When someone is experiencing an episode of back pain, a lot of different activities can hurt and sometimes make the pain worse. However, it does not mean that these activities are bad for your back-they just hurt now because your back already hurts. For instance, many people with back pain find that sitting stationary can make it worse. It does not mean that sitting is bad for your back-even slouched sitting is normal and ok when you are not in pain. www.promotiongb.com/blog/back-pain-and-posture
An example of this false thinking about activities that hurt after a pain onset is this: Imagine you accidentally step off a curb and roll your ankle. Your ankle becomes swollen and painful and causes you to limp. In fact, walking may now be painful. If we were to falsely assume now that because something hurts when we do it, that this activity is "bad" for us, we would have to conclude that walking is bad. Obviously, this is not the case. The same can apply for a person with back pain who enjoys running. When experiencing back pain, running may increase your pain or you may feel it in the back. We should not conclude however, that running is bad for our backs because it now hurts.
When we look at the research about running and our spine, we actually find some evidence that shows that running, and the impact associated with it, may keep our backs healthier! In a study published in February of 2020, researchers looked at the intervertebral discs (IVD) of middle aged runners and compared them to age-matched non-runners. What they found is that middle-aged, long-term endurance runners exhibit less age-related decline in their lumbar IVDs. In addition, the measures of IVD morphology appeared to be better in those who had been running for a greater number of years, as well as in those who ran greater distance per week. So, running may actually be helping our backs!
In conclusion, if you are experiencing an episode of back pain, and running makes it more painful, it does not mean that running is "bad" for your back. You DO NOT need to give up running forever! With the right guidance, treatment, and progressive rehab (to include running), you will be able to get back to full running without limitation.
If you are a runner and have been limited by back pain, don't give up! I would be happy to talk with you to learn more and discuss options for helping you get back to running. If you would like to talk, just click on the link below and we can find a time to talk.
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