If you are a runner who experiences back pain, this is what you should do. Researchers at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University examined what can cause chronic back pain in runners and exercises to help prevent it. One study suggests that runners with weak deep muscles have a higher risk of developing low back pain. And, unfortunately, most of the deep muscles of people are not as strong as they should be.
To examine the role of the deep and shallow core muscles, the researchers used motion detection technology and ground plates to measure strength to estimate muscle movements during activity. “We measured the dimensions of corridor bodies and how they moved to create a computer model that is specific to that person, which allows us to examine how all the bones move and how much pressure is applied to each joint,” said Ajit Chaudhari. , lead author of the study.
“Then we can use that simulation to ‘turn off’ virtually certain muscles and observe how the rest of the body compensates for them.” What they found is that the weak deep muscles force the most superficial muscles, such as the abdominal muscles, to work harder and reach fatigue faster. When those superficial muscles are doing the work that the deep core should be doing, there are often painful consequences. “When your deep core is weak, your body can compensate in a way that essentially allows you to run in the same way,” Chaudhari said. “But that increases the load on the spine in a way that can cause lower back pain.”
Experts say it’s common for even well-trained athletes to neglect their deep core, and there’s a lot of disinformation online and in fitness magazines about core strength. Traditional abdominal exercises with a variety of movements, such as sit-ups or back extensions, will not give you the strong core needed to be a better runner. Instead, Chaudhari says that exercises like planks that focus on stabilizing the core, especially on unstable surfaces, are what will really make you a better runner.
“Working in a six-pack and trying to be a better runner is definitely not the same, if you look at the big runners, they do not normally have a six pack, but their muscles are very fit,” Chaudhari said. “Static exercises that force you to shoot your core and keep your body in place are what will really make you a better runner.” The findings have been published in the Journal of Biomechanics.