January 14, 2009

Back Pain

Seriously people: no pain no gain? After a quick Wikipedia search, I learned we can thank Jane Fonda and her exercise videos for that phrase. Even though it should be as outdated as the big hair and spandex of the 1980s, I still hear this phrase at least once per week. Simply put, pain indicates dysfunction—your muscles aren’t working right.

I hear so many people say they just “work through the pain.” If you’re running and begin to experience knee pain after the first few minutes, do you stop? Or, do you just work through it, and figure it will go away?

Even if your knee stops hurting, does the problem really go away? In a word: no.

You may think you can alleviate knee pain by adjusting your stride, but it’s likely that your body just compensates for the muscular instability causing the discomfort. The human body is incredibly smart, and will do whatever it takes to get from point A to B. So, other muscles that are firing properly will pick up the slack for those that aren’t working as well.

Let’s say, for example, you use 20 muscles to run on the treadmill (which really isn’t even close). Don’t you want all 20 muscles working properly? I sure would. Could you run with only 15 muscles firing? Sure, but you might have a little hitch in your giddy up. 10 muscles? You could give it a try. Five? You might be safer staying home on the couch.

Have you experienced pain while running—such as plantar fasciitis, low- back pain or knee pain—and wondered what was really going on? Shoot me an e-mail and maybe I can offer up some thoughts.

Remember, the best way to prevent pain and injury while exercising is to make sure your muscles work properly.

2 Responses to “Back Pain”

  1. Kristina says:

    Hey thanks for the email letting me know about MAT. I am responding to the pain in the back when running.

    I have jus started running on the treadmil as well as outside. It is weird that my lower back will hurt for days after I run on the treadmil.

    I thought it was just the way I ran, but reading your blog, maybe it isnt.

    What do you think?

  2. Luke says:

    Hey Kristina,

    Thanks for the comments, and I have a feeling a lot of people are experiencing the same thing. First off, pain should not be a result of exercise. It’s one thing to feel like your muscles got a workout, but when you’re muscles ache the next day, there could be some imbalances going on. Let’s have you come in for a demo and we can chat more about it.

Your thoughts?