In addition to our regular Endurance Blog, which covers topics related to endurance coaching and nutrition, we will also be publishing Injurance Blog, which cover common injury topics for endurance athletes.
We work in conjunction with A6 Physiotherapy and Axis Podiatry who contribute their expert advice for each blog post. If you have any questions, post them on THE ENDURANCE STORE Facebook Page, where this blog in posted.
Back pain is perhaps he most common of all ailments that we see with endurance athletes. This week Sam and Dr Lindsay give us the low down on the things you can do to ease back pain.
The Podiatrist's View
From a podiatry perspective there is no definitive research into the area of back pain and foot orthoses. However this is my specialism, having researched this area extensively.
It is my opinion that there is indeed a place for orthotics in the management of back pain even if it is only in a very specific group of patients that suffer from the condition. For my PhD research I recruited subjects that had all tried and exhausted other forms of treatment, except foot orthoses.
I corrected any underlying biomechanical / alignment issues with an orthotic insert, these issues included leg length discrepancies, foot biomechanics and most significantly poor proprioception (balance). All of the subjects responded amazingly well to the orthoics and their back pain was reduced.
In simple terms if the foundations of a house are unstable then there will be issues higher up. Therefore if you have poor proprioception when you test your balance then by improving this it can help just like Pilates or core strengthing would do this around the spine and pelvis. I certainly wouldn’t say that foot orthoses can help every patient with back pain but if you’ve already tried many other modalities and not seen any long term improvement or you have recurrent episodes then your next step is a podiatry assessment to see if your foot biomechanics might be contributing.
The Physio's View
Running is thought to put high levels of repetitive stress on the back and for those with pre-existing LBP it is important to take extra measures to reduce a flare up of symptoms.
1) Warm up properly including a dynamic stretching regime to the hip muscles and hamstrings.
NB: If running causes back pain, don't presume it's the running which is the cause. Your daily acivities and posture may likely be the cause and running is simply the trigger of LBP so widen your thoughts with regards to treatment and prevention.
It is more common for LBP to occur on the bike and when transitioning from bike to running in triathlon events. If cycling is the cause of LBP then areas to look at initially bike fitting. The most common bike fitting issues which lead to lower back pain are:
1. Saddle too high causing the hips to drop as your foot stretches to reach the pedals. This causes a side to side rocking of the pelvis.
To combat, you should:
We'd love to hear from you if you have suffered from hot foot during a running or triathlon event. Comment below this post on THE ENDURANCE STORE Facebook page and let us know your experiences and questions!