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Favorite Excuse Not to Run: It Hurts My Back

For some women, running hurts their knees, shins, or chest, but another common complaint is back pain. Your back can either hurt during a run, directly afterward, or even the next day. Back pain can make it hard to sleep, walk, work, or sit at a desk, and it will definitely make you never want to run again. Here are some tips to help prevent back pain while running:

  • Check your posture. Make sure your shoulders aren't way forward over your toes, or way back past your heels. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips, which will help prevent back pain, and will also ensure that your lungs can expand and contract fully without any restriction. If you're not sure if you have correct running posture, have someone watch you or videotape you while you run.
  • Running on completely unforgiving concrete sidewalks can certainly hurt your body. Avoid the sidewalk and opt for the dirt roads, a track, or asphalt instead.

To find out what else will help,


  • Your sneakers should be fairly new and should offer you the specific support your feet need. Talking with someone at a sneaker or running store will help you find the right type of sneaks.
  • Ease into running. No one said you had to power through a 60-minute run on your first try. You'll need to train your muscles first, so start off doing intervals. Run five minutes, then walk for one minute. As your body feels stronger, you can build up to running for longer periods of time.
  • Stretching is a must, so spend extra time focusing on your hips, hamstrings, and lower back. Try these five stretches to prevent pain.
  • If your muscles feel tight, take a warm shower to relieve muscular tension.


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