A Runners Guide to Healing Low Back Injury

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  1. Spondylolisthesis – A Guide on Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention
  2. Common Lower Back Injuries for Runners
  3. You are browsing our articles tagged: lower back pain
  4. How to Treat and Prevent Lower Back Pain for Runners | ACTIVE

By the end, you will have learned what they are, why they occur, how we strengthen them and how they are treated. The facets are small joints of the back. Each segment of the back is directly connected to four facets two on each side. When they become jammed, they often hurt too.

Compaction is the mechanism of injury in Facet Syndrome. Compaction or jamming of the small joints of the back happens with repeated and prolonged extension.

Back Injury in Runners: 2 Exercises to FIX it!

Extension of the back bending backward often occurs over and over again if you run with a swayback. A forward-tilting pelvis imagine a swaybacked horse jams the back by changing its base, which is the sacrum. This is actually very common in cases of back pain while running.

Treatment, rehab and therapy revolves around the idea of strengthening what is weak, stretching what is tight and being able to keep correct posture while running. Low back extension is a normal motion. We just need to make sure it is not too extreme or under low control.

The anterior abdominal wall resists extension and needs to be trained to work better while running. Actually, we have a whole online program coming on this theory, but here are a few starting points that I can share.


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To control excessive motion of the trunk, Pallof Press variations are a good go-to. I apologize, as this is not the exact video I wanted. Hands-on treatment often cannot train the body to resist extension, but they can help to decompress the area. Disc injuries can be extremely painful.

Disc injuries occur with and without major trauma. The spine is designed to take a compressive load well, but it does not take shear. In the case of running, it is a repetitive insult to the area.

People are flexed, rotated, dragging legs, you name it. Anything to be under the hour mark right!? Do this over and over again without the supporting protection of the hips, pelvis, and trunk, and the disc will become damaged. Normally, if it is a disc injury, this will feel good and take the person out of pain…until they bend forward again. Learn to move your hips. Hip hinging and strengthening the muscles used in hip hinging assist in protecting the back from flexing forward. If you have back pain similar to this, just stand up tall and contract your glutes together like your attempting to break a quarter into five nickels.

Spondylolisthesis – A Guide on Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

I prefer to work on stabilization of the trunk with my clients with disc injuries. Stabilization and modification of daily activities seems to greatly assist in pain. A Sacroiliac Joint Sprain is often missed when you go see your doctor. Many physicians myself included believe the cause of your back pain is more likely to be from disc injury or facet compression before a SI Joint Sprain. Before you assume you have a Sacroiliac Joint Sprain, you should be examined to rule out the other conditions…seriously. This is not one you should attempt to budget on.

The sacroiliac joint is actually a paired joint at the base of the back where your low back and pelvis come together. The joints are held together by and function with healthy bony structure, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Like most running injuries, it happens over time.

It too, more often than not, is a repetitive stress injury. To decrease pain, we often use passive therapies ice, heat, massage etc. As for stabilization of the joint, this can be done with core work, pelvic strengthening and posture exercises. Muscles spasms can be extremely painful, and they are extremely common either as a primary or secondary injury. Secondary injuries are ones that present themselves because of another larger injury i. Muscles spasms are minor, Grade I tears of the muscle, and the spasm is a protective mechanism for the tear. I run up to 60km a week without any back pain.

The cure — go for a good run. Works every time. You know what… I experience exactly the same thing. It was two bulging lumbar discs which eventually put an end to my rugby career. If I spend too long seated in a poor position, I really struggle with sciatic symptoms. The two things that help me above all else:. The latter I only found to be beneficial for me through trial and error.

Common Lower Back Injuries for Runners

My simply conclusion… my body likes movement. If symptoms get worse from being inactive with poor posture, then my remedy is to get moving! An over-simplified view on this for sure. Thanks James for putting this up. I am now worried about doing any exercises that involves a lot of twisting. Hi James — do you have any articles relating to running and how it can potentially impact spinal alignment? I used to work with a Physio who used McKenzie with his rugby players, and swore by it. But I have no first-hand experience with either. How about you? Especially when she pushes herself up with her hands.

Your email address will not be published. Do you suffer from lower back pain while running? Lower back pain is a frustrating problem that affects many runners. Understand the Phases of Running Gait [Video] As our legs swing forward and back through the swing and stance phases of running gait, a great deal of the movement that allows us to create the required stride length for the given pace comes from the hips.

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You are browsing our articles tagged: lower back pain

Nate and the team at The Run Experience have produced this great video to demonstrate what you can do about this common problem… 2. Unfortunately, these compensation strategies often come at our own long-term detriment! Consider the fact that the bony and ligamentous architecture of the lumbar spinal segments gives them a good level of inherent stability… If your back pain stems from having truly unstable spinal vertebrae, being able to run is probably the least of your problems. Hey there, Don't forget to log in and join the conversation Log in.

Being a runner does not exempt you from it but nor does it make you more predisposed. However in reality most of us are not just runners, we have a job, family, friends and various other commitments. Sometimes trying to squeeze all these things into our day, as well as training can be just too much. The most important thing to remember is that LBP is usually not serious. As a physiotherapist we look out for a collection of signs and symptoms known as Red Flags to help identify the more serious cases.

How to Treat and Prevent Lower Back Pain for Runners | ACTIVE

Now that we know about the serious stuff, it is important to focus on the rest of cases of LBP. It may come from muscle spasm, myofascial trigger points, ligaments, the intervertebral discs, sacroiliac joint, facet joint or a combination of them. It is the most expensive healthcare problem between ages years so we do not yet have all the answers.

For the normal population with LBP we encourage them to avoid prolonged bed rest and keep moving. We rarely need to tell a runner to keep moving but there are certain common themes that do affect us all. Psychosocial factors influence our pain, our pain beliefs and hence our behaviours.

LBP can lead to us catastrophising the situation and fearing the worst. We may feel depressed that we cannot train and anxious as to what the future with LBP may hold. Our sleep and mood may become affected making the situation feel even worse. It is often difficult to manage these stresses on our own and so discussing them with your physiotherapist or GP may help alleviate some of these worries and realise many LBP myths can be dispelled.

Sleep is vital. We need hours per night and ideally to wake up feeling refreshed. At times it is difficult to fit proper sleep time into a busy schedule but it is vital both to prevent injury and aid healing. For example reduced hip extension due to tight hip flexors will cause compensatory excessive extension in the lower back during the push off phase of the running cycle. Tight hip flexors may also put our glut muscles in a disadvantageous position so they cannot fire quite so well. We need to be able to extend through our thoracic spines to maintain a nice upright running position.