Running is a fun activity that a lot of people are drawn to in order to stay fit and healthy, but it can be a potential aggressor to back pain if it’s not done at the right stage of recovery. But it isn’t an activity you need to avoid forever so we’ll also talk about how to get back into running. Whether you’ve run in the past or taken up couch to 5K, it’s usually a troublesome activity if you’ve taken it up when you’ve already got back pain.
A 1 hour run showed a significant and immediate decrease in disc height. The primary reason for this will be the compressing onto your discs if you already have damage there. As it reduces in height, there will be compression onto the nerve. The right exercise done at the wrong time can always be problematic.
Going through rehabilitation to begin your recovery process can help prepare your body to start running again. Improving core stability and strength through Phase 2 & 3 helps to take the pressure away from your spine and improve your body’s ability to deal with stress. During Phase 3, you can start to re-integrate running using our T.R.E.A.T. protocol.
Don’t rush the process in getting back into running as the compression may well put you back. These things take time, especially when you’ve had a back problem for a long time. Running is definitely a beneficial activity. In long-term runners, there is increased disc stability and strength. Research also shows regular running over years sees a decrease in degeneration in the spine. Running also decreases the chance of experience osteopenia as it improves bone density – this compared to cyclists where they are 7 times more likely to experience osteopenia.
Getting onto the cross-trainer can help you maintain cardiovascular fitness and prep your body for getting back into running as it’s lower impact and you can better maintain a good position in the spine. Running for shorter periods, faster is generally better. Around 10km/hour with good form will be better than longer periods of plodding at a slower speed. For the time being, running for short periods of time will be more helpful and around 20km a week. Using the towel and the ice after your run will be helpful to reduce inflammation.