back pain

hi there, my running partner has injured her back and been out of action for a few weeks, she and i have been wondering if this could be a running related injury? and if there are any steps she can take to avoid it in the future?
thanks for any help you can give


  • I had a little twinge last year especially longer hilly runs - exercises like Pilates, Swiss-Ball/ Fit-Ball type stuff, alexander technique are all good for posture/ core stability and maybe someone with a bit of insight/experience to look at her running style and all the usual stuff about the right trainers etc
  • I have a background of back problems and to be honest running doesn't really affect it that much. After my longer runs it feels a bit stiffer than usual but apart from that fine.
  • Hi ds, I also have a recurring twinge in the small of my back after running and have found this link to RW's Whole-Body Stretches
    Do your partners trainers also have some form of cushioning....just a thought
  • yes

    Im often in agony at night

    (3 slipped discs in the past)

    I think you need to work on core stability, oh, and make SURE your shoes are ok
  • i have had lower back pain fo a number of weeks now. the pain shoots down my leg the physio i visited twisted me and cracked my back like a tree branch and said i was cured. but pain still shoots down right leg until warmed up. i am running the london marathon in three weeks and hope to run under 3 hours but have dobts due to this pain. can anyone offer any advice?
  • Could try sorbothane insoles to shock absorb !
    Ive had back twinges as well but these seem to help
  • I have lower back pain too with shooting pains down my leg, like scott im also running london in 3 wks, and wanted to do sub3.45. going to see physio, until then any suggestions of exercises i can do? also will ice or deep heat work? what are sorbothane insoles by the way, and where can you get them??
  • Louise - could be sciatica.

    Sorbathane insoles are a sort of shock absorbing stuff you put in your shoes. My local JJB sports has them, or you can get them from specialist running shops.

    If you're going to see the physio then s/he'd probably give better advice on stretches!
  • thanks reindeer! will get myself down to a running shop, but what is sciatica? back is now hurting all the time, and havent run since tues. dilemma about london!
  • have seen ostiopath and she is treating me for back injury i sustained in a road traffic accident 4 years ago but did not know i had so and has explained the damage to my upper spine have just accumulated and eventualy reached lower down. does anyone have a magicians wand available
  • Louise - lie on your back and lift your leg up straight, if poss have someone else push gently backwards. If this really hurts, chances are high you have sciatica, which is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve running down your back. Not something you can cure yourself. See a physio or sports doc. Good luck for FLM.

    Oh, and a little secret of mine - if your back problem turns out not to be a serious thing and you intend to get round FLM anyway, buy some Salonpas pain relieving patches and slap one on where it hurts. You can usually buy these at registration, or they can be ordered through a reputable chemist, like Boots. They really work well. A word of warning though - DON'T attempt to cover up real pain just for the sake of a race, it isn't worth it, and there will always be another race - you only have one body!
  • Hi,
    You need to get your biomechanics checked, back pain is not normally serious but will probably not be helped by running. This does not mean that you have just lost your favorite sport, just get to see an osteopath. He/ She will sort you out.

  • Yes running can most definitely cause back problems and I speak from experience!

    I had weeks of unsuccessful treatment for what I thought was a thigh strain, but in reality the problem was a pinched femoral nerve in my back which was referring pain into the thigh area.

    The reason for the pinched nerve was a bio-mechanical problem in my hip causing me to over-rotate as I ran. I was only able to sort this out with a proper gait analysis and some very specific stretching and mobility exercises.

    I would urge anyone who has pain which seems not to be responding to conventional treatment to consider the back as being at the cause of the problem.
  • I have been having back pain for a while too mainly located in the middle to lower back.  Sometimes when i have raced or done a hilly run it gets worse and i get a shooting pain down my thigh.  I have had 5 treatments with the osteopath and this has helped as my pelvis was out of line and my muscles were very tight.  Although nothing is a quick fix he has said that i need to stretch much more so has suggested 10 minutes every day and before i run to get the muscles warm.  I think it is all about the stretching!!!!!
  • Running places 3-4 your bodyweight through each leg and is therefore a high impact exercise. How and where the loads are absorbed within the body are determined by your running form and technique. Key factors are where you land on the foot and where the foot lands in relation to the body. It is also important that you strengthen your core musculature in line with your running. Check out for videos on core conditioning and  running technique.
  • I damaged my left sacroiliac joint through running more heavily on my left leg and this caused left sided lower back pain. Im currently having physio and seeing an osteopath for this. The physio has given me core strengthening exercises to do. It might be similar?
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