The Connection Between Upper Back Pain & Running

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couple joggingLong-distance running and jogging is a great way to get exercise that strengthens your heart and improves your body’s endurance. Feeling a little muscle burn in your afterward isn’t uncommon, but some runners experience sharper and more significant upper back pain after a workout.

If you commonly experience upper back pain after a long run, then your posture may be to blame. Pain the upper and middle areas of the back after running long distance are commonly associated with slouching postures and can lead to the same sorts of back problems experienced by those who sit for long periods.

What Is the Connection?

Slouching is a common habit and condition among people, but it’s also related to host of back problems such as lower back pain. When you’re in a slouched position, your spine is flexed and over time this causes strain to the posterior muscles of the spine. This strain leads to injuries to your vertebral disks and ligaments which is the source of the back pain.

Poor posture can make long-distance runners more prone to injury and limit performance as well as cause back pain.

What Are the Risks?

The improper spinal positioning caused by slouching affects the muscles in your neck, back and shoulders. The muscle weakness and strain that poor posture puts on a body also leaves it more prone to injury. The stress long-distance running puts on your body as you pound out mile after mile compounds these problems created by poor posture.

Those who run short distances are not as prone to upper back pain from poor posture. Running long distances, particularly on a hard surface such as asphalt, tends to increase the strain caused by poor posture. Aside from upper back pain, this strain can also reduce the mobility of your ribs and spine and reduce your lung capacity.