discomfort, allowing you to continue enjoying the benefits of running. One crucial aspect to consider is stretching before and after your run, as this warms up your muscles and joints. Additionally, paying attention to your foot strike, running posture, and core strength can greatly reduce the risk of low back injuries. And don’t forget to relax during your run and invest in well-fitting shoes and padded insoles. With these running tips, you’ll be able to hit the pavement pain-free!

Running Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain

STRETCH

Stretching is a crucial component of any running routine, as it helps “warm up” your muscles and joints, preventing low back pain during or after your run. Simple stretches can be effective, and they can even be done while sitting if you’re in a hurry. In addition to these stretches, incorporating yoga-based exercises into your routine can provide excellent benefits for your overall flexibility and muscle strength.

FOOT STRIKE

Proper foot strike technique is key to avoiding low back injuries, as well as foot, ankle, knee, or hip injuries. When running, aim for a smooth foot strike where the heel glides or glances the ground, rather than making a hard vertical impact. As the foot rolls from heel to toe, it should transition from the outside to the inside, causing the arch to flatten out in preparation for propelling you forward. Finally, the heel lifts up, and you push off from the ball of the foot and big toe.

RUNNING POSTURE

Maintaining a good running posture is essential for preventing low back pain. When running, make sure to lean forward slightly rather than running in a vertical position like a jackhammer. By leaning forward, you allow your momentum to carry you forward instead of putting excessive downward force on your body.

Running Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain

CORE STRENGTHENING

Having a strong core can provide additional support to your back while running, reducing the risk of injury. Incorporate exercises that target your core muscles, including pelvic tilts, the “dead-bug” exercise, bridges, prone swimmers, lunges, squats, sit-ups, arch-ups, side bridges, and 4-point kneeling with opposite arm and leg movements. These exercises can be performed both on the floor and with the assistance of a gym ball. Don’t forget to include balance exercises in your routine as well.

RELAX

Relaxing your body while running is essential for preventing tension and discomfort that can contribute to low back pain. Pay attention to your posture, making sure not to shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Allow your arms to hang down naturally, bent at your sides. Avoid clenching your teeth or making a fist. By consciously relaxing your body, you can ensure a more enjoyable and pain-free running experience.

PADDED INSOLES

Using padded insoles in your running shoes can provide additional cushioning and support for your feet, which can indirectly help reduce stress on your low back. Try out different brands of padded insoles and see which ones work best for you in terms of comfort and effectiveness.

RUNNING SHOES

Choosing the right running shoes is crucial for maintaining good foot and body alignment while running. When shopping for running shoes, make sure to try them on and walk around the store to assess their comfort and fit. Look for supportive shoes that provide the right amount of cushioning and stability for your feet and running style.

FLAT FEET

Flat feet are a common issue among runners, but they should not be a reason to stop running altogether. If you have flat feet, consider consulting with your doctor about using foot orthotics. These custom-made inserts can provide additional arch support and help alleviate any potential imbalances or discomfort caused by flat feet.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

Preventing low back pain while running requires taking certain measures to protect your body. It’s important to prioritize rest and recovery, allowing your muscles and joints to heal between runs. Incorporate cross-training and variation into your workout routine to avoid overtraining and excessive strain on your back and legs. Gradually increase the intensity of your runs to avoid sudden jumps in demand on your body. Don’t forget to implement proper warm-up and cool-down routines to prepare your body for activity and aid in recovery. Lastly, always listen to your body and modify your routine if you feel any discomfort or pain.

CONCLUSION

By implementing these tips and techniques, you can take important steps to prevent low back pain while running. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced and relaxed running technique, support your feet with appropriate footwear and orthotics if needed, and prioritize core strength and flexibility through regular exercises. By taking care of your body and being mindful of proper running practices, you can enjoy the numerous benefits of running without discomfort or injury. Keep moving and have fun!

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