General Medical Corner

Running with a backache

This annoying backache. It is very inconvenient and it often limits you in your training as well as in your every-day life. Read here what the doctor says. 

Backache is a number one suffering among our population. Does it make sense to put on your running shoes despite of this pain?

Earlier, doctors recommended to rest in case of a backache and to reduce or to even abandon any physical activity. This opinion was mirrored in the general perception of people. Swimming might have been tolerated, but running was strictly forbidden if one suffered from a backache. Today, we know that the exact opposite should be the case.

Endorphins can fix it

A backache leads to us being all tense, which enforces the pain even more. The solution to this problem – movement, as far as the pain allows for. Aside from all every-day tasks, you may thus actually excercise as well. If you like running, you should not abstain from it when you have a backache either. Your body realeases the hormone endorphin, which reduces both sensations of pain and muscular tension. Furthermore, running actively counteracts stress, which, in some cases, might actually be the cause of the backache in the first place.

The right choice of equipment

In order to be able to profit from the positive effects wich running can have on your back and your health in general, not only the choice of distance and intensity are important, but also the right equipment. Our body has to cushion three times its own weight while we run. If backache is in place already, you should therefore reduce severe percussions and, if you have the opportunity, find the right shoes with help of an expert. If possible, avoid to run downhill, too. When running downhill, we often put our heel down first, which impairs our natural cushioning mechanisms, leading to increased stress on our feet and body,



Author: *This entry was written by Dr. rer. nat Michael Schwarz. He works as a sports scientist and as a performance diagnostician at the Medbase Sports Medical Centre in Zürich. The specialised centre for sports medicine supports teams and individual athletes and it offers a wide range of performance tests such as, for example, sports medical check-ups, sports specific pyhsio therapy or rehab.

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