Managing Low Back Pain for Runners
By Paul Rothbart
Running is excellent exercise as well as a fun competitive sport. It's great for cardio, keeps your legs healthy, and can be very zen. For overall mental and physical health, running is hard to beat. However, whether you run just for exercise or compete in 10Ks or marathons, running can take a toll on your body. While the lower body, especially the ankles and knees, can experience stress, pain in the low back is common and must be managed. Here are some facts about low back pain for runners.
The Pain of Daily Life
Some of the pain experienced by runners is from daily life. Work, chores, standing, sitting, or lifting can cause low back pain. Running can exacerbate it. It is therefore important for runners to take care of their bodies even when they are not running. Proper lifting techniques and limiting the amount handled will both be helpful in minimizing pain. If you work at a desk, get up and move around frequently to prevent pain caused by your back and neck locked into one position for lengthy periods. Just as you stretch and warm-up before a run, do so before engaging in any heavy physical activity. Make sure you get sufficient sleep. Getting up early to run before work is a good idea, but go to bed early enough to get 8-9 hours.
How Running Can Affect Back Pain
Thorough stretching, warming up before, and cooling down after, is important to transition the body from a state of rest to a state of work and back. Buy quality running shoes that fit properly and give you solid support. You want shoes that provide cushioning. The shock of your feet hitting the pavement with each stride can impact your legs and back. Increasing your speed too quickly while on a run can cause extension of the spine that can bring pain. Be careful running downhill as it places a bigger shock on the feet with each step and can also bring on low back pain.
See a Chiropractor
Chiropractic care can be very helpful to runners. A chiropractor can examine your spine and joints, locating any subluxations or other problems. They can then be adjusted. A healthy spine is less likely to hurt and properly adjusted joints will have a full range of motion. You may find your pain minimized and may even perform better.
Running is popular, healthy, and fun. It can cause pain in the low back. Runners should take the necessary care to minimize the risk. Consider a visit to The Joint Chiropractic. There is no appointment needed. You may find that chiropractic care is the icing on the cake for reducing your low back pain.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orlando, Fla.