4 Pieces of Advice on How to Run Safely with Back Pain


Back pains can be agonizing. Apart from the pain you experience, it also interferes with your routines such as work or exercise.

Most runners decide to stop running completely because strenuous work may further damage the back.

If you are a runner who experiences back pain on occasion, you do not have to let it stop you.

A 2014 study claimed running could rid your back of pain.

Below are some of the ways you can run safely with back pain.

4 Ways How to Run Safely with Back Pain:


1. Change your running form.

Running should be something easy to do since children do it all the time in the playground. However, some people do not know how to run.

Once you realize that your back pain increases due to running stance, here are some of the ways of changing your running form:

Adopt short and fast strides. Taking long strides forces your legs to occupy a huge distance, which means you may fall and hurt your back.

Keep your shoulders back. Your shoulders need to be at the back with your chest protruding outwards.

Look ahead when running. Running with your head looking down strains both your back and neck.

Avoid bouncing while running. Bouncing forces the head and back to move so much, which means you will be fatigued faster.

Try to run at a conversational pace. A conversational pace is a pace at which you can talk while running. Unless you are running a short distance rate, it is not necessary to take off.

2. Warm up before running.

Warming up is important for running as well as other exercises.

If you run without warming up, you are more likely to experience severe pains in your already paining back.

Warm ups psychologically prepare your body for the run.

For instance, your muscles and bones loosen up and your heart beat steadily goes up when you warm up. Running without warming up is similar to a student doing an exam without studying.

Some of the warm up routines you can do before your run include:

Aerobic exercises such as rope skipping, push ups, cycling and so on.

Build up your speed gradually beginning with a faster walk, jog and finally a run.

Performing arm circles involves standing with your arms apart and rotating them front and back. Arm circles significantly reduce back pain.

3. Sporting the right shoes.

Running is not just about preparing your body for the run, but wearing the right running shoes.

For instance, running with flip flops may cause back pain. If you already have back pain, then wearing flip flops wouldn’t be solving matters.

Flip flops cause the arches in the feet to collapse which leads to an imbalance that puts pressure on your legs, knees and back.

The right shoes to get are the Brooks neutral running shoes.. The neutral shoes allow for equal distribution of impact from each step.

With other shoes, the impact may be concentrated on one area of the foot and result in an unequal balance of your legs and consequently hurting your back further.

4. Developing a running schedule.

Runners want to achieve different results for their bodies.

Some runners however get too eager and push themselves beyond their normal limit just because they desire quick results. Running for long hours without breaks will worsen your back.

For your back pain to ease, you also need rest to enable the back to recover.

For instance, instead of running seven times a week, consider running four times a week instead. Running is not the only exercise you should focus on, so consider incorporating cross training in your workout.

Cross training refers to any other exercises besides running. Running can significantly increase your back pain, so you should let your back rest and do other exercises.

What you should remember?

Your back pain should no longer be the reason you cannot run. All it takes is for you to change your running techniques.

Remember even after changing your technique, your back may still ache.

In case running does not ease your back pain, you may be forced to seek medical attention.

The doctor will prescribe some medication and advise you accordingly on which exercises to do at home.

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