There is little doubt that running is an excellent exercise for increasing your overall fitness. It’s not only a fabulous way of boosting your mental health but is equally vital for improving lung, muscle, and bone health. Besides, it’s also essential for relieving stress, strengthening the immune system, preventing blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy weight.
It’s true that running offers tons of health benefits; however, if you fail to use the right running techniques, it increases the risk of injuries – which can derail your normal life. Professional athletes are not the only victims of running injuries like a stress fracture, runner’s knee, Achilles tendinopathy, and shin splint, but these injuries also affect non-athletes.
Apart from that, when you push yourself too hard while running, it can also lead to low back pain, which can prevent you from doing the activities of daily living. Low back pain can result from running injuries like muscle strain and ligament sprains. Besides, runners can also experience low back pain due to sciatica.
According to Springfield Physical Therapy, “Backaches and back pain may occur for a variety of reasons. Most people experience back pain as a result of sprains/strains, injuries, lifting improperly, or sitting for prolonged periods.”
So, if you are also suffering from low back pain due to running, here is how you can manage it.
Physical therapy, which helps in treating musculoskeletal conditions and promotes flexibility and mobility involves the use of manual therapy, electrotherapy, and mechanical force. It’s one of the most effective ways of healing back pain. The best part of consulting a physical therapist is that they are highly committed towards the recovery of their patients. They spend enough time while examining the condition of their patients to identify the root cause of their problem.
So, when you consult a physical therapist for back pain, they will not only examine your back but will also have a detailed discussion with you about its signs and symptoms. They will use this information apart from analyzing your range of motion and medical history to recognize the exact cause of your pain. After that, your physical therapist will design a highly effective care plan to address the root cause of your problem.
Based on how severe a pain you are experiencing, your therapist will choose the best physical therapy technique to address it. They mostly use methods like manual therapy and therapeutic exercise to treat back pain. Apart from that, they also include electrical stimulation, ultrasound, heat and cold therapies, and iontophoresis, etc., to reduce the pain.
They will continue to track your progress, and if your pain is unable to reduce, they will change your treatment plan entirely. For example, if initially, they were using therapeutic exercise to heal your problem, then they might replace it with manual therapy.
So, if you take painkillers whenever you experience unbearable pain in your lower back, make sure that you look for a permanent solution like physical therapy for your problem.
According to a New York Times report, “The new guidelines said that doctors should avoid prescribing opioid painkillers for relief of back pain and suggested that before patients try anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants, they should try alternative therapies like exercise, acupuncture, massage therapy or yoga.”
The reason you should always try to heal your health problems with non-invasive methods like physical therapy is that it doesn’t have any side effects.
Wear Comfortable Running Shoes
Uncomfortable running shoes put a lot of stress on your spine, which ultimately leads to back pain. Apart from that, they can also increase the risk of injuries. Therefore, if you are using running shoes that are either too tight or a bit big, you should replace them immediately with a new pair of shoes.
Apart from causing back pain and increasing the risk of injuries, uncomfortable running shoes can also reduce your efficiency, so you should never rely on them.
Strengthen Your Core
For maintaining a healthy back, it’s essential for you to work on your core muscles. People with weak core muscles remain at a higher risk of back pain; therefore, you should focus on strengthening muscles like pelvic floor muscles, internal and external obliques, and transversus abdominis.
You should include stretching exercises like abdominal chair crunch, plank, side plank, kneeling extensions, flutter kicks, Russian twist, sit-ups, and bridge, etc., in your workout routine to strengthen your core muscles.
Focus on Nutrition
Strong bones and muscles are necessary for runners to prevent injuries. And one of the best ways to strengthen them is to stick to nutrient-dense foods, which can supply vitamins, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates, and omega-3-fatty acids to your body.
For building strong bones, you should include milk and yogurt in your diet because they are a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are also good for your bones because they contain vitamin D. Besides, you should also enhance the intake of spinach to strengthen your bones. Spinach is not only a great source of calcium, but it also contains vitamin A, iron, and fiber.
And when it comes to strengthening muscles, you should rely on lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts.
Shed Those Extra Pounds
Since overweight affects your core muscles, it eventually puts a lot of stress on your back and spine which can lead to low back pain. So, you must divert your energies towards shedding those extra pounds if you want to enjoy a pain-free life in the future. Overweight can also increase your risk of suffering from conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, and difficulty falling asleep.
So, if you want to reduce back pain, make sure that you consult a physical therapist, apart from making lifestyle changes like consuming nutritious food and embracing a workout routine. Sticking to these tips will not only improve your fitness level and keep your happy all the time but will also enhance your running efficiency.