Whether you’ve had a lumbar sprain, disc disorder, low back pain, or just plain old spinal pain, these ailments have a few things in common.
Although we sometimes use different terms, it is estimated that 85 to 90% of back problems are non-specific, meaning that there is no structure we can easily blame for the cause of the pain.
This is also true for medical imaging, as there is not always a strong correlation with how the pain presents.
The acute phase causes an important inflammation sequence, which often results in severe pain. You are probably also very limited in your movements and activities.
You sleep very poorly and it quickly becomes a vicious circle. Perhaps you are also worried or stressed about the situation?
The experience is usually unpleasant. You may have heard a lot of conflicting advice, so you are not sure what you should or should not do.
Although the pain can feel very alarming, back pain is rarely a cause for concern. In fact, less than 1% of back pain cases involve serious pathologies such as cancer or fractures.
Pain acts as a protective mechanism, much like those orange cones to warn you of upcoming roadwork. Pain also does not have a direct correlation with the severity of the injury. This means that more pain does not necessarily mean more damaged structures.
Are herniated discs and running related? What are the symptoms?
Running does not actually increase the risk factor for developing a herniated disc. In short, runners are not more at risk than other individuals.
A herniated disc is often the result of a sudden impact, a wrong movement or a prolonged load.
Pain is the main symptom of disc herniation. It is usually localized in the lower back, but can also radiate to the buttocks or leg. The pain can be accompanied by feelings of stiffness, tension or weakness.
Staying in a static position for long periods of time, whether sitting or standing, is often very painful and uncomfortable.
If you are suffering from an acute herniated disc, running is not recommended. On the other hand, complete rest of activities is not recommended either; the rest must be partial. Once the acute phase is over, you can gradually resume activities such as walking, at your own pace.
Alternate walking and running, stop if you feel pain, do not push.
Ask your healthcare professional for advice. He or she will be able to guide you back to your usual training routine.
Can I run with sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by impact or pressure on the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that starts in the buttocks. Sciatica is characterized by a sensation of radiating pain and numbness in the back of the leg.
During the acute phase of sciatica, it is strongly recommended to avoid running temporarily. For most people, the activity is irritating because of the repetition of the back/pelvis/hip movement. Often, when suffering from sciatica, walking alone is already complicated.
Partial rest should be the rule. Once the pain has subsided, you can gradually resume your activities, starting with walking. Then you can increase the load, and increase your stride to a running/walking interval.
If your symptoms resemble sciatica, make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists. He or she will be able to relieve your pain and help you return safely to your activities and to running.