Nav: Home

Study uncovers key to preventing back pain in runners

January 03, 2018

A new study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center examines what may cause chronic back pain in runners and the exercises to help prevent it.

The study, published in the Journal of Biomechanics, suggests that runners with weak deep core muscles are at higher risk of developing low back pain. And, unfortunately, most people's deep core muscles aren't nearly as strong as they should be.

To examine the role of the superficial and deep core muscles, researchers used motion detection technology and force-measuring floor plates to estimate muscle movements during activity.

"We measured the dimensions of runners' bodies and how they moved to create a computer model that's specific to that person. That allows us to examine how every bone moves and how much pressure is put on each joint," said Ajit Chaudhari, associate professor of physical therapy and biomedical engineering at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who led the study. "We can then use that simulation to virtually 'turn off' certain muscles and observe how the rest of the body compensates."

What they found is that weak deep core muscles force more superficial muscles like the abs to work harder and reach fatigue faster. When those superficial muscles are doing the work the deep core should be doing, there are often painful consequences.

"When your deep core is weak, your body is able to compensate in a way that allows you to essentially run the same way," Chaudhari said. "But that increases the load on your spine in a way that may lead to low back pain."

Experts say it's common for even well-conditioned athletes to neglect their deep core, and there is a lot of misinformation online and in fitness magazines about core strength. Traditional ab exercises with a large range of motion, such as sit-ups or back extensions, will not give you the strong core needed to be a better runner.

Instead, Chaudhari says exercises such as planks that focus on stabilizing the core, especially on unstable surfaces, are what's really going to make you a better runner.

"Working on a six-pack and trying to become a better runner is definitely not the same thing. If you look at great runners, they don't typically have a six-pack but their muscles are very fit," Chaudhari said. "Static exercises that force you to fire your core and hold your body in place are what's really going to make you a better runner."
-end-


Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Related Muscles Articles:

Weekly steroids strengthen and repair muscles
In a surprising finding, weekly doses of glucocorticoid steroids, such as prednisone, help speed recovery in muscle injuries, reports a new study.
Affection of the respiratory muscles in combined complex I and IV deficiency
Mitochondrial disorders (MIDs) frequently manifest as myopathy. Myopathy may also involve the respiratory muscles.
Are your muscles genetically prepared to run a marathon?
For a few years, running has been fashionable. But there is a great difference between the physical demands of running a few kilometers and doing a marathon.
Small but mighty: Fruit fly muscles
A new study explains the nimble, complex maneuvers that allow the pesky fruit fly to evade being swatted.
Eye muscles are resilient to ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as ALS, is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that affects all voluntary muscles in the body leading to paralysis and breathing difficulties.
'Knitted muscles' provide power
Researchers have coated normal fabric with an electroactive material, and in this way given it the ability to actuate in the same way as muscle fibers.
Creation of micro muscles aids better understanding of muscle efficiency
A biomedical research scientist is taking the lead in the creation of muscle cells and micro muscles to test muscle efficiency in the laboratory -- and he is able to carry out this new and innovative work thanks to the support he has received to get him back into science after a career break.
New finding about a protein that enables our brains and muscles to talk
A huge colony of receptors must be optimally positioned and functioning on our muscle cells for our brains to talk with our bodies so we can walk and breathe.
Nylon fibers made to flex like muscles
MIT engineers create artificial muscles out of ordinary nylon fibers, providing a very simple and low-cost system for producing bending motions.
New research on the muscles of elite athletes: When quality is better than quantity
A Danish-Swedish research team working on a project led by University of Southern Denmark has discovered that muscle endurance is not only determined by the number of mitochondria, but also their structure.

Related Muscles Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...