As good as it is for aerobic fitness, endurance training and overall wellness, you have to know when your running habit (for some, read: addiction) is causing a problem for your spine. Running is a compression-heavy sport: every footfall creates a compression for the joints and discs of your spine. This repetitive compression creates a wear and tear that can be hard to bear for people with back pain. For others, running can actually create spinal health problems or aggravate previously unseen ones. Know that we are not trying to deter you from running; instead, we want to keep you aware of the dangers of running and therefore stay ahead of injury.
This means everything from how you hold your body to where your feet fall within your stride. The mechanics of running are unique to everyone- that's why everyone has a unique running, "form," that is impossible to replicate when you look at it in minute detail. However, there are certain tenets of posture like maintaining an upright, balanced upper body and keeping your stride within a reasonable distance that will help prevent injury.
After mastering posture, preventing injury comes down to choosing the right footwear, changing it regularly (at least twice a year for heavy runners), and varying your running surfaces. Running on rubber or grass instead of concrete reduces the amount of shock that your spine has to absorb and is therefore considered kinder to people with spinal health conditions.
If you are interested in staying on track with your running routine but adding in a little more consideration for injury prevention, please give our office in Milpitas a call to schedule an appointment today.