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3045 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2010 8:14 AM by Moriates
Tommy181 Rookie 1 posts since
Oct 7, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 7, 2009 11:32 AM

Help with identifying back pain!

So my chiro is worthless.  Here's my story, if anyone has experienced this and remedied it, let me know:


Started running 2 years ago.  Was pathetic at first, but ran a few good programs, and earlier this year was able to run 10 miles at 9m pace.  Now, I also lift weights (not that I think that matters but anyway).  I took a month off of running, and then casually went back to running shorter distances (avg 3 - 4 miles per run).  All of a sudden, my upper butt region and lower back would tighten up so much (almost spasm) that I couldnt even run anymore.  Was like my whole body was just not working anymore.  Thought it was a fluke, but happened again and again and again.  What was odd though, it was always about 15 minutes, or approx 2 miles into my run.  In the beginning I was fine, but then it would just tighten and spazz out.


I now run shorter distances, a mile, then walk for a bit, a mile then walk for a bit and Im able to hold off the 'spasm' till I get about 30 - 35 minutes in.


I have flat feet (use good arch support Asics shoes) and am a heel striker (pretty agressive).


If anyone can point me in a direction so that I can get back to longer distance running, Id be most appreciative!

  • PhysioAdvisor Expert 36 posts since
    Aug 27, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 7, 2009 3:41 PM (in response to Tommy181)
    Re: Help with identifying back pain!

    Hi Tommy 181,


    I would strongly recommend seeing a physiotherapist for accurate diagnosis and treatment.


    There are a number of potential causes of your symptoms. Some of the more common ones include:


    Lumbar Disc Bulge

    Facet Joint Sprain


    Check out the above links for detailed information on these conditions.


    You may also be interested in checking out the return to running program which may be useful down the track when you are further recovering from your injury:


    Return to running


    Hope that helps and good luck with your recovery,




  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,293 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 7, 2009 9:13 PM (in response to Tommy181)
    Re: Help with identifying back pain!

    Everything matters, Tommy.


    I lifted for about a year while I was running but decided to abandon it in favor of running, which tends to shift growth from upper to lower body anyway. While some people are out there running with herniated disks, it sure helps to have a healthy spine, and lifting can be risky in that department. Heel striking doesn't help, either.


    Physio's advice about disk and joint health is important but I assume your chiro looked into those things, since that is their specialty. X-rays were no doubt part of the work-up, which is standard chiro procedure. If not, you're probably right about "worthless."


    You mentioned the 1-month layoff followed by 3&4 milers, which I assume were run at a brisker pace than your longer mileage might have been. Regardless, the extended time off has an impact on muscle tone, which can lead to issues with posture and running form (something your chiro may have lectured you about). Whether or not you were still lifting during this time, but especially if you were, there may have been some subtle changes that were not evident until they were aggravated by the constant jostling of running. Sometimes, muscle damage is slight enough to remain hidden until the muscle is overworked.


    By all means, explore the most critical joint and disk related issues thoroughly, then look into active and latent myofascial trigger points in the muscles of your legs, which can radiate pain throughout the areas you describe, including the lower back.


    Read more here:


    Some areas to check:  (dark X shows spot associated with lower back pain, in muscle taxed by running)

  • stayfitbug Amateur 11 posts since
    Jul 20, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 8, 2009 4:00 AM (in response to Tommy181)
    Re: Help with identifying back pain!
    After you have seen a doctor, consider taking up yoga. the exercises involved in that will do wonders for your back

    Fitness and workout tips from experience, not textbook facts

  • MyBackStory Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 11, 2010 8:01 AM (in response to Tommy181)
    Re: Help with identifying back pain!

    No sure if this sounds similar to what I get from time to time. Have you tried stretching the glutes?


    I know this post is a little late, but if you have already solved this, I would be interested in knowing what you did?



    Helping Back Pain Sufferers - By A Former Back Pain Sufferer

  • Moriates Legend 292 posts since
    Jul 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Aug 11, 2010 8:14 AM (in response to Tommy181)
    Re: Help with identifying back pain!

    Looks like you need anything doctor.  Maybe a ART therapist that can do some trigger release on the area.



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