Jogging is one of the most common forms of exercise on the planet. People can do it the moment they learn to run and most continue jogging long into their golden years. While jogging is great for staying fit and keeping your cardio in check, it can also cause a number of issues with your back. If you’re worried that your favorite pastime is starting to become a problem, here are some easy ways to address it.
Start with the Right Shoes
Without the right shoes, your jogging routine is going to be torture on your entire body, even if you can’t feel it right away. The correct shoes should generally lack an added heel as this puts unnecessary stress on your spine by unnaturally forcing your body forward.
Always choose running shoes for jogging. Cross-training shoes or those for other sports aren’t doing you any favors. When you’re wearing the shoes, there should be a thumb-width of space between the longest toe on your foot and the front of the shoe. This way, you have enough wiggle room for each footfall. Lastly, be sure to replace your jogging shoes once a year. They may not look like they need it, but minor wear and tear—especially the kind you can’t see—is a potential risk to your back’s health.
Address Your Arches
The arch of your foot is extremely important to the way it functions. As such, if you’re trying to run on high or low arches, each step is punishing your spine. Fortunately, you can easily address this by purchasing arch supports. High arch supports will provide you with greater cushion across the sole of your shoe and prevent injuries like fallen arches. If you have low arches, a motion-control shoe is a great way to prevent your arches from being too flexible and hurting your lower back.
Stretch Your Hamstrings Daily
Not only should you stretch your hamstrings every day, you should be stretching them at least two or three times. While most associate hamstrings with the legs, keep in mind that this muscle also connects to your buttocks and lower back. When your hamstrings get tight, they often take it out on these two areas, with the lower back getting the worst of it.
Try pulling your knee to your chest three times a day. Another good stretch is to lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise one leg and grab it behind the thigh. Straighten your left leg so it lies flat against the floor. Then try straightening your right leg as much as you can. This one should also be done three times a day.
Always Jog on Soft Surfaces
If you like jogging around the neighborhood or on paths in the park, you’re probably running on concrete. A rubber track, grass or some other soft surface would be much better, though. Every time you land on a hard surface, shockwaves travel through your spine, which is far from ideal.
Those who are already dealing with back pain because of running should come see us at Advanced Chiropractic and Holistic Wellness Center. Call 702-597-1181 today to schedule an appointment and we’ll get you back to running pain-free in no time.