1. Audrey L. K.

    Thank you for sharing this helpful article about running and back pain! This was very useful for me because I am a runner and I have sciatica / low back pain. I’ve noticed that it gets worse when I don’t stretch properly. Epsom salt baths, regular acupuncture, and yoga really help to alleviate the pain. I am starting to wonder if maybe the issue is the way I’m running, or perhaps my shoes. I’m going to look into orthotics to see if it improves my situation. I appreciate the tip!

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Audrey,

      I’m glad you found the article helpful as it’s my hope to provide a place where runners can find useful and trusted information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent pain associated with running. Do look into orthotics. I think they may help. I wish you the best.

  2. Jen

    I’ve always wondered about this! I haven’t had any issues with my back, but issues with my knees when I run.. and I think all of it’s very interrelated! Running is great for your heart, but has the potential to do the rest of the body more harm than good. I personally do still like to do it when I can, but I have invested in some better shoes, which have really helped my knees… and it’s good to know that they are likely helping my back as well. Great informative post, thanks for sharing.

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Jen,

      You can keep running just make some adjustments. For example, you should run on softer surfaces. Avoid uneven terrain which can aggravate runner’s knee. If you do go on hills, which I suggest you do less off, use smaller strides. Also, it’s important to understand that when it comes to knee problems associated with running, it’s not the intensity but the mileage increase that makes a difference. Meaning it’s not necessarily how fast you run but the distance that will affect how much pain you feel. It’s okay to cut down on the distance when you feel pain. Finally, getting better shoes is a great step in the right direction. I will be writing a lot more about how to run without pain. Stay tuned.

  3. Simon

    Intriguing relation between many folks’ favorite activity and the dreaded back pain. Lovely bits of useful info, great job!

    As I was diagnosed with scoliosis in my early teens and since i also have flst feet, I know what it feels like – almost like someone snapping your back (or at least trying really hard to). You did point out that problematic feet can mess up with your back – spot on I’d say.

    One thing though, ever since I started working out and as my core and back got strengthened, I must say I have no issues.

    Do you think going to the gym would be beneficial for guys with back problems?

    • Thabo Nkomo

      Hi Simon,

      You can go to the gym but you might have to change some things. Walking on an inclined treadmill ,for example, puts a lot of stress on the hamstrings and that can strain your back. One noted doctor advises using a stairclimber as a safer substitute when used properly. He says, “It enables you to keep your back straight and also requires you to use your quadriceps and hip girdle muscles that allow you to protect your back.” Make sure to use proper form, holding the rails lightly without using your arms for support. You can use weight machines as long as you employ proper sitting form.

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