Is Your Back Pain a Pain in Your Rear?
Back Pain a common issue that many runners and non-runners deal with on a daily basis.
Back pain can take you away from feeling comfortable on the job, going out to the park with friends, or even challenging your friend to a game of pickle ball. Nevertheless, The Running Well Store has the information and equipment you need in order to begin feeling like your old self. We pride ourselves on making sure you feel listened to and that you get the information you need. Our team goes above and beyond to help you find the best shoes (and other helpful products) for your back pain.
About Back Pain
Each year, half of the working population reports having some sort of back pain. Back pain is something that many individuals will have to deal with at some point in their lives. It’s beneficial to learn from a variety of information sources, including your doctor, to understand prevention strategies and solutions (including the best shoes!) to kicking back pain to the curb.
How it happens:
Since back pain is such a common occurrence, you can imagine that it can originate from many activities and sources. Back pain can occur when strain is placed on muscles or your back being in an awkward movement. Strain can happen through running, lifting, being involved in a fall or numerous other instances. Even walking all day on solid flooring can play heavily on the muscles in your back and potentially cause you to experience painful muscle spasms.
Inside your spine, there are soft cushions between the vertebrae called disks that help protect your spine. If a disk becomes ruptured or bulged, then it can press and irritate the nerve in and around your spine. The pressure placed upon your vertebra causes discomfort and pain when moving throughout the day.
Sometimes joints in your back cause pain or stiffness that can worsen with age and is called Lumbar Arthritis. The set of joints that are placed between two adjacent vertebrae are called Facet Joints, and disk spaces can become inflamed and limit an individual’s ability to even do simple daily tasks. Lumbar Arthritis is the result of degenerative changes from osteoarthritis (OA) and/or inflammation in the lowest joints of the lumbar spine. Back pain can also be caused by having an irregular spine or a spine that curves to the side (scoliosis).
Risk Factors for Back Pain
As you get older, the risk for back pain grows, Do not fret! It can be preventable. The best thing you can do as you get older is to stay mobile, stretch, and strength train.
If you go from running 3 miles a week to a marathon in one day, then chances are your back is going to be a little sore. Make sure to properly build up when exercising and pace yourself. Additionally, a few athletes tend to complete their workout and then hop in the shower without stretching. Stretching and strength training are the two easiest and cheapest ways to prevent and cure some back pain.
The common cold is not going to give you back pain, but more extreme diseases such as cancer and arthritis have been known to cause back pain. We always recommend talking to a medical professional regarding all injuries, including back pain.
- Improper Lifting
We know you want to impress Jessica at your local YMCA! It is known that Jess loves active guys who care for their bodies, but if they are complaining about a muscle spasm over sushi she will say, “thank you next.”
Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine that can cause your lower back to not receive proper nutrients and a whole ton of other health risks.
- Imbalanced or Tight Muscles
For muscular-induced back pain, we highly recommend seeing a physical therapist as they can help isolate any underdeveloped or tight muscles and provide exercises.
How to Prevent Back Pain
There are people who want a quick fix for their back pain—understandably so! Back pain hurts and it is disruptive. However, there is no quick fix when it comes to back pain. It takes time, dedication, and work. Here are some strategies that you could incorporate to reduce and prevent back pain.
- Low Impact Exercise
Low aerobic exercises (swimming, yoga, etc.) can strengthen and enhance the muscles inside your back to function better. When searching for exercises, look for ones that are not going to place a lot of strain on your back. If you are doing an exercise, and feel pain throughout your back, stop what you are doing.
- Build muscle strength and flexibility
By strengthening your core, you can reduce the stress that is placed upon your back. The core muscle can make your body work as a well-functioning machine. Becoming more flexible in your hips and upper legs with help with back pain, as well.
Even if we want to, some job dress codes do not allow your running shoes at work. In the event that you need to be wearing boots or dress shoes, orthotics are a great option to offer more cushioning and arch support. The Running Well Store has multiple different full-length orthotics that can easily be placed inside any shoe.
- Sit and Stand Correctly
We can all hear our mother or schoolteachers telling us to sit up straight. You probably sat up straighter just thinking about it! Make sure to take breaks when sitting in the same position for long periods of time. It is recommended that you stand and stretch AT LEAST every hour.
- A note on posture: Posture is extremely important to relieve back pain or preventing it. You need to “engage your core.” The best way do this is to “lift your heart and square your shoulders.”
- Improper Footwear for the Job
Take a hard look at your shoes that you wear for 12 hours a day. Do they look like they can withstand the hard, stiff flooring each day? Making sure you have the correct shoes for the surface where you stand can go a long way to reducing daily back pain.
- Many times, a shoe with a lower heel height is better if your back is hurting. This would equate more to standing barefoot, the way you were made to be. A shoe with a taller heel throws off your body’s geometry. The rest of your body is compensating for the artificial heel height your shoes have created and that height must be accounted for somewhere.
Back Pain Advice from the Experts
Back Pain is a complicated beast, but all boils down to 3 things: pelvic stability, working breath into movement, and getting the right muscles to fire in the right order. Your core and glutes are your back’s best friends!
Amanda Wiederholt, PT, DPT, SFMA, PCES
Core Physical Therapy and Rehab
Back pain products
Receive a free stride analysis from one of our specialized GURUs, and get a shoe that fits your biomechanics to help relieve your back pain.Shop Now
Massaging your back with a foam roller can help to relieve pressure in your back. Make sure to only foam roll your upper back as rolling the lower back is not advised.Shop Now
Oh buddy, does the Back Buddy feel good! This trigger point device will help you reach that hard to pinpoint knot in your back and allow you to apply pressure.Shop Now
An Ice Pack applied to your irritated back can be soothing and reduce some of the daily pain. This is a common practice that should be done daily to help prevent back pain from becoming chronic.Shop Now
All of our Garmin devices will alert you when you have remained sedentary for too long. This information can be helpful in reminding you to get up, walk around and do small stretches throughout the day.Shop Now