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[icon] So I ran again tonight - Patti
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Subject:So I ran again tonight
Time:12:25 am
Sunday night I hit the recumbent bike. I decided that I really didn't like it, and my back was feeling mostly better tonight, so I decided to run.

However, it's a little more complex than that. I did some reading about running and lower back pain. Possible causes are overpronation (rolling your feet in) and running up hills, among other things. It seemed to me that I might be overpronating a bit, so I grabbed a pair of mildly arch-supporting insoles from another set of shoes and stuck them in my running shoes. I also set the treadmill to an elevation of -.5 rather than 0, since I think 0 is actually a slight uphill tilt. Finally, I tried to pay attention to how my feet landed while I ran.

Verdict: I dunno. My back didn't feel sore when I got off the treadmill. It did a little while I stretched, and it felt pretty sore in the locker room. I drove home and then spent about ten minutes cleaning out the trunk of my car, which involved lots of bending over, and my back felt fine. I came upstairs and sat down at the computer and felt fine, but then I sneezed and that hurt like crazy. Now I feel not-too-bad again.

I should probably go get fitted for new running shoes. Or perhaps I should try running with lumbar support. Or... who knows? Maybe I should just revisit the punch line to, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."

I'm taking my running stuff to Vegas but I may focus on core strengthening exercises while I'm there rather than running.
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slowjoe
Subject:Obv not medical advice...
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 08:45 am (UTC)
I get lower back tightness/spasms during exercise as well. It isn't clear from the (lack of...) description of the symptoms whether you have the same thing, but it sounds similar. Do you have an area of muscle that feels "pumped up solid" at the top of the butt?

If you have, lying on a foam roller hurts like crazy, but relieves things in about thirty seconds.

Also, you might try 3-5 minutes of pilates-light. I'm thinking about two types of exercise: lying on your back on a hard surface with you back slightly curved (so you can feel space between lumbar spine and floor with you fingers, which is referred to as a neutral spine) and lift and replace each leg (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-2nTyxdKA4 starting at 2:20).
If you can't maintain a neutral spine, stop.

The other is support yourself on your hands and knees, again with a neutral spine, and raise each leg in turn behind you, concentrating on minimising body movement. I tried to find a video of this, but failed.

A third thing you might to is to add a quad stretch before your running begins. The theory is that the front of the is the partner of the lower back in moving the leg. If the quad is tight, you lower back needs to do extra work. An example is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I8OGu-0LFs.

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whipartist
Subject:Re: Obv not medical advice...
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 08:54 am (UTC)
Thanks!

It's almost certainly muscular. The muscle doesn't feel like it's super tight or spasming, though. Laying in bed with my knees bent and a heating pad under my lower back helps a fair bit. In fact, that's what I'm doing right now.

I know the raising-the-leg-behind exercise that you're talking about. I learned to do it by raising the right and and the left leg, then alternating.

Quads are one of the stretches that I've been neglecting. That may well be a contributing factor.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 04:14 pm (UTC)
Barefoot running may be the answer too (or "Pose" running). The basic theory with each is that by having heavily padded shoes with an elevated heel is that you end up "heel striking", i.e. hitting the ground with your heel first. That sends a lot of shock up your legs into your joints and back. If you land on the forefoot, the muscles and ligaments provide significant shock absorption.

If you do go to minimalist running shoes, go *slowly* or your feet and calves will get extremely upset with you.

I did the VibramVibram Five Fingers</a> for a while and did like it, except I had a lot of blister problems that I never really resolved and have lately gone back to my regular running shoes. I may try some of the Merrell barefoot shoes at some point.

Edited at 2011-06-22 04:15 pm (UTC)
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 04:49 pm (UTC)
One of the things that I did last night was to pay attention to how my feet were landing. I tried not to influence, just to observe. I'm definitely hitting the ground with the middle and front of my foot, and not with the heel.

I remember running barefoot one day on the treadmill at home. I also remember that it felt like a really bad idea to me, though I don't quite remember why.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 05:40 pm (UTC)
I remember running barefoot one day on the treadmill at home. I also remember that it felt like a really bad idea to me, though I don't quite remember why.

My take would be heat from the belt, as well as the potential for rug burn if you miss a step.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 07:48 pm (UTC)
Nah. I think it felt much more jarring to me or something. It's been a while.

(There was also the day that I decided to run, and didn't bother putting on clothes at all. I don't really want to think about the magnitude of *that* error.)
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 08:52 pm (UTC)
If it was jarring, then I'd posit that maybe you aren't as much of a mid-foot striker as you think.

As for running with no clothes, I don't have a treadmill at home, and I suspect they have sort of rules against that in the gym here at work. Might be fun to try sometime, however.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 09:37 pm (UTC)
It was also when I very first started trying to run.

And let's just say that I do not ever want to run braless again. Ever ever ever ever ever. Ever. Ever!
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bldrnrpdx
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-22 10:28 pm (UTC)
"Um, ma'am? Could you explain to me one more time how you got that eye injury?"
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-23 05:23 am (UTC)
Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds are the stars of the movie version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

There's a scene where they're laying out under the stars, talking about what might have been. She says that she always wanted to be a ballerina, but her mother wouldn't let her. I'm doing this from memory:

"You should do that now."

"What are you talking about?"

"Just get up there now and start twirling and jumping like a ballerina."

"Sheeeeiiiit. I'd black both my eyes."

Oh, heck. It starts at 7:35 in this video.
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essaying
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-06-23 09:31 pm (UTC)
A sacroiliac belt costs a few bucks and I find it helps a lot with low back pain pursuant to too much standing or walking. It fastens with velcro and you just put it somewhere between your waist and your buttcrack, depending on what hurts - I often wind up putting mine a few different places as one area begins to loosen up and my attention turns to the next one.
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[icon] So I ran again tonight - Patti
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