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Local Researchers ID Common Cause Of Lower Back Pain In Runners

Jan 24, 2018

Researchers at Ohio State University have identified a common cause of lower back pain in runners and the exercises to help prevent it. 

Mike Foley has details.

The study suggests that runners with weak deep core muscles have a higher risk of developing low back pain. Researchers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center studied the muscles of runners with motion capture technology and force-measuring floor plates during activity. They found weak deep core muscles make more superficial muscles like the abs work harder and fatigue faster. Physical therapy and biomedical engineering associate professor Ajit Chaudhari led the study.

“Your body is able to compensate in a way that allows you to run essentially outwardly the same way so you may not even notice, but that’s likely to increase the loads on your spine in a way that may lead to lower back pain. Exercises that are really focused on stabilizing your core especially on unstable surfaces, that’s what’s really going to make you a better runner. That may be you’re standing on an unstable surface or you’re trying to do a side plank or you’re even just trying to stand still while tossing a medicine ball with somebody. Those are all exercises that emphasize that stabilization as opposed to moving through a large range of motion.”

The study is published in the Journal of Biomechanics.