When I initially started running I didn’t want to buy myself a good pair of running shoes at first, since I only ran (or to be precise – tried to run) for a few minutes straight during my first few attempts.
After I was sure that running was something I really liked to keep on doing, and also my endurance (and my playlist) was finally up to speed, I bought myself a really good pair of top notch running shoes and I loved it –running felt like the greatest thing in the world to me. Until the time when I began to slowly but surely develop severe lower back pain after my runs.
At that time I thought not much of it. But little did I know. After lots of research, various doctor’s appointments and numerous days and weeks of crippling back pain, I found the source. I simply bought the wrong running shoes for my feet and running style. After finally swapping my shoes I now run happily ever after. And completely pain free.
Here is my advice on how to minimize lower back pain after running:
Since running puts a high level of repetitive stress on the back it is very important to take some measures after the first signs of pain, to reduce the strain on the lower back.
Make sure you run with the most supporting running shoes for your running style and also your weight. I highly recommend you to visit a running shoe expert to have an analysis done on your running style and also your feet’s anatomy. This way you can be sure to choose the shoes that fit you and your running style best.
Maybe you even need an arch support if you have high arches, or you are supposed to run with motion control shoes to prevent the development of lower back pain - in this case the structures that support your back are weak.
Another tip I learned: Make sure you replace your shoes regularly – depending of course on how much you are running.
Don’t jump into your run – always do a thorough warm-up at the beginning.
Stretch your hamstrings regularly (once to twice a day) to minimize stress across the lower back. The hamstring runs from the back of your knee along the back of your thigh and connects with your buttocks and lower back.
Please don’t forget: Runners often have very tight leg muscles, which can cause pull on muscles in the lower back.
Try to run on a soft surface like a forest track if possible – perfect would be a rubber track – and try to avoid running on asphalt.
Running mainly trains your legs, heart and lungs. It is not a total-body workout that will protect your muscles from injury. Therefore it is crucial to exercise your abdominals, back, shoulders and buttock muscles additionally to your running routine.
Alternate your running sessions with abs and back exercises to strengthen individual muscles throughout your entire body.
If all of these tips are not reducing your back pain after all, please consult a spine specialist. Some X-Rays can be useful to determine the source of your back pain.
Did you already successfully get rid of your back pain? How did you do it? Do you have any tips to share? I would love to hear them.
Have a great run!