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Back Pain From Running: Why Does It Happen?

You get your shoes on and set out for your run. Everything feels good, but when you get about 10 minutes into the run it happens again…

​That nagging pain in your low back.

Low back pain is a frustrating issue that affects many runners. Exercise is one of the best cures for low back pain, but that doesn’t mean that healthy and active individuals aren’t susceptible to injuries. In this article, we will go over a few common reasons for developing back pain from running.

Pelvic Positioning

​Improving pelvic control is one the most important things you can do to improve your running performance and reduce the risk of injuries. The most common fault people have is an anterior pelvic tilt. An anterior tilt of the pelvis creates a sharper curve and more compression at the low back. Running by its nature is repetitive, so it will amplify the pain with every step.

​The other issue with an anterior pelvic tilt is that the glutes are lengthened which reduces your ability to call upon them. This makes other muscles work harder to bring the leg behind you, like the hamstring or low back muscles. These muscles are not built for this job and can quickly fatigue and become painful or tight.

Fixing this issue can come down to improving core stability to tilt the pelvis into a more neutral position. When we say stability, we mean exercises like planks. Not exercises that require movement of the spine or pelvis, such as crunches or sit ups.

Muscle Weakness

​We mentioned how the glutes can be put into a poor position because of the anterior pelvic tilt. If your pelvis is in a good position, but your glutes are just plain weak, then you will run into a similar issue here. The low back or hamstrings will take over the job of extending the hip, causing overuse.

Improve your glute strength with exercises like bridges or single leg deadlifts.

Tight Hips

​Having tight hip flexors can overlap with the first issue of anterior pelvic tilt. Maybe when you stand still your pelvis is in a good position. But when you bring your leg behind you it dumps forward. This could be because your hip flexors have difficulty lengthening.

Stretching your hip flexors the right way could be the key to improving your back pain. The video below has a great description of how to properly execute one hip flexor stretch.

Don’t Ignore Low Back Pain

​The earlier you get it checked out, the more quickly it can be fixed. Take the guesswork out of fixing your back pain. Let us take a look at it and determine what the cause of your back pain is. Click the link below to claim a FREE Discovery Visit!



Dr. Brett Dick

PT, DPT, Owner of Limitless Performance Physical Therapy

We Help Active People ​Improve Pain And Performance ​In Their Favorite Sports And Activities.
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