Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Running?

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back pain while running

By Dr. Paul Calladine (Chiropractor)

Back Pain and Running - all too Common

Running is great fun and really gets your heart racing! We have so many great open areas and running tracks to use in and around our city that we are spoilt for choice.


However, running can also be considered a ‘high impact’ activity due to the repetitive stress, strain and impact it has on the body, often for long durations and over long distances.


People who have underlying spinal or postural problems, such as low back pain, may find that running or jogging exacerbates their pain. Ongoing high impact activities may lead to additional types of pain, such as sciatica (leg pain, weakness, or numbness), foot pain or shin splints.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Run?

Back pain may come on quick after a running session, after bending or lifting the wrong way or not warming up before hand. Common types of back pain may include muscular strains and pains characterised by spasms, pain and pressure on the lower back.


Sharp pain and referred pains into other areas are a concern. More serious signs may include pain radiating down the legs, numbness, tingling, stiffness or even immobility.


Most people don’t get coaching on running technique, so many of us have flaws in our form, which worsen with fatigue.

Running and Damaged Discs in the Back

The more serious types of injuries occur when existing conditions such as herniated discs or disc degeneration exist. As you may know, your discs act as shock absorbers, cushioning impacts along your spine. A herniated disc, where the outer wall of the disc pushes into the spinal canal, may become even more unstable during high impact running sessions.

The Bay Run - Lilyfield

Recently, a patient came to the clinic with a lower back complaint.They wanted a chiropractic assessment of their posture to see if their regular running activity was exacerbating any existing conditions.


Being a local from the suburb of Lilyfield, they regularly enjoyed long runs around Iron Cove Creek and along the bay. The trouble usually starts when the run is extended up the hill on Lilyfield Road.


We conducted a thorough chiropractic assessment and determined that forward hip rotation and secondary spinal compensations contributed to feelings of back pain and muscle fatigue.

back pain running
It's important to focus on your form and technique when running.

Should I Run With Lower Back Pain?

Lower back strain may be caused by damage to the muscles and ligaments of the back, spinal misalignments and postural problems, and sometimes herniated discs.


Runners who experience a slow and steady back pain after a workout or run (or during) should consider a thorough evaluation by a health professional, such as a Doctor of Chiropractic.

How to Prevent or Minimise Lower Back Pain

  • Thorough warm up and warm down sessions after each run
  • A short period of rest (several days) between each running session
  • Gentle stretching every day to increase muscle and ligament flexibility
  • Ice packs on the sore spot to reduce inflammation and pain (especially around the spine)
  • A thorough chiropractic check up

Chiropractic Check Up for Running Pains

If you have an underlying structural or postural issue, high impact running may exacerbate this condition.


Are you ready to learn how a chiropractic check up may help you? It’s a check-up that tells you about the health of your spine and nervous system, and how we may help you overcome musculoskeletal problems.


Many of our patients, including those who do the Iron Cove and Drummoyne bay run regularly, enjoy the benefits that chiropractic offers them.


Let us help you by:

  • Identifying possible spinal misalignments and correcting them
  • Improving the functioning of your nervous system
  • Helping your spine achieve normal alignment
  • Restoring more normal function to your body

Commit to better health

With 26 years of experience excellent health is easy to accomplish. We are wondering if you’d like some?


The age-old term is “prevention is better than cure”, this could be augmented to read in my experience, “prevention is way easier and way more fun than reinjuring yourself.” Too easy to agree with!


To secure your favourite adjustment time please call us today on (02) 9819 6182. See you soon.

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