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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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bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
Running just is not for me - I'm afraid that even with the strongest sports bra, I'd still black both my eyes! I've tried it on several occasions, but I end up looking ridiculous and holding my chest... so I walk. If I want to do something fast, I skate or swim. Simple as that!
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
i'm going to be a runsnob right now. i LOVE LOVE when people come to the track all decked out in new nike running gear, flashy ipod armbands and too-new-sneaks and then run like Gollum from Lord of the Rings after 1 lap (armband flopping, hair in face, blistered feet from wrong running shoe). You're not fooling anybody! Then they call it quits and inevitably give up and claim they 'hate' running. Start small be modest! Work your OWN pace...
lawchick lawchick 8 years
I have scoliosis and one of my hips is about 1/2 inch higher than the other as a result. Walking/running is ok as long as I have a "lift" in the shoe housing the slightly shorter leg. So weird that 1/2 inch can feel so cripplingly painful
WorldTrekker WorldTrekker 8 years
Running makes my hips ache. The actual joint. If I could fix that little issue - I'd definitely run more.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
now i don't like to run simply because i am not very thin, rather i am heavy or muscular for my size, and i want to save my knees. but i hear walking or power walking is actually good for the core.. abs and lower back. maybe one should looking to the benefits of power walking if that can be an option instead of running. and of course the surface you run on makes a difference, and your shoes :)
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