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Jogs or Marathons: Prevent Running Back Pain

RunningYou would be hard pressed to find many areas that offer such stunning beauty and breathtaking views as the state of Connecticut during the latter months of summer and early autumn. There is a level of peace and serenity you find in our state’s great outdoors that simply isn’t available anywhere else. Our rolling hills and mountains are splattered with a backdrop of scenic colors that Da Vinci himself would be inspired to paint. This makes for the perfect venue to enjoy the amazing beauty during a brisk  jog or even a long distance run.

Jogging on its own can make the world around us disappear, but while your mind is absorbing the surroundings, it can be easy to forget how your workout or run is impacting your body. More specifically, the last thing you want to ignore is the condition and well-being of your back throughout and after your run. If running in any capacity is one of your preferred methods of exercise, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are not doing more harm to your back than the exercise is worth.

Proper Footwear:

Regardless of how far or long you run, wearing properly fitted footwear should be a priority in preventing back pain. While you do not want your shoes to be so loose that you are tripping over yourself, you also do not want them to be so tight that they are disrupting your circulation. Make sure that your shoes are snug around your ankles and about a two-finger width from the tips of your toes to the end of the shoe.  It is just as important to choose a running shoe that provides adequate support to the heel, sole, and the arches of your feet to avoid throwing your lower back or hips out of alignment. Cross-training shoes are a wise choice for performing a multitude of activities but ensure that you select a pair that is specifically designed for the constant forward motion of running.

Stretching:

Make sure that you spend plenty of time properly stretching all of your leg muscles as well as your upper body for core support. This will make you less likely to create strain or pressure on your back that might lead to pain the next morning or even an unnecessary injury. Don’t rush your stretching! Each muscle group should be stretched thoroughly for at least 10 to 15 seconds. You can also use this time to develop a steady rhythm of breathing. The same process of stretching should be repeated after the conclusion of your run.

Warm Up:

Walking a block or two prior to your run allows your muscles to warm up and become accustomed to the activity. Begin slowly and gradually increase to your desired running speed to avoid muscle pulls or spasms.

Run on Softer Surfaces:

It may not always be convenient, but your back will thank you for driving to a park, recreational area or beach to run on soft terrain. Softer surfaces such as dirt and sand help absorb the impact, strain and pressure on your knees, hips and lower back that build up from your feet pounding on cement or asphalt.

Check Your Form:

The ideal running form is when the middle portion of your foot is the first to hit the ground. Do NOT land on your heels, as the excessive impact could jolt your spine. Check to make sure your upper body is aligned with your feet and avoid learning forward when running.

Sometimes, regardless of the precautions we take, back and neck pain can strike unexpectedly. Whether from running or any other circumstance,  Access to Health wants you to be able to stroll through your daily activities happily and without incident. If you’re experiencing strains or discomfort, you may benefit significantly from chiropractic or massage care. To learn more about our Massage Therapy services, CLICK HERE!

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