Why Does My Back Hurt After Running?

Aches and pains are sometimes associated with exercises such as running, usually in the form of the “burn” you feel as your muscles are worked heavily. While these pains are often part of the muscle development process, other pains such as the back pain that you might feel after running are not. Lower back pain is the most common cause of unwanted pain for runners, and there are several potential causes that may contribute to the problem.

Back Pain

Runners can experience either upper back pain or lower back pain after a run, though lower back pain is much more common. Upper back pain is usually attributed to strained shoulder muscles or spinal curvature due to poor posture; in most cases this can be prevented by correcting your running posture and keeping your shoulders low while you run. Lower back pain is often harder to prevent because there are more potential causes for the pain.

Muscle Strain

Straining the muscles of the lower back is a leading cause of back pain. This strain can occur in a number of ways, including using a poor running posture and trying to “push” yourself forward while running. Muscle spasms due to dehydration and pulled muscles that occur while running also lead to muscle strain; weak abdominal muscles are more likely to spasm or become strained than well-developed muscles, and tight hamstrings can increase the likelihood of muscle strain in the lower back as well. Muscle strain in the lower back is recognizable due to the fact that it is a localized pain that doesn’t radiate into the hips, legs or other parts of the body.

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