Running has a bad reputation especially as we get older. But really running is an amazing workout! And when done correctly with the proper conditioning it is completely safe. I have helped train a 99 year old to complete a 1 mile down hill run. So Age is not the issue!
But all jokes aside, running is a very intense activity. You are basically doing a single squat over and over again. Lots of people start running as adults to lose weight or get back into shape. And this is why many people struggle with running injuries. They don’t realize that running is not the entry-level exercise. Running requires a lot of strength that we don’t think about. For instance, when was the last time you stood comfortable on one foot? How comfortable are you doing squats?
I remember Sally’s face when I asked her those questions. She looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would I stand on one foot? I don’t like squats because they hurt my knees.” Were her answers.
Sally called me because her back hurt when she ran and she was scared she herniated a disc.
She told me she downloaded an online training program started with only running short bursts of time all the way to running continuously for 3 miles. It sounded like something that everybody could do. But as she progressed to running several minutes (5-10 minutes) at a time her lower back would hurt.
At first she pushed through the pain but eventually the pain became something that she couldn’t ignore. She called me about 1 month after she started having lower back throughout her day with normal tasks. She couldn’t vacuum, wash dishes or sit for long periods without her back talking to her.
Sally was starting to feel frustrated because she was constantly having to modify all her normal daily tasks. She was scared that the pain would never go away. And she was overwhelmed by the idea that she would never be able to get back into shape with a bad back. What can you do if your back is injured?
I was able to tell Sally that she had done nothing wrong. Running is simply a complicated activity and going from doing minimal exercises to running is a large jump. Most running injuries are from our bodies not properly absorbing the impact of landing on one leg. The amount of force we land with is transferred up our legs and can cause an injury to our ankles, knees, hips, or lower back. So when we are training to run we should be able to comfortably do a few motions to help our bodies adapt to the stresses of running. In just a few weeks Sally was comfortable with the foundational moves that are required to be able running. For instance, she now knows how to squat without knee pain. It's been about eight weeks of meeting with Sally. She has no more back pain (during or after) she runs. She is confident with her strength training and running program. IE she knows the difference between muscle soreness and injury pain so she isn't alway second guessing herself. Now she’s back on her “get back into shape” mode and training for a 10k.
If you are frustrated by lower back pain (during or after) running and this is the type of care you are interested in then please click this link to learn about the cost and availability click this link.
If this is the type of care that you are interested in but you would like to talk to someone about your specific needs first please click this link to set up a phone appointment.
If you would like to my weekly blogs sent directly to your email go to this link, fill out the form..then 💥 you won’t miss any of the tips.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald