Saturday, December 12, 2009

Low back pain while running..a real pain in the but. Part 2:

Refer to past column Low Back Pain while running..a real pain in the but. Part 1:

Inspired by my own past experience. 

So how do I fix this?

To help fix this problem you have to train yourself to achieve an efficient running style. You need to combine loosening your tight Psoas and activating your inhibited Glut Max.

1. The tight Psoas - There are multiple ways to loosen up a muscle before activity. People can use heat, massage, different soft tissue therapy techniques and stretching. Opinions on stretching differ significantly. Some say it''s beneficial and some say it isn't. The truth of the matter is there is no conclusive answer. However, if a muscle is relatively tight or leading to pain I recommend doing specific stretches before a run.

Stretches for the Psoas:

2. The inhibited Glut Max - Ever watch elite runners before a race. Often you can see runners pounding their fist against their Gluts. That's because their trying to wake their Glut Max up before attempting to use it. I know it seems weird but before your next run try hitting your Gluts with your fist to wake them up. This action can stimulate proprioceptive and biofeedback to the muscle.

One should also try incorporating basic Glut Max exercises into their training program as well. If too many of these exercises are done before running it may actually fatigue the Glut Max and exaggerate the problem. However, just a few simple repetitions to stimulate your Gluts should suffice.

Glut Max Exercises

3. Putting it all together - Before running try to emulate your running technique when warming up. Against a wall for balance, just try swinging your leg or performing kick backs as if you are running. You want to teach your back to stay neutral as all the movement is carried by your hips. Doing this before hand also allows you to gauge the flexibility in your hips and awareness of your Glut. If still not suffix try a few more stretches or exercises. For training purposes this can also be done with a resistance cord or ankle weights.

In summary, a few simple stretches and exercises before a run or race can help a lot. If your problem persists get it assessed by a trained professional. Dr. Wayne Button, BSc, D.C

Liebenson, C. (2009). Functional training of the gluteal muscles☆ Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 13 (2), 202-204 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2009.01.004


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