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Why Does My Back Hurt After Running?

author image Cree Dalene
Cree Dalene began writing in 2004 as a student at Eastern Arizona College. He specializes in writing about personal fitness, martial arts, outdoor adventure and camping. Dalene is pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in computer science through the Marine Corps Distance Learning Program.
Why Does My Back Hurt After Running?
Correct posture can aid in preventing some forms of back pain. Photo Credit side view of runner image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com

When you run, you place incredible amounts of strain on your lower back by the constant jarring of your feet against the ground. Several factors cause you lower back pain, including skeletal malformation, core strength and footwear. Back pain sometimes signifies a serious problem, and you should seek the advice of a trusted medical professional if you experience severe pain.

Skeletal Malformation

Something as simple as having a short big toe or flat feet can create issues by taking away your body’s natural ability to absorb shock through the arch of your foot. These problems instigate extreme foot pronation, which can create deformities like shortening a leg or causing it to rotate inwards. The imbalance created by this malformation will bring about severe pain in your lower back by causing your pelvis to slant, leaving your spine curved awkwardly. A quick visit to your doctor can determine whether or not skeletal malformation causes your lower back pain.

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Core Stength

Another common cause of lower back pain originates from not developing your core strength sufficiently to support your back while running. Running, without supplemental core strength-building exercises, develops your muscles unevenly. When you consider how running tenses up your hamstrings as well, the combination results in back pain. Finding a workout that builds your core strength provides immediate relief for many people.


The sciatic nerve runs from the end of your spine to your feet and will cause pain in your lower back when pinched. A titled pelvis, pressure on a disk or even a degenerated disk pinches your sciatic nerve. This severe annoyance requires medical diagnosis and treatment to repair the root of your sciatica. In some cases, a muscle spasm pinches the sciatic nerve, and your doctor will simply tell you to stop running until the muscle stops flaring up.


Surprisingly few new runners take a look at their footwear when they experience lower back pain. When you begin running, spend time looking at what socks fit your foot best, which pair of shoes supports your foot best and even whether or not you need additional support from an insole specifically designed for you. Changing your footwear can alleviate several types of back pain.


Your posture both while running and during your downtime affects your lower back. If you examine the world’s top performers, you can see that they carry themselves in the same posture whether running or standing still. Over time, keeping your shoulders rounded and your head slumped forward will slant your pelvis, creating chronic lower back pain . Proper posture includes having your shoulders back and down, and your ears aligned with your shoulders, which alleviates the pressure of having your spine curve to match your “irregular” posture.

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