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Running with lower back pain

Lower back pain is a common issue among runners, and it can be attributed to various factors, including decreased stability of the sacroiliac joint, known as force closure. The sacroiliac joint is in the pelvis and connects the sacrum to the ilium bones. It provides stability and transmits forces between the upper body and the legs, especially during activities like running.



Research has indicated that decreased force closure of the sacroiliac joint can contribute to lower back pain in runners. Force closure refers to the stability provided by the ligaments, muscles, and fascia surrounding the joint, which helps maintain proper alignment and prevent excessive motion. When force closure is compromised, it can lead to increased stress and strain on the joint, resulting in pain and dysfunction.


In a study that investigated the role of force closure of the sacroiliac joint in patients with lower back pain, the researchers found that individuals with sacroiliac joint dysfunction displayed reduced force closure compared to a control group. This study highlights the significance of force closure for sacroiliac joint stability and its association with lower back pain.



Another study examined the impact of force closure on joint motion and muscle activation during various functional tasks. The researchers found that individuals with decreased force closure demonstrated increased joint movement and inefficient muscle contraction, suggesting a potential link between reduced sacroiliac joint stability and functional impairments such as pain and weakness.



To address lower back pain and decreased force closure of the sacroiliac joint, it is essential to implement appropriate interventions. These may include:


1. Strengthening exercises: Focusing on the muscles that support the sacroiliac joint, such as the glutes, abdominals, and deep stabilizers, can enhance force closure and stabilizing capacity.


2. Joint mobilisation: mobility exercises can restore normal joint mechanics and improve force closure.


3. Core stability training: Engaging in exercises that target the core musculature can enhance overall stability and alleviate stress on the sacroiliac joint.


4. Biomechanical assessment: A thorough evaluation of running form and gait mechanics can identify any underlying issues contributing to decreased force closure, allowing for targeted interventions.


5. Modification of training routine: Adjusting training intensity, duration, and surface can help minimize excessive stress on the sacroiliac joint and promote healing.


Running involves repetitive motion of the foot hitting the ground and transferring your weight from side to side, therefore it is vital to be able to create stability through the lower back when doing so. To do this, it is vitally important to consider the role of force closure of the sacroiliac joint, and its role in enabling the rest of the body to move efficiently when running to prevent excessive stress and strain through the low back. Our lower back exercises programs are built to give you the tools you need to increase strength, improve mobility, stabilise the core, move efficiently and modify your activity, and get you back to enjoying your running as soon as possible.


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