Every time you go out for a run you might be doing serious damage to your back. Check out this clip of Dr. Jeff on WCIU’s You and Me This Morning where he gives out different tips to protect your back while running.
Make sure to stretch no matter what before you run. Stretching your muscles is a huge portion to keeping your back safe. Runners sometimes forget to stretch their hamstrings, which cause everything to tighten up and be thrown off balance. Here is an example of how you can stretch your hamstrings before running:
- Start by standing up tall with your left foot a few inches in front of your right foot
- Lift up your left toes upward towards the ceiling
- Bend your right knee slightly
- Pull your abdominals gently inward
- Make sure your back is NOT flexing
- Bend forward from your hips
- Rest both palms on the top of your right thigh for support and balance
- Keep your shoulders down (relaxed) and try not to round your lower back
- Then repeat this stretch with your right leg forward.
While doing this stretch you should feel a slight pull through the back of your leg.
Be aware of your posture while running. Some runners tend to hunch over which can cause strain on your spine. If you keep your posture in mind then you won’t allow yourself to hunch forward.
Runners tend to run through injuries causing an even larger problem. If you run through an injury you tend to start to retrain your muscles that you don’t want to train, which then changes your movement pattern. If your pattern of movement is off this will cause the disc to load. Many of our patients that are runners come in with herniated discs due to this. We then treat them by taking the pressure off the disc and reeducating the muscles that were all out of balance.