Is Running Helping or Harming Your Back?

man in sweatshirt jogging on pathway outdoors. Pain specialists of Orange County for chronic back pain

Most people will experience back pain at some point in their life. In fact, Runners Connect estimates that 70% of the general public will experience it in their lives at some point. Sometimes the pain is more severe, while other times, it can be a subtle discomfort. Maintaining physical activity will help you keep your body in shape, but sometimes overworking your body can strain your muscles. To talk to the pain specialists of Orange County, reach out to OC Spine Centers today.

Whether you are or aren’t an athlete, you may be wondering if running is a good exercise for your back. The good news is, running can be healthy for your back and create more healthy spinal discs, the body part that absorbs shock and creates a cushion between the vertebrae.

Research Studies on Back Pain

In a recent study published by the Cleveland Health Clinic, researchers examined the backs of bother runners and those that rarely exercised. The researchers found that runners had spinal discs that were larger and constrained more fluid, which is a good thing! Discs pad the vertebrae and act as shock absorbers. While they deteriorate over time, this study indicated that runners will have a slower deterioration. Additionally, people who do not exercise at all run a greater risk of obesity, higher cholesterol, and other health complications.

According to an examination by T. Videman, runners actually had less back strain than weightlifters or those who lead sedentary lifestyles. This is not to say runners do not experience back pain, as of course, they do. It is always wise to have pain specialists of Orange County in your back pocket, just in case.

Preventing Back Pain


Stretching is a great way to prevent back pain. There are many stretches runners can and should do before and after they run, including planking and sitting down will touching each toe, one at a time. You may want to invest in a stability ball depending on the stretches you prefer. The glute bridge and locust pose do not require any equipment and will help stretch and strengthen your back. Visit to see some helpful back stretches


Yoga is a great option overall for those experience any sort of pain, or those looking to prevent future potential pain. Yoga is stretching practice that aims to keep the body in good condition through steady poses that stretch all parts of the body. The cobra pose specifically stretches your lower back, although many yoga poses, including downward dog, help to stretch your entire back.

Stay Active

Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will keep your body in shape and likely reduce back pain. However, it will benefit you in more ways than physical. Physical activity is known to decrease stress, increase cardiac health, and improve your ability to focus and well as uplift your mood. If you are new to exercise, do not overexert yourself as this can actually do more damage than good. Ease into working out by briskly walking, then jogging for 30 minutes, and work your way up to more extensive runs. Once you’ve developed a steady exercise schedule, do you best to maintain it to maximize the health benefits.

Consult Pain Specialists of Orange County

if you feel chronic back pain, or if the pain is severe. Sometimes pain cannot be cured with simple stretches and needs professional help. Fortunately, specialists such as OC Spine Centers that can help ease any pain. There are many innovative treatment options, many of which are minimally invasive and very successful among patients.

Make sure your physician is board-certified to ensure the utmost quality of care. From diagnosis to rehabilitation, OC Spine Centers can help give your life back by treating everything from arthritis to ruptured discs.