back pain running

How to Avoid Lower Back Pain While Running: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you pushing your body too hard with running? It’s not unlikely that the source of your lower back pain could be overuse, which is caused by excessive or rapid increases in mileage. In addition to this common issue, bad posture and muscle imbalances can also contribute. In extreme cases, herniated discs may even be at play – a condition that often requires medical attention.

What Causes the Pain?

Muscular back pain is the most prevalent kind of ache in this area. It occurs when you overwork your paraspinal muscles that are otherwise known as the erector spinae muscle group, which stretch from your hip all along to the bottom of your skull, making them among some of the strongest parts in human anatomy. These muscles enable us to move and bend so they’re naturally more prone to stress-induced strain if used excessively or inappropriately.

So what is the source of all this pain? Generally speaking, backache can be attributed to tight or weak paraspinal muscles. Twisting abruptly, bending forward or even direct blows against these muscles may set off a painful reaction. Additionally, other muscle groups such as hamstrings, core, and glutes can also contribute to discomfort in your lower back if they are too flaccid or tense; throwing off body alignment and mechanics could force your back muscles into an unnatural over-extension which leads to further distress.

paraspinal muscles
Image: Mobile Physiotherapy Clinic

Prevention Techniques

Lower back pain can be avoided by taking proactive steps, and here are a few ways to do just that. These techniques have been proven effective in helping maintain strong and healthy backs:

  • Strengthening exercises: Strengthening your core and back muscles can help prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to lower back pain.
  • Proper form: Maintaining proper form while running can help prevent lower back pain. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed, your hips level, and your feet landing under your hips.
  • Cross-training: Participating in activities such as swimming, cycling, and yoga can help you stay active and reduce your risk of overuse injuries. Not only that – it will tremendously boost your physical health!
  • The right equipment: Buying the proper running shoes could definitely help you.
  • Gradual progress: Avoid increasing your mileage too quickly. Gradual progress is key to preventing lower back pain.

Treatment Techniques

If you are experiencing lower back pain, there are several techniques you can use to manage it. Here are some options:

  • Rest: Taking a break from running can help alleviate lower back pain caused by overuse.
  • Ice and heat: Applying ice or heat to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Stretching: Stretching can help loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility. Focus on stretching your hamstrings, hips, and lower back.
  • Massage: A massage can help relieve tension in the muscles and improve circulation.
  • Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist can help you identify the underlying causes of your lower back pain and develop a treatment plan.


Don’t let lower back pain impede your running goals! By taking preventative measures and using effective techniques that are made to address the issue, you can effectively manage any lower back pain without having to miss out on training. With a proactive approach in place, you’ll be able to run with ease and comfort while avoiding any potential setbacks.