Running and lower back problems – Analyzing the Grind

Running is an activity that demandsa lot of strength and energy. When you run, your body is in a stressed position for a long time. The core body muscles support the spine, lower back, hips and hamstrings together as one big machine. Weakness in any of these parts forces the other parts to face the brunt. So for example, if you have weak hips and gluteal muscles, it exerts extra burden on your lower back in order to keep your body upright and stable, thus making you more vulnerable to injuries.

Before we look into the initial lower back problems, let us understand the anatomy of the lower back so that it will help you to communicate effectively with Scarborough Chiropractor Dr. Adam Rocchiin case you are suffering from a back pain.

Lower Back Anatomy

The spine of your body is divided into four parts starting from the neck, upper back (thoracic spine), lower back (lumbar spine) and the sacral region. In the lumbar region or the lower back, there are five vertebrae which are made up of bones, and each of the vertebrae is separated by a disc.

The lumbar spine curves inward towards the abdomen. The five vertebrae (L1-L5) of the lumbar spine support the weight of the entire torso. The lower the vertebrae in the spinal column, more weight it must bear. Therefore vertebrae L4 and L5 are more prone to injuries and degradation. The lumbar spine meets the sacrum at the lumbosacral joint. This joint allows rotation, so that the hips and pelvis may swing while running or walking. The nerves in the lower back provide sensation and power to the muscles in legs, pelvis, and feet.

Problems faced by runners in their lower back

As explained by renowned Scarborough Chiropractor Dr. Adam Rocchi, the main problems faced by runners are-

  1. Muscle spasm, or a sudden muscular pain in the lower back. A runner may feel as if the muscles have locked up and the pain can be severe.
  2. Shooting pain down the low back either in one leg or both the legs indicates that a runner might be suffering from sciatica. The gripping muscle sensation as in spasm is not there, but there is a discomfort caused by a pinched nerve.
  3. A runner might feel a chronic ache in the lower area of your body could be an indication that a person might have arthritis.

Relationship between low back pain, muscles, and posture

To maintain a neutral spine position, the muscle flexibility and strength are essential. In case you have weak abdominal muscles, it can cause the hip flexor muscles to get tightened thus increasing the curve of the lower back. When the curving further extends, it results in an unhealthy posture. A proper posture is essential to correct the muscle imbalances whichcontribute to low back pain. A correct posture will evenly distribute the weight throughout the spinal cord.


In order to prevent back pain, a runner needs to work on strength and flexibility. Scarborough ChiropractorDr. Adam Rocchi explains that the spine and spinal muscles get a lot of support from the core. Therefore any weakness or tightness in glutes, quads, hips and hamstrings will affect the lower back muscles and thus lead to more strain on these muscles and set them up for an injury or a spasm. Therefore, well-known Scarborough ChiropractorDr. Adam Rocchiadvises that runners should follow some strength exercises like planks, back extensions, Swiss ball pikes etc. in order to prevent lower back issues.

So, if you feel that your lower back is giving you some issues then call the practice now on     (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.

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