How Running Injuries Can Trigger Lower Back Pain

Ah, running. It’s a fantastic way to stay fit, clear your head, and explore the great outdoors. But even the most seasoned runner can encounter a nagging pain now and then. While shin splints and IT band syndrome often steal the spotlight, a lesser-known consequence of running injuries lower back pain.

Biomechanics 101: Why Running Injuries Impact Your Lower Back

Running is a complex activity that relies on a finely tuned kinetic chain. Your legs absorb impact, your core stabilises your trunk, and your arms propel you forward. When an injury disrupts this chain, it can throw your entire alignment out of whack.

Here’s how:

  • Muscle Imbalances: Running injuries often lead to weakness in specific muscle groups. This can cause other muscles to overwork, leading to imbalances that pull on your lower back and cause pain.
  • Compensatory Movements: When a running injury limits your normal movement pattern, your body will try to compensate. This can lead to altered running form, putting undue stress on your lower back.
  • Inflammation: Running injuries often involve inflammation in the affected area. This inflammation can travel through your body, reaching your lower back and causing pain.

Common Running Injuries That Can Cause Lower Back Pain

Several running injuries are notorious for triggering lower back woes. Here are the top contenders:

  • IT Band Syndrome: Tightness in the IT band, a connective tissue on the outside of your thigh, can pull on your pelvis and contribute to lower back pain.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation in the plantar fascia (arch of your foot) can alter your gait, leading to imbalances and lower back pain.
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee): Pain around your kneecap can cause you to run with a bent knee or altered stride, putting stress on your lower back.
  • Hip Impingement: When the bones in your hip joint rub against each other, it can lead to pain in the front or back of your hip, radiating to your lower back.

The Tell-Tale Signs: Recognizing Lower Back Pain from Running Injuries

Not all lower back pain is a direct result of a running injury. However, some red flags can help you distinguish the culprit:

  • Pain that worsens with running or specific movements: This suggests the pain is linked to your running form or an underlying injury.
  • Pain that is localised to your lower back, but may radiate to your buttocks or legs: This could indicate a pinched nerve or referred pain from a running injury.
  • Pain that is accompanied by stiffness or difficulty bending or twisting: This can point to muscle tightness or inflammation related to your running injury.

Don’t Let Running Pain Slow You Down: Seek Expert Help

If you’re experiencing lower back pain alongside a running injury, don’t ignore it. Early intervention is key to preventing further complications and getting you back on track. Here at Cultural Health Club, our team of specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapists can help.

We offer a holistic approach to physiotherapy, combining evidence-based rehabilitation with manual therapy techniques to address the root cause of your pain.

Ready to tackle your running-related pain and get back to enjoying your runs? Book a consultation with Cultural Health Club today. Let’s work together to get you moving comfortably and confidently once again.

Cultural Health Club: Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in the Heart of London.

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