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I started a program to run 30' after 8 weeks. I am in week 2. I am overweight in 20 kilograms

The problem that I have is a pain in my lower back.

Is not shortly after the training, I feel the pain when I sit for too long (I am a programmer). Then I feel the pain as I get up I start to walk.

So, What I am doing wrong? Should I see a doctor?

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4 Answers 4

Wearing raised heel shoes and running with a form that lands on the heel first can aggravate your back. I am a software developer also (for 30+ years) and, in 2009, was 85 pounds overweight and walked with a cane due to a hyper mobile lumbar disc. An article by Dr. Rossi led me to suspect my footwear was a contributor to my problem. I switched to Vibram FiveFingers, became mobile, and put away the cane. Shortly thereafter, I started the Couch to 5K training plan. At my weight and with the switch to zero-drop footwear stretching my achilles a little, it took a little longer than planned. But, I was able to successfully complete the training plan. For the running part of this, the form that is used is important. Landing on your heels increases the forces transmitted up your body when you land. A study done by Dr. Daniel Lieberman explains the forces further. It is much easier on the back to have the knees bent when you land and to land on the mid-foot/forefoot area of the foot. This allows the springs of your feet and legs to absorb the impact of the landing. The heavier you are, the more important this is. Running form and footwear choice are factors worth considering.

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If you have a job that keeps you sitting for long periods of time, you could have tight hamstrings. They could be especially tight after starting a running program without appropriate stretching. Tight hamstrings tend to contribute to lower back pain.

I'd suggest taking a week off from your running schedule and doing simple static hamstring stretches 3x a day (and continue this when you start running again). There are four easy ones here: http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/flexibilityexercises/a/hamstingstretch.htm

If you have a way to massage your lower back to release any tight muscles there, that could also help.

Get back into running as soon as you start feeling better during day-to-day activities. Shouldn't take too long. If it takes longer than a week or two, I'd say see a doctor. Good luck!

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If your back pain didn't start until you began the running program then it is likely that your back and spine cannot handle the compressive forces of running with your extra weight. You may need to begin with something less jarring like walking, biking, running in water, using an elliptical trainer or walking with nordic walking poles. Also, you may need a strengthening program to include your large shock absorbing muscles such as your quads, glutes, abs and back muscles.

However, given that you have symptoms that may require professional help you would be wise to see your doctor &/or physical (physio) therapist. A therapist could evaluate your muscle imbalances (like tight hamstrings and hip flexors as well as muscle weaknesses), and give you specific corrective exercises. They will also keep you from doing inappropriate exercises that may make your condition worse. They could also evaluate your running form and make recommendations as to how to proceed so that you can safely exercise to lose weight.

The biggest mistake would be to continue to aggravate your back condition and slow your progress all together. Trying to do exercises that are not appropriate for your specific back condition can lead to a chronic problem.

As for prolonged sitting, the key is to get up and move every half hour or so (easier said than done). A towel or sweater rolled in the small of your back may help.

And don't overlook your diet which is key to losing weight. Good luck.

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Apart from the advice from @friz also consider changing your "sitting" habits.

E.g. get a table that allows you to stand up for a couple of hours each day, and use a Energetics Stability Ball (or similar) for the rest of the day. For the first couple of weeks, you will likely be very tired in your back, but it will very likely help.

And never use you laptop in the sofa or anywhere else where you're not able to sit up strait! That is a death sin and one of the major reasons even very young people are beginning to get back trouble...

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