3 Tips for Back Pain During Running
#1 Increase your Knee Drive:
While running utilise bringing your knees higher as this helps increase running economy and efficiency. Often we see quite a ‘stiff’ running pattern in those that visit us in the clinic. This forces the muscles of the back (especially the lower back) to become almost “over active” and doing more work than they should be doing. Simple wall drills and being more aware of your running stride can help alleviate some of the stiffness and discomfort in your lower back while running.
#2 Strengthen your Lower Back:
Contrary to common belief the back should be strengthened when injured or in discomfort. Often those in discomfort with their back will avoid certain movements as there is a belief that this may worsen the problem. The muscles of the back need to be resilient to absorb and produce forces and therefore should be treated like every other muscle in the body when it comes to preventing injury and increasing performance. Exercises such as deadlifts, lunging, “supermans” and bird-dogs are great ways of promoting strength in the back.
#3 Mobilise the Lower Back and Hips:
How many of you often feel tight or restricted in your movements during a run? This can sometimes be as a result of reduced mobility in the lumbar or thoracic spine and sometimes the hips too. If the spine is lacking in extension, flexion or rotation range it forces extra load on the other movements available at the joints above and below this particular area of reduced mobility. This can lead to discomfort, tightness and reduced power output. “Windmills”, sumo squats, side flexions and “cat camels” can help promote mobility in the lumbar spine and hips.