With the nice weather comes the urge to get outside and get moving! All runners will be hitting the tracks, trails, and streets more than ever. With increased activity though, comes the inevitable low back pain.
Here’s how to tackle low back pain before it keeps you from enjoying your runs.
Running is an activity that involves repetitive stress and impact. Stress on all weight bearing joints as well as the back is increased with longer distances.
The most common spine injuries are sprains and strains,muscle spasms, and joint inflammation.
Another condition that may develop is sciatica, or shooting, radiating pain down the leg, associated with numbness and tingling. This can be as a result of tight hip muscles, specifically piriformis muscle.
Sciatica can also develop as a result of disc herniation in the lower back.If someone has an underlying hip, knee or ankle problem, altered gait and running will lead to more strain on the spine.
The most important take away point is proper preparation before long distance running. Runners typically have tight hamstrings, iliotibilal bands and hip rotators.
It is imperative to stretch those muscles daily, as well as before and after the run. Core strengthening exercises need to be a major part of pre marathon training. Proper shoe wear is necessary.
Runners should know when to seek advice of a specialist. Sprain, strain injuries should resolve in 2 weeks. If symptoms are not improving, or if numbness, tingling, and pain down the leg is present, a visit to a back specialist at NY Bone and Joint is recommended.
Tests such as X rays, MRI, and EMG (nerve test) will be considered.
Physical therapy, muscle injections, joint injections, and epidural steroid injections will be treatment options depending on the accurate diagnosis.
The good news is that most back conditions are treated non surgically. Visit NY Bone and Joint Specialists to talk about your back pain or other running ailments. With guidance from our experienced orthopedists, sports medicine specialists, and physical therapists, you’ll be back to your full potential in no time.