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3 Types of Lower Back Pain And What To Do About It

By on Jul 12, 2014
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It doesn’t seem right, does it. You’ve made the effort. You’ve incorporated running into your weekly schedule. You should be reaping the health benefits. And yet, here you are, doubled over with aches and pains in your lower back.

Some estimates suggest that around 80% of Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. And, in general, an active life involving running and other exercise can help reduce the risk of suffering from such conditions.

But, unfortunately, back pain is also a serious issue for a number of runners.

Today’s featured video below, courtesy of Runner’s World, focuses on this very issue.

Three types of lower back pain

In the video, Dr Jordan Metzl considers three common types of lower back pain:

  • Discogenic pain (eg a slipped disc). This is the lower back pain that gets worse when you lean forward, resulting in shooting pain.
  • Bone-related pain. This is where your bones are rubbing together, resulting in general achiness throughout entire area of the spine. This arthritic pain is particularly common for older runners.
  • Muscle related pain. This is characterised by pain around the sides of the spine. It’s the most common sort of lower back pain.

Fixing it: How to recover from lower back pain

Dr Metzl also considers the practical steps you should take to fix such problems. The standard prescription involves three steps:

  • Flexibility. It might not be immediately obvious to most runners, but loosening your hamstrings through foam rolling can be highly effective, helping to take the pressure off your lower back.
  • Strengthening. Core strength work can also play an important role, as with many injuries. (Check out the exercises at the end of this article.)
  • Individual medical attention. Of course, if you’re suffering anything beyond mild achiness, then you should go straight to your doctor and have your condition checked out. Depending on the specific form of lower back pain, the next step may need x-rays or an MRI scan. But, first things first, get your back condition checked out.

Post-script: the lower back pain reset technique

All well and good. But what specific exercises should a runner perform to help tackle lower back pain?

In the video below, Phil Warton gives you something to start with, outlining the lower back pain reset technique.

Source: Image by Unfurled

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