Preventing Back Pain in Runners

A study published in the Journal of Biomechanics found that one major cause of lower back pain in runners is a weak deep core.  Most people have heard of core exercises and that they need to strengthen their core, but did you know that there are two types of  core muscles.  The first is the superficial core muscles and the other is the deep core.  Superficial core muscles include the rectus abdominis  and external oblique.  The Deep consist of the transverse abdominis, multifidus and internal oblique.

It is common for a person to have a weak deep core.  When this occurs in a runner, it makes the stronger superficial muscles work harder and then they fatigue too fast during running and this leads to back pain.

The best way to prevent this is to do core exercises that work the deep core.  There are many but below I’ve listed a few that are easy to do and are very effective.

Glute Bridge:   Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat . Make sure that your  arms at your side with palms facing down.  Slowly lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.   Pause at the top for a count of 3 seconds. Keep your head relaxed on the ground.  slowly lower your hips and repeat 5 to 10 times

Walking Plank:  Begin in high plank position with hands directly beneath  your shoulders, keeping your back flat.   Lower to your forearms, then push back up into a full plank. Continue this motion, and alternate which arm leads the motion.  Make sure to hold your head so that you are looking  in front of your hands.

Bicycle Crunch:   Get on the floor with your lower back pressed down and put your  hands behind your head with elbows out. Engage your abs, lift your head, and leading with the shoulder, bring your right elbow to meet your left knee as you point and stick out  your right leg go back and forth from side to side.

These are just some of the many exercises that you can do.  A quick google search will give you many more options

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