If you live to run and run to live, you might think that your running days are over if you’ve discovered that you have one or more herniated discs. Or you might be one of the many people who ask if they should run with sciatic nerve pain.
Approximately 80 percent of the general population will experience back pain at one time or another, but among runners, it’s more like 80 or 90 percent. Why is that? This is because running puts a huge amount of stress on the spine, not to mention four times the body weight on each leg. While running will strengthen the lower back, it doesn’t help those abs. This will cause a vertebral misalignment that will increase the possibility that runners will eventually end up with back pain or herniated discs.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
There are many causes of low back pain, everything from kidney stones to degenerative arthritis, muscle imbalances, and subluxations. There are more serious issues, such as tumors, infection of the spine and others, but those are fairly rare.
Most of the time, back pain is due to strains, sprains, subluxations, and bulging or herniated discs. Sciatica is another source of pain, but sciatica is usually felt as a pain lower down on one side of the buttocks and down the back of the leg, not necessarily across the lower back or near the tailbone.
Sciatica is sometimes caused by a herniated disc, however. While most people will feel this pain on one side, it is not unheard of to feel pain radiating down the back of both legs. You might have wondered if running is good for sciatica. Unfortunately, running will only make your sciatica worse until you address the problem causing the sciatica with your chiropractor.
Comprehensive chiropractic care plays a vital role in allowing the disc and muscle tissue to heal as much as possible, put the spine back into the proper position, while allowing you to remain as pain free as possible.
Each person is different, and here at Better Health, we take all of these things into consideration. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, we also employ the Back Pain Protocol. This exclusive treatment combination has helped thousands of people with herniated discs just like yours, get back on their feet again fast.
Depending on your individual circumstance, the chiropractor might recommend:
- The DRS System (an axial and spinal decompression device)
- Low Level Lasers
- Chiropractic Massage
That’s Great, but Can I Run?
The answer here is yes and no. Running even after your back has healed is still a tricky deal. You will need to create a safe regimen with your chiropractor and know the signs that your body (spine) is not happy about running again.
You will need to become both flexible and stronger. Having healthy, balanced muscles, a spine that is properly aligned, and incorporate strength training into your exercise routine.
It will help your chiropractor if you can set up a camera that will record you on a treadmill. Start off walking for abut 20 seconds, then run/jog at an easy pace for 1 minute, then run as you normally would. Bring this clip to your chiropractor for evaluation. Be sure that the camera records all of you, head to toes.
The chiropractor will use this video to check your gait. They will recommend certain changes in how you hold your body, head, or feet to reduce the impact on your spine.
Prioritize Your Goals
If you really love to run, chances are that you have a marathon or 10K planned for the near future. Don’t be disappointed if your chiropractor says that you aren’t ready. This doesn’t mean that you will never run a marathon again, just not that one right now.
It is far better for you to focus your energy on healing and improving your strength and flexibility so you can enter those marathons in the future.
Worst Case Scenario
While your chiropractor can help relieve you of sciatica or low back pain, in a few cases, the damage from a herniated disc and/or other injuries are just too severe for you to return to running or at marathons and 10Ks.
Chances are, however, that you can still do other types of running or exercise. You might still be able to run/walk, or run for shorter periods like a 5K, or you might find that you are really falling in love with swimming or you could plan on being the winning biker rider on the Tour de France. Not being able to run doesn’t mean you are unable to do any type of exercise; it might be that you simply need to refocus your efforts and propel yourself into a different type of exercise that you can do.
If you are wondering if you will ever be able to run again or if you are in pain and you believe that you might have a herniated disc or sciatica, call us at Better Health today. We are outfitted with cutting edge technology that can make all the difference in your life.
We have four clinics to serve you, no matter where you live, and we are open late for your convenience. If you are having low back pain, neck pain, shoulder problems or sciatica, call us today for a same day appointment. If you prefer, you can make your appointment online by clicking here.
No one should have to live in pain. We understand how you feel, and our friendly staff and chiropractors are trained professionals who want to help. Don’t live with pain another day! Call us today and get yourself back on the road towards healing.
About the Author
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using services designed to help give long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.