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 it’s more like 80 or 90 percent among runners. 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 core, it doesn’t help the lower back. This will cause a vertebral misalignment that will increase the possibility that runners will eventually end up with back pain or herniated discs.

The answer here is yes and no. Running even after your herniated disc or sciatica has healed is still a tricky deal. You must create a safe regimen with your chiropractor and know the signs that your spine is unhappy about running again. 

You will need to become flexible and more robust. You must have healthy, balanced muscles and a properly aligned spine and incorporate strength training into your exercise routine.

It will help your chiropractor if you can set up a camera to record you on a treadmill. Start walking for about 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 an evaluation. Be sure that the camera records all of you, head to toe.

The chiropractor will use this video to check your gait. They will recommend specific changes in how you hold your body, head, or feet to reduce the impact on your spine.

Worst Case Scenario

While your chiropractor can help relieve you of sciatica or lower back pain, in a few cases, the damage from a herniated disc and/or other injuries is just too severe for you to return to running or at marathons and 10Ks. There are long-term effects of a herniated disc in the neck, and you should speak to your chiropractor about what this means for you.

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 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 need to refocus your efforts and propel yourself into a different type of exercise that you can do.

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 severe issues, such as tumors, infection of the spine, and others, but those are relatively rare.

Back pain is usually 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 worsen your sciatica until you address the problem causing sciatica with your chiropractor.

Chiropractic Care

Comprehensive chiropractic care plays a vital role in allowing the disc and muscle tissue to heal as much as possible and put the spine back into the proper position while allowing you to remain as pain-free as possible.

Each person is different, and that’s why we take all of these things into consideration. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, we also employ the Alaska 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 circumstance, the chiropractor might recommend:

  • The DRS System (an axial and spinal decompression device)
  • Ultrasound
  • Low-Level Lasers
  • Chiropractic Massage

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.

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 three 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 toward healing.