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Old 15 November 2009, 20:35
random random is offline
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Running / Lower Back Pain

I did a search but couldn't find what I was looking for. Most of the back pain I kept seeing was related to carrying something.

Recently during runs I keep getting lower back pains, but only on the right side. It used to be only after longer runs, 4+ miles, but now I can feel it start to stiffen after just 2. I've tried stretching, and I've got good shoes so I know that's not the problem. It basically feels tight, like something's out of joint and needs to get popped back in. And no, nothing actually has popped out of place. Anyone had any experience with this?
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Old 15 November 2009, 22:34
Gryfen-FL Gryfen-FL is offline
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Just because you didn't feel anthing go out, doesn't mean you aren't a little twisted.

If you haven't already, get an initial assesment done with a good chiropractor and schedule an appointment.

Schedule a massage 1 1/2 hrs before your chiropractor appointment....

..note, I said 'massage' and not massag-E. Find an honest to god sports massage therapist.

After massage, go to chiropractor.

Drink a half gallon of water, take 2 advil and call me in the morning.
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Old 16 November 2009, 07:17
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Will start asking around for a good chiropractor. Thanks.
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Old 16 November 2009, 11:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryfen-FL View Post
Just because you didn't feel anything go out, doesn't mean you aren't a little twisted.

I rarely feel when something gets out of whack. It takes a day or so for me to realize that I've screwed some thing up.

Warm up and stretch before going 100 %.

There are two basic types of Chiropractors, one will have you for ten wussy sessions and the other will 'adjust' the crap out of you. I prefer the latter, when you hear all those pops and snaps come out of your spine, you know that your either maimed for life or something got straightened out.
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Old 16 November 2009, 07:24
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Shoes, check your shoes are suited to your feet type and terrain you're running on.

A decent sports shoe store will help you with this.

H
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Old 16 November 2009, 12:13
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Originally Posted by Hoepoe
Shoes, check your shoes are suited to your feet type and terrain you're running on.

A decent sports shoe store will help you with this....
I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaay with Hoepoe on this. You may have pulled your back while doing something else, sure -- but you don't list anything else -- so I am ASSuming you've not done anything else strenuous that would give you cause to list it (I'm not stating you haven't done anything physically exerting, just that it hasn't caught your attention for this subject). I'm not opposed to the chiropractor thing, just that I've never used or believed in them -- I certainly don't think that treating the symptom will fix your problem.

As such, I'm inclined to go with looking at your shoes -- if the pain seems to be present when you are running. Especially if you've been running for awhile and only now do you get the pain.

I try and change out running shoes at least every 6 months -- and I think I can get away with that because I simply don't run as much any longer, nor as far, nor that often on hard surfaces. But I'm carrying at least 15lb over what I carried when I was younger -- and that weight has to be jarring something. I prefer it to jar the cushion in my shoes, vice my spine, knees, and other bones.

Anyway, spend an afternoon at a good running shoe store -- ie, one of the small specialty ones. Let the guys/gals there school you on some really cool running tips, while they help you select the right shoe for you. You'll get a great education AND (and this is important -- to ME), you'll be supporting a small business and keeping talented and passionate people employed and there when you and I need them later....
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Old 16 November 2009, 12:18
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It's the maiming for life that concerns me. I've seen an adjustment, and the part where they snap your neck to the side scared the crap out of me. Done massages in the past, and they definitely work but get really expensive after awhile. But they are NICE. And very effective.

I googled for some articles on self-adjustment, gave them a try this morning and after a 2 miler I seem to be doing okay.

Will double-check my shoes. Just got some new ones with really good support, but I'll take them over to our local store. Both of my brothers do cross-country, so we've got a pretty good relationship with that place.

Last edited by random; 16 November 2009 at 12:21. Reason: Didn't see last post
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Old 16 November 2009, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by random View Post

Will double-check my shoes. Just got some new ones with really good support, but I'll take them over to our local store. Both of my brothers do cross-country, so we've got a pretty good relationship with that place.
This is good, but other than support, you need to ensure they're supporting your feet/ankles in the correct places required for your feet type.

I didn't read the entire article, but from a brief scan, looks like a good place to start:
http://running.about.com/od/shoesapp.../foottypes.htm

H
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Old 17 November 2009, 01:18
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+1 for the shoes. Used to have lots of problems till I went to Runner's Soul in Spokane, and Running Wild in Pensacola when I was there. They have some great people working at those stores.

Can't speak for chiro's...though the people I've known that've used them swear by them. And keep going back. Cause the problem doesn't go away.

So it might sound kind of weird, but have you focused on relaxing?
I know the exact lower back pain you speak of. I had an ultra-running coach who told me that it helped her if she focused on body position, making sure it was fluid/relaxed, and actually thinking about relaxing the muscles that were hurting.
Turns out I was inadvertantly tensing up. Just another tool, hope whatever it is, gets worked out!
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Old 17 November 2009, 07:46
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Thanks for all the help everyone! The article was really informative, Hoepoe, will take my shoes over to a running store and make sure everything is a-okay.

Bugeater, will give it a shot. I know I'm tensing, I have the same pain when I go rafting and use the muscles for paddling, so I'll definitely try to focus on relaxing. And stretching some more. Thanks all!
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Old 17 November 2009, 07:52
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+1 for a Chiropracter.

The shoes are obviously a good investment, but whatever there is wrong with your back, a good chiro will be able to tell you what is wrong and fix it.

I also agree with going to one that makes your body make sounds that scare the crap out of you.
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Old 17 November 2009, 09:07
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Chiro's are GTG.

The shoe advice is spot on.

I'd also ensure you don't have a muscle imbalance. Low back pain when running can be an indicator or a hamstring strength or flexibility imbalance.

Good luck.
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Old 17 November 2009, 09:27
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I think everyone has pretty much covered this in depth, but I'll add stretch your hammies. Even younger people can have lower back problems because they are so active, their hamstrings get tight and pull down on the lower back My lower back is a train wreck, but stretching my hammies usually does the trick.
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Old 17 November 2009, 09:34
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If you are getting pain while running....Don't Run. Take a break for a while and try some other excercise like biking that will strengthen your back muscles, without the impact on all those spinal discs which are the root cause for the creation of pain. Stronger midsection muscles will also help support your back better.

Give it a break for a bit and see if you have something temporary, or something that can be worked around, and eventually worked through. Doing the same thing that is giving you the pain, is not going to help it get better.

There is no shortage of back advice on this board.
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Old 17 November 2009, 10:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKK
Take a break for a while and try some other excercise like biking that will strengthen your back muscles, without the impact on all those spinal discs which are the root cause for the creation of pain....
I can't believe I didn't mention biking -- fuck, it might be the single best thing you could try -- even better than the shoes.

Biking is underestimated, IMO, as to the good it can do you -- even for runners.

BKK is very spot on -- I believe....
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Old 17 November 2009, 12:44
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Wow, did not expect this much advice. Thanks everyone.

BKK, I actually did take a break from running. I'm just starting up again after six weeks (my times SUCK). Pain's gone, so I'm really interested in keeping it from coming back.

Don't have a bike, but I can just borrow my brother's. Stretch hamstrings, check shoes, relax muscles, and support small businesses. Here we go. :)
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Old 17 November 2009, 12:58
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I have always been a runner, but I had a back episode in 2001 that had me walking around with a dam cane for a few weeks. Could not run for 2 years, or I should say it was not the best for me. It was replacing biking for running that was my own physical therapy which kept me fit, reduced the pain, and kept the leg and mid section muscles strong.

For the past 6 years I have been back to running without any major issues. However, I really do like the versa climber lately. I reccomend using a real bike, not a stationary one if possible. It is a lot better work out.
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Old 16 December 2009, 04:56
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I agree with Gryfen: See a chiropractor (plus points if he/she is also a Physical Therapist).

A bulging/ruptured disk or piriformis syndrome/sciatica will put a real cramp in your activity.

I go for an adjustment every few weeks or so, now that a decade(+) of Infantryesque hijinks are starting to catch up with me. I do yoga every two days as well, to mitigate a couple of chronic injuries (one of which is the aformentioned piriformis injury).

Frequent hot/cold treaments aren't a bad idea, either.

Also: Feet and shoes. Check the former, change the latter (when indicated). Don't run or hike in worn-out shoes.
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Old 16 December 2009, 10:44
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X2 on all of the above, AND you must ensure your core is strong. The lumbar region of the back is meant to support the torso. Pain to that region of the body is usually because the core is weak somewhere. A strong core comprises more than results from ab workouts. The back and hip flexors must also be engaged, and one's core strength should be balanced.
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Old 16 December 2009, 12:11
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Here is my little tid bit on back problems. I use to get back problems (lower back) and it was frustrating to me. I live in SoCal and went to a Sports Doc near UCLA. I explained my problem, when I run it hurts here etc. Now for the interesting part, the Doc asks me:

How far away do you sit from your cars gas and break peddle?
Turns out I was sitting too far away and was the starting point of my back aggravation. That is when I started to do the preventative maintenance i.e. work outs surrounding my core but more importantly strengthening my hamstrings. It sucks to do for the first few weeks but not being able to sit down correctly is better than the back pain.

So all I can say is strengthen, stretch and then stretch some more, replace running shoes every 3-4 months and stretch.
Also think about going to the pool, put your old shoes on and start doing some interval training. The resistance of the water provides a good work out and the low impact will help your body recover.
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