Most people expect running to cause sore legs and feet, but you might also experience back pain during or after running. Many different factors can cause back pain. While it’s always good to have yourself checked by a medical professional, sometimes, the reason for your back pain is your posture or running style – which can easily be adjusted.
Read on to find out how your running style could be causing back pain and how you can treat it.
How Does Your Running Style Cause Back Pain?
If you’re experiencing back pain after a run, your posture might be to blame. Slouching and other incorrect running forms could affect muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders. Here are some mistakes you might be making:
Running speed is determined by stride length and frequency. Many runners tend to increase their stride length, leading to overstriding. That, in turn, reduces stride frequency. The optimal stride frequency should be about 180 paces per minute. Next time you’re out running, try listening to your feet hitting the pavement while you run. Increasing your cadence will increase your efficiency.
Heel striking usually comes hand-in-hand with a slow cadence. It occurs when your hips are behind your feet, rendering you unable to push off your foot to propel yourself forward. Wearing the proper footwear and finding your natural stride can help with this.
Limited Triple Extension
Triple extension refers to the point where your hip, knees, and ankles fully extend simultaneously. This point lets you maximize the energy you use for the forward motion. Failing to do so will decrease running speed and increase your risk of injury and chronic pain since you are overusing or straining your muscles.
Lack Of Mobility
Hip mobility affects stride length and frequency, which ultimately determines running speed. Lacking a complete range of motion anywhere in your lower body makes you susceptible to injury and back pain. Keeping your head as level as possible, avoiding bouncing up and down as you propel forward, and not craning your neck are a few things that will help with this.
Unrelaxed Upper Body
Some runners tend to tense their upper body up while running, especially when running fast. Relaxing your body — including your jaw and shoulders — allows for ease of movement. Relaxing your upper body decreases the effort you need to run.
What Can You Do To Prevent Back Pain From Running?
Back pain always has a cause. If you experience backache while running, you may have gaps in your training and posture. There are many things you can do to prevent back pain and injuries, such as:
- Warm up properly. Proper warm-ups can help prevent back pain and reduce muscle strain. Stretching your hamstrings, engaging in aerobic exercise, and doing yoga are some ways to warm up your muscles and facilitate blood flow, which allows muscles to acclimate to the motion of running.
- Practice proper running form. Keep your chest aimed outward, relax the shoulders, pump your arms back and forth (not across the body), and take shorter faster strides.
- Use the right shoes. Choose well-fitting shoes. There are a lot of shoes on the market that offer various features that help support posture even while running. It also helps to select footwear specifically made for running.
- Strengthen your core. One common culprit of low back pain is the weakness of core muscles, so it’s crucial to work on your strength and flexibility.
- Improve hip mobility. Tight hip muscles will put pressure and strain on your spine, thus resulting in back pain during or after running.
- Commit to a realistic and gradual running routine. Overtraining can cause overuse injuries and stress fractures. Incorporating cross-training, gradually increasing distance and speed, and running only three to four times a week is optimal.
- Listen to your body. Take some time off to heal if you have an injury or feel pain.
How Can A Chiropractitioner Help With Back Pain?
You can treat most cases of back pain with home remedies and exercises. However, if the pain persists or worsens, your doctor may be able to make a diagnosis and refer you to the proper specialist. A chiro practitioner is one of the specialists that can help treat back pain.
Chiropractitioners are specially trained health professionals that treat back pain and a multitude of other problems using spinal adjustments. Aside from specialized back pain treatments such as spinal realignment, they also give advice on lifestyle changes and dietary modifications.
Chiropractic Care In Dallas, TX
There is no doubt that running can help you stay healthy. However, certain biomechanical elements could result in back pain. If you’re experiencing backache, our certified chiropractors at Reagan Integrated Sports Medicine are highly skilled in treating neck, back, and joint problems.
For inquiries or to schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff at (972) 503-7272 or request an appointment online now. We look forward to relieving your pain!