How Do I Make Running Hurt Less?

You may remember that I’ve had some trouble with my lower back over the years. I had a lumbar steroid injection at one point a couple of years ago to try to reduce the pain and inflammation. Well, over this last summer I’d been enjoying a remarkable lack of pain, which has now ended. Right about when I started running again.

Running is my favorite form of exercise, but it appears now that it may be something I need to either stop doing, or find a way to modify how I do it to make it lower impact. I’m not sure how to do that other than to maybe find a dirt trail I can run on, which makes doing it less appealing as I’d need to drive somewhere before I could even begin.

Today my Amazing Husband and I went for a bike ride instead. I don’t feel like I get the same level of exertion from riding a bike (that whole sitting down thing) but it’s certainly better than no exercise. I’m sad if this is the end for running and me, but I want to try a few different things before I give it up.

I’m open to suggestions on how to modify my running to be easier on my back. I’m not looking for suggestions of other forms of exercise to do – I’m well aware of the possibilities, I want to explore making running work again if I possibly can.

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9 Responses to “How Do I Make Running Hurt Less?”

  1. snapshotstacy Says:

    Maybe modify your strike? Robert runs in those 5-finger shoes, and he strikes at the ball of his feet now. It’s supposed to be a more “natural” run style. It took him a while to build up to it (take it slow, or you’ll get horrific calf cramps), but he loves it now.
    I’m still a mostly heel striker – I just can’t seem to get the hang of my 5-fingers, so I’m still running in my “running” shoes. 🙂

  2. tabellion Says:

    It sounds like it might be worth your time/money to go to a running clinic affiliated with a good local hospital. They’ll do a complete analysis of your running (impact, gait, etc.) and the orthopedists and physical therapists can make recommendations customized for you. It’s usually 200-300 bucks for the initial analysis and office visit. Not cheap, but if it means you can keep running… Good luck and don’t give up!

  3. Shonnie Says:

    Use your bike to ride somewhere soft. Have you ever been fitted for your shoes??

  4. Shonnie Says:

    BTW — sorry your favorite sport hurts so bad. I had to quit kayaking for a while, because my shoulders malfunctioned. Hope you find a solution. Mine will be surgery.

  5. T. Says:

    I have no solution suggestions for you, I just want to share my story. I’ve loved aqua jogging and water aerobics since college. They are the gentlest activity for the body. Two summers ago I convinced my partner to go to a water boot camp class with me. We loved it. It was a fantastic way to start the day together. Also I get silly and have so much fun in the pool. A few weeks in to the class I started having rashes, which I attributed to the chlorine. I made some changes as to when I washed my suits, etc but nothing stopped the rashes. Fast forward and I’ve been diagnosed with Lupus. I am extremely photosensitive so the water reflecting in the pool triggers Lupus flashes. In a flash, pun intended, I lost my absolute most favorite exercise in the world.

    It took me a year to recover from the emotional impact. I am now back on plan and walking on the treadmill and riding a bike. In the last 80 days I braved one pool exercise. I am still dealing with the repercussions of that a month and a half later.

    I am beginning to accept that I will never again be able to be in the pool for exercise.

    I get angry about it. Sometimes I cry about it. But its not stopping me from working towards my goal. Sorry this got long but I just want to say that it sucks but can be overcome.

  6. Karen P Says:

    Galloway method- run walk, Chi- running… Listen to your body- you are young, you’ll need your body to function AND the chronic inflammation will effect you. Honor that. As a former runner, I get the missing the endorphins and missing your running friends. I get it . I could see family members who gave it up due to 100% needing knee replacements in the future. I could see myself falling into that pattern, so I stopped. Good luck. I maintain my weight loss well walking with out any injuries or chronic inflammation. Do you feel like you HAVE to run to maintain your loss?

  7. woodlandwhimsy Says:

    I can not run in the wild. I never know when one of my knees will decide it doesn’t want to work. I have to run on a treadmill. I know it is not ideal, but the one I run on has an air cushion that reduces the shock of running. It helps a lot. It is also good to be able to stop when my body says no and I am not a couple of miles away from home.


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