Men and women struggling with back pain often ask if running will hurt or help their pain. While those with back pain caused by structural damage to the spine should consult a specialist before tying up their laces, those with mechanical back pain (structurally normal spine), could see noticeable improvements in their symptoms after taking up running.
In a recent article published on Spine Universe, board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr. Earl J Kilbride explains the many benefits of running to help calm back pain and strengthen the body.
Strengthens Your Core and Back Muscles
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is weakened abdominal muscles — also referred to as “core strength.” Running gives your entire body a workout, including the vital core and back muscles that support your spine.
Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying around excess weight puts unnecessary strain on your spine and other joints, contributing to chronic pain. Getting regular exercise, especially aerobic exercises like running, is known to help you maintain a stable, healthy weight, thus reducing daily strain on the spine.
You’ve probably heard of a “runner’s high” before. If you’ve ever experienced this feeling for yourself, you’ll know that it is a very real benefit that comes along with running or jogging. This phenomenon occurs when your body releases hormones called endorphins, which boost your mood and create an overall sense of wellbeing.
Check With Your Doctor
With all these benefits in mind, you might be eager to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement. But before you do, check in with your healthcare provider or spine specialist to make sure you don’t have underlying structural damage that may be worsened from running and other similar physical activities.
Texas Orthopedics comprehensive team of orthopedic surgeons and physiatrists diagnose and treat back pain at our eight Austin area locations. Schedule an appointment online or call (512) 439-1000 for more information.