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Running/back pain.

(11 Posts)
CalamityKate Wed 01-Jun-11 12:34:20

I am so, so fed up sad

Started the C25K and even got as far as running for 35 minutes.

I've had a bad back, on and off, for years. Nothing specific I don't think - just a general weakness caused by a) Mucking out horses/humping hay bales for years and b) I spent 10 years working in a factory, standing in one place on concrete all day. It was in that job that my back was at its worst.

Anyway, during the C25K I was thrilled because my back was better than it had been for YEARS. Seriously. I was also more supple, due to the stretching after runs.

Then I leaned down one day to put my socks on and TWANG - my back "went". I can now hardly move. Dosing myself up with painkillers enables me to shuffle about, just - but it's so painful.

I could cry. I loved running. It's the only exercise I've ever enjoyed and the sense of achievement was huge. Of course it's out of the window for the time being.

Is it possible that the running caused the bad back, even though initially it seemed to help so much?

My knees have been tender, on and off, too, although getting my gait analysed and buying new trainers helped.

I'm starting to think that my body just isn't meant to run sad

I'm going to the doc tomorrow and hoping he'll send me to a physio or something.

Anyone else had experience of bad back/running? Is it possible I can get past this? I was so happy and feeling so good, and now I'm just really pissed off.

melliebobs Wed 01-Jun-11 15:16:20

the most important thing when taking up a running regime is to do a really god core workout a couple of days a week. Them core muscles are almost, if not more important than the legs! Doing that could help with your back to a point

Butterbur Thu 02-Jun-11 16:49:06

You said your back was better than it had been for years, so the back pain is probably just one of those annoying things. It sounds like a pulled muscle, with the "twang", and those can happen to anyone. Do you stretch your lower back before/after a run?

I think anyone who does sport regularly gets used to the occasional injury, and resting, or training round it, so don't give up if you're enjoying it.

CalamityKate Fri 03-Jun-11 00:45:58

Thanks for the replies smile

Yes, I was stretching after runs - I was more flexible than I had been for years, too. But I think I may have overdone it. In fact thinking back, a couple of days before it "went", I'd stretched first thing in the morning, and I really think that was a bad idea - stretching "cold", before my muscles had warmed up during the course of the day.

Went to the GP today and got some anti-spasmodics and stronger painkillers. Hopefully they'll sort me out.

Butterbur Fri 03-Jun-11 09:13:29

NEVER stretch cold. It's a recipe for disaster.

Also your flexibility is least first thing in the morning, so if you are trying to reach positions you find easy later on in the day, you could easily overdo it.

You should warm up quite gently, do some light stretches, especially of muscles used in in your run, do your run, and then if you want to improve your flexibility, do a harder stretch after your run (or other exercise).

Clure Sun 05-Jun-11 16:25:02

Calamitykate I am a regular runner who has suffered back pain sporadically over time. Well to be more precise I have a mis-aligned pelvis which causes lower back pain.
I make sure I do core strengthening exercises at the gym (gymball, plank, also did a bit of pilates) I used to do Ieyangar yoga a good few years ago and I can recommend that to help strengthen a whole range of muscle groups.
Periodically my knee goes which I think is also linked to my pelvic problem.
I visit a chiropractor when my pelvic/back "goes" I put on ice pack, I'm chomping at the bit to get back running and really have to have a word with myself to rest whilst it heals. My chiro told me to rest for a week after initial treatment then try gentle short run but really have to listen to your body.
Good idea getting your gait analysed and the correct running shoe - SO important!
You will get back to your running, just take it easy listen to your body and listen to any medical advise you are given, good luck

CalamityKate Sun 05-Jun-11 17:43:55

Thank you Clure - that gives me hope!

Re: core strengthening exercises - ab exercises like crunches/sit ups terrify me, because they involve precisely the sort of movement that, if done upright, make my back "go".

You mention "plank" exercises - is that when you're in a sort of pressup position?

Clure Sun 05-Jun-11 22:28:44

yes but you can do a plank position which you can be on your fore arms and knees which i think puts less pressure on lower back.
Before doing any abs like crunches/sit ups I'd check with a qualified instructor as doing it incorrectly might cause you trouble. Also there may be some exercises which may not be suitable for your dodgy back. When I did my knee after my first half marathon I went to sports physio and they were great, they gave lots of strengthening exercises for lower abs which would help support my pelvis and in return strengthen the muscles down the side of thigh giving knee extra support.

CalamityKate Mon 06-Jun-11 14:49:24

A few years ago I had one of those "Ab Rollers" - like a wheel with a handle either side and you start off on your knees, then roll it forward so your back is straight, then roll it back again. That seemed to strengthen my back. I might have to get another of those. Any sort of exercise that involves leaning forward with a curved back (touching toes, crunches etc) seem to aggravate it and I have to admit I'm TERRIFIED right now of trying any sort of stretching/strengthening moves for fear of it going again.

I did ask the GP about physio, but she said not yet - to try the analgesic route first. That seems silly to me; yes the pills will take the pain/inflammation away, but unless I know exactly how to strengthen it, it's just going to happen again and again, isn't it?!

Doc said "Right, stand up and lean forward as far as you can without it hurting"

Me: "But that will MAKE it hurt, and I won't be able to move at all for a few days. That's what happens"

Doc: "Yes but I need to see how far you can lean forward without it hurting"

Me: "Yes. But. Doing that will set it off again and I WON'T BE ABLE TO MOVE".


Clure Tue 07-Jun-11 19:55:35

mmmm, like you I'm a bit dubious about that conversation! As GP's skills are rather general I'd be inclined to visit a recommende chiropractor. Also with you on getting to the route of the cause rather than masking pain with meds. Go easy on yourself!

topsi Wed 15-Jun-11 07:59:25

this has just happened to me too. I have a history of having a bad back but like you I have had no problems for a couple of years now. I have been running for a few months and slowly building up my distance. Then the other day without any warning it went! OUCH!! Now like you I am gagging to run so I don't loose my fitness but am trying to be sensible and rest it for a week.

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