Many people choose to take up running as a form of exercise. It gives them the chance to stay active while exploring new places. While running is an extremely popular fitness choice, many people find that they suffer from lower back pain while doing so.
Even though many runners find themselves dealing with back pain, a new study out of Ohio State University says there may be an easy fix. According to Bel Marra Health, runners that have weak deep core muscles are at a higher risk of experiencing back pain. The researchers used motion detection technology and force-measuring floor plates to determine the findings.
Ajit Chaudhari, associate professor of physical therapy and biomedical engineering at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, led this specific study. He commented on the findings.
“We measured the dimensions of runners’ bodies and how they moved to create a computer model that’s specific to that person. That allows us to examine how every bone moves and how much pressure is put on each joint,” Chaudhari said.
The researchers were able to freeze the muscles in question and see what the rest of the body did to compensate. When the deep core muscles are suffering, the superficial muscles actually do the work for them. This allows for runners to continue running, but it also causes a lot of pain in the lower back.
About 69% of Americans say that lower back pain impacts their daily routines. If you are a runner, experts urge you to remember to not neglect your core muscles. Even professional runners are notorious for neglecting their core muscles. Keep in mind that doing exercises such as situps might not be enough to help any potential body pain. The researchers from this study suggest doing things that will allow for you to really utilize the core muscles. They say doing exercises like planks on uneven surfaces can really help to use the core muscles.
“Working on a six-pack and trying to become a better runner is definitely not the same thing. If you look at great runners, they don’t typically have a six-pack, but their muscles are very fit. Static exercises that force you to fire your core and hold your body in place are what’s really going to make you a better runner,” Chaudhari said.