RUNNING and the BACK!

For the past 3 weeks, I have been suffering from an old herniated disc that I had about 7years ago.  It acts up from time to time but this last time I slept wrong and really knocked it out of wack.  I did my regular cold/hot treatment with a little Tylenol and took some time off!  When I got back on my workout schedule and started to run again, I was surprised at how well my back felt after the run.  There was very little pain and recovering from the run was much better than expected. 

Even though I am an avid runner, I have to make sure of a few things that my personal trainer shared with me that I tend to ignore from time to time.  First, I HAVE to stretch before and after my run.  Start with dynamic stretches before you run and finish up with static stretches.  Next, keep those hip flexors and IT bands flexible.  I notice when I neglect these two areas when running, those muscles and tendons pull on my back causing a lot of pain.  Also, don't go crazy on the weight training while training hard for your next event.  That is too much stress and strain on your leg muscles.  As you run and train for your event, you are already building and maintaining good muscle, no need to over do it!  Last, drink a LOT of water.  The water provides the necessary oxygen to those muscles to help build them and keep them moving properly!

I love reading great articles from Runner's World, as you know! Check out the article below when it comes to back pain and remember, if you are experiencing any back pain consult your doctor! Run Safe and Be Happy!

Back Pain
Published 09/20/2001
Should you run with back pain? If running doesn't make it worse, go ahead
Definition:  Pain or aching in the back, which may have any of several causes.
Remedies:
Should you run with back pain? If running doesn't make it worse,go ahead. "Sitting puts more stress on your back than running does," says Scott. "In fact, exercise rather than rest is recommended for most patients with back problems." If running isn't comfortable, swim, cycle or try some other activity. Walking is excellent.

For pain relief, use ice, but rather than wrap the ice against your back, place it on your bed and lie on it (you may have to bolster your back a bit with pillows if you're too uncomfortable).

Some people favor a hot/cold regimen from the start. Alternate 20 minutes of ice with 20 minutes of heat.

Some back problems lie deep in the muscles, where icing won't have an effect. If pushing the site of the injury with your thumb does not cause pain, the injury probably lies too deep.
People with chronic back problems should do stretching and strengthening exercises regularly. Try back extensions, lower-back stretches, pelvic tilts, bent-leg crunches and trunk twists. Warm up beforehand. When running, stick to soft surfaces and avoid hills, irregular surfaces and small running tracks with tight turns. When you sleep, put a pillow between your knees when on your side, and put two pillows under your knees when lying on your back.
If your back pain radiates into your legs or if rest and home treatments don't bring relief, see a sports-oriented physician.