Running has many health benefits, along with sometimes causing occasional aches and pains. Watch this video to get five tips from the pros on what you can do to avoid developing back pain from running.
Read the transcript.
Avoiding Running-Related Back Pain
Running is a common activity many people use to keep physically fit and help with cardiovascular health. I'm Dr. Amir Mehbod, spine surgeon with the Twin City Spine Center. While running has many health benefits some people may develop back pain from time to time. Here are five tips to help you avoid developing running related back pain.
Ryan Smith: As with any exercise always perform a proper warm-up and cool down of five to 10 minutes before and after your run. Focus your stretching to achieve adequate flexibility. It is important to focus on the muscles of the calf, the quads, hamstrings, the hip flexors and the gluteal muscles. Hold your stretches for 30 seconds and perform 2 to 3 times per leg.
An important way to prevent low back pain while running is maintaining strength through the core region. Cross training is extremely important on your off days and during those days it is important to focus on the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and hips.
Pay attention to the type of terrain on which you run. A softer surface such as the trail or track will be more forgiving than a rigid surface such as concrete or asphalt. Running on a softer surface such as a track will thus place less stress on your back as you run.
As you increase your runs do not increase by more than 10% a week and avoid changing multiple variables simultaneously, such as increasing the intensity of your run, adding a new shoe, changing terrain, or by increasing by more than that 10% per week. A good way to track these things is by journaling your runs.
Lastly, be sure to change your shoes ever 350 to 500 miles as they wear out. It is important to match your shoe to foot type. A more flexible foot will need more stability from a shoe, whereas a more rigid foot will need more shock absorption capacity. Talk to a qualified running shoe professional or running club for further assistance.
Dr. Amir Mehbod: Thank you, Ryan. Proper running preparation, training, and shoes should help lessen the frequency and the intensity of running related back pains. If your symptoms persist see your doctor.
Amir Mehbod is an orthopedic spine surgeon with Twin Cities
Spine Center. His surgical expertise includes the entire spine, from the
neck to the low back. He encourages his patients to lead active lifestyles
that lead to overall health—including spine health. Mehbod and his wife
keep busy with their three young children.Ryan K. Smith is the site coordinator at Courage Kenny
Sports & Physical Therapy in Apple Valley. He is an orthopedic clinical
specialist and has been practicing at Allina Health for eight years. In his
free time he enjoys working out, particularly running due to the physical and
mental health benefits. He looks forward to the day when his daughter (age 4)
is able to join him for a run.
This fall tradition
held Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, is for runners, walkers and kids with energy to
Register to run
non-surgical treatments for back conditions of all kinds.
Find a provider near you
A healthy spine can
prevent many sports injuries.
Get more tips
Running form 101: Eight simple steps
Stop pounding the pavement with cadence manipulation
Let the music move you