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5 Essential Steps To Protect Your Lower Back When Running

Running can be an intensely rewarding way to exercise, but when you don’t take the proper precautions to protect your lower back during a run, you could put yourself at serious risk of injury.

Every runner should make sure they understand the importance of protecting their lower back and take proactive steps to reduce their chances of suffering from pain.

These issues could derail all your hard work and leave you unable to run and in severe pain.

This blog will outline five essential steps every runner should consider taking in order to protect their lower back as they pursue running goals ranging from early morning jogs around the neighborhood to competing in marathons or trail runs!

5 Essential Steps To Protect Your Lower Back When Running

#1 Warm Up Your Muscles Before You Start Running

Warming up your muscles is a vital part of preparing for a run.

By doing so, you protect your lower back from the sudden force of starting off at a high level of intensity.

You can start by doing some light stretching, focusing on the main muscle groups used while running like your glutes and quads.

You can then move into dynamic exercises such as lunges, leg swings, and ankle circles before launching into your full-speed workout.

These exercises help to protect your joints and ligaments, improve mobility and flexibility, increase blood flow, and activate more muscle groups, something you may want to consider if you want to protect your lower back on your next run.

#2 Engage Your Core Muscles

When running, focusing on engaging your core muscles can protect your lower back and help avoid an injury that could force you to stop running for a long period of time.

A stronger core enhances stability, balance, posture, and coordination while also improving overall performance.

To target the core, focus on tightening the abdominal area and drawing in the lower abdomen towards the spine. Keep these muscles engaged to protect your lower back when you run.

#3 Run With Good Posture

Many runners experience unnecessary lower back pain due to improper running form and posture.

Having good posture while running reduces the strain on your spine and other joints in your body.

To achieve a proper running posture, focus on keeping your posture upright with your chest out, chin up, and core engaged.

Being mindful of your posture as you run will protect your lower back from potential injuries and improve your stride and maximize your performance potential.

#4 Take Regular Breaks During Your Run

If you are a runner who enjoys long distances, it's important to take regular breaks to protect your lower back from overuse or strain injuries.

Research has shown that muscles and joints tend to become fatigued and overstressed, putting strain on your lower back.

These breaks don't have to be long, just a few minutes to take the opportunity to stretch and reset your muscles ready to set off on the next stage of your run.

#5 Stretch Out After Running

Once you've finished your run and you've arrived back at your house or have come off the treadmill, one of the best practices to protect yourself from injury is to stretch out and cool down.

Be sure to aim for 15-20 minutes of stretching after each run, focusing particularly on your legs, hips, and glutes since tightness in these areas tends to manifest as tightness in the lower back as well.

Bonus Tip! - always listen to your body and pay attention to any warning signs that something may be wrong. With a few simple stretches and prevention measures, you can protect your lower back while you enjoy all the benefits running has to offer.

What Should I Do If I Have A Painful Lower Back?

If you've been suffering from an annoying lower back injury for a while, you think you've tried all of the options available to you and it's not getting any better, physical therapy might be the best option for you.

Physical therapy can provide you with a long-term solution to your lower back pain so you can get back to your full running potential without lower back pain slowing you down.

We currently offer a free 30-minute performance analysis where you can ask our expert physical therapist any questions you may have and we can analyze your running performance.

To arrange your free 30-minute performance analysis, fill in our simple form or if you prefer to talk over the telephone call us on 516-387-0053.

Other Free Resources For Runners

If you don't feel you're quite ready to come into our North Massapequa NY clinic, we have even more free resources for runners.

Read Our Blog - Overtraining Syndrome

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