Running and lower back pain

Posted on in Industry News, News


Runners, have you ever experienced lower back pain during or after a run? Maybe it is a slight pain at first but then it becomes more difficult to deal with over time? Has it gotten to the point where you’re thinking about abandoning running all together?

Don’t do it.

Running is a great form of exercise and staying active is important even when you’re suffering from lower back pain. Dr. Blake Kalkstein, a chiropractor based in the Baltimore area, wrote a blog post for Running out of Wine about running and lower back pain. Here are his tips for dealing with pain before, during, and post-run.

  1. Stretch – dynamic stretching helps warm up your muscles and joints and can prevent the lower back from hurting during or after your run. Yoga-based exercises have also proven to be effective in preventing pain.
  2. Foot strike – being conscious of your gait (the way your foot hits the ground) is very important for avoiding lower back pain not to mention pain in the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. Run smoothly so your foot rolls from heel to toe, first on the outside of the foot and then shifting to the inside. The arch of your foot should flatten out getting ready to spring you forward. The heel then lifts you up and pushes you off the ball of your foot.
  3. Running posture – you should lean forward when you run. By doing this, your momentum moves you forward, not downwards, into the pavement.
  4. Core strengthening – keeping your core strong allows your back to be supported and less likely to get an injury.
  5. Relax – running is exercise so this may seem counterintuitive, but staying pain- and injury-free will require you to relax. Don’t shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Let your arms hang at 90-degree angles at your sides. Relax your hands so they’re not in a tight fist. Relax!
  6. Padded insoles – try some in your running shoes and see if they relieve your back pain
  7. Running shoes – speaking of your running shoes, go to a store that specializes in running shoes. Often times the store employees will watch how you run or walk and that will determine the best shoes for you.
  8. Flat feet – if you have flat feet, you can still be a runner. Talk to your doctor about foot orthotics and the function and importance or arches.

The best piece of advice we can give you if you are experience lower back pain is to seek the advice from your primary health physician. They can work with you to prevent pain and they can also make recommendations for how to treat the pain when you’re experiencing it. They may recommend some of our products (Relief Pak® cold packs and heat packs, Point Relief® topical analgesics, etc.) for treating pain.

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