Colorado is filled with beautiful places to go for a run, and if you like hitting the parks or trails as often as you can, it’s important to protect yourself from pain and injury. Everything from the right shoes to the proper form can save you from lower back pain and other issues, but if you are experiencing discomfort, it’s important to listen to your body. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we can provide expert treatment when you need it most.
Preparing Your Body
If you’ve experienced low back pain before, or if you’re running for the first time in a long time, there are some things you can do before you hit the street. Warming up properly with some walking and stretching will get your legs and back ready to go, and by stretching your hamstrings, you can minimize the stress that is put on your lower back during the impact of running. You’ll also want to set a reasonable distance for your first run, as trying to cover five miles on the first go could leave you in pain. Once you’re ready to go, think about the surface you’re running on, as concrete and other compact surfaces can increase the impact on your body, and jar the spine with every stride. Dirt and grass can lessen the strain that is put on your legs and back.
What To Do if You Are Injured
There can be many causes of low back pain, and if running leads to discomfort, it could be beneficial to see a spine specialist. Running might not be the root cause, but it could be the activity that’s exacerbating your pain, and taking a few days off could be enough to relieve your symptoms. If the root cause turns out to be something else, such as a herniated disc, you might have to take more than a few weeks off, and when your doctor says it’s okay, your focus may have to be on strengthening your back and core. Adding in some strength training can help you develop the muscles necessary for supporting your spine while running. As with your first running session, you won’t want to go all out in the weight room, and having your doctor design a training program for you may be the best way to ease into it.
With increased strength and flexibility, you can give your body the best chance to recover and to handle the stress and strain of running. You might be training for a 10K or half marathon, or you may simply run every other day to get in a good cardio workout. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to take care of your spine. If you’re experiencing back pain, or you’re concerned about the health of your spine, contact CSI in Loveland today. We can properly diagnose and treat your condition, and help you get back on the road to better health and fitness.