Lower back pain when running

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A common issue that people experience either when running or as a result of running is lower back pain. Sometimes the pain is so intense that the severe lower back pain leaves them unable to walk. What many people mistake this pain for a back strain or injury, when the pain is actually being triggered by another muscle group.

Most of the lower back pain that people experience is usually due to other muscle groups fatiguing and incorporating other muscles to do the work that they aren’t supposed to.

The most common issue occurs when the muscles pull on the lumbar spine. The muscles become tight and pull on the lower back muscle, causing extreme lower back pain for the runner.

What should a runner do if they start experiencing lower back pain?

The runner should stop running and focus on rehabilitating the muscle groups that are contributing to the lower back pain. These muscle groups are usually:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip flexors

Generally, these muscle groups will be tight and restrict your movement in other areas.

How can you fix your lower back pain?

There are a couple of things you can do.

  1. Check your range of motion in the muscle groups. Improving your range of motion by improving your flexibility.
  2. Improving the strength of the muscles in those areas. Doing lifts such as squats, deadlifts, RDLs and lunges can help.

You should also watch these videos below.

What are some other frequently asked questions?

Can I experience lower back pain when running if I’m overweight?

Yes. It does become easier due to the amount of extra force on your muscles, which can incorporate the wrong muscles into your movements.

How can you prevent lower back pain when running?

Focus on developing your technique with running drills and have the mind-muscle connection. Maintain strict form so that as your body fatigues, you minimize the risk of incorporating other muscles into your running movement.

Additionally, focus on conditioning your body with progressive overload movements that are both for strength and power development (plyometrics), so that your body is prepared for the intensity of the runs that you will perform.

Also, make sure that you stretch and focus on maintaining your muscle’s flexibility and suppleness so that the muscles are relaxed and aren’t likely to get tense. Practicing yoga can help.

What if I am experiencing lower back pain on one side when I’m running?

If you are experiencing this, it is likely that your hamstring, glute, or hip flexor is becoming tight. You will need to loosen the tightness to relieve the lower back pain.

Do I need lower back support for running?

The main thing is ensuring that your not tight in your muscle groups. Support devices offer limited relief.

Are there items that can help?

Trigger point balls

Foam rollers

Yoga mat

Resistance bands

Massage gun

Weights for strength, power, and resistance training

Things to avoid.

Chiropractors for long-term relief.

Acupuncture therapy for long-term relief.