I started trying to get fit about 6 months ago. I mostly bike (70 miles a week), but I sometimes mix it up with jogging (which I do using minimalist shoes; I used to not be able to run because of knee pain, but those shoes really seemed to take care of that). I'm a bit overweight, but not horribly so -- I'm 5'11'' and 190 pounds. No injuries that I know of.

Anyway, I went out for a jog this afternoon, and I had a weird pain. It started immediately. Every time my feet hit the ground, I felt my lower back start to tighten up (in a narrow band just above my buttocks, all the way across the back; if I press on the location, I feel what I assume are the tops of my hip bones). It got tighter and tighter every time my feet hit the ground, and eventually it was so painful that I had to stop. I made it maybe one block (0.1 miles) before I had to turn back. If I do very light jumping in place, I get the same tightening and pain, but I don't feel anything from ordinary walking or from biking. It is a dull and not a sharp pain, and I haven't felt any bulges or had the sensation of something "giving out".

Does anyone have any idea what is wrong? Are there stretches I need to do or anything?

  • Congratulations on your progress so far! If you want to be able to keep up your workouts, get your doctor to check it out and maybe see a physical therapist or physio. The impact seems to be bothering your back whether running or jumping. Getting your problem taken care of professionally will give you the best chance of being able to workout without having to take time off. Commented Aug 18, 2013 at 4:56
  • When your feet hit the ground does your heel hit the ground first, your toe, or somewhere in the middle?
    – user2861
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 2:03
  • 1
    @LegoStormtroopr : When I jog, I strike with the ball of my foot. When I walk, I strike with my heel.
    – David
    Commented Aug 19, 2013 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Your hamstrings are connected to your lower back muscles. Many times tight hamstrings can cause lower back pain because they force the lower back muscles to stretch. The answer isn't to stretch the hamstrings before - that can cause more harm than good. Stretching after you are hurt doesn't help either. The key is to wait for after the recovery and stretch the hamstrings after every workout.

Of course this is a diagnosis that's not coming from a doctor. It did work for me.

Here are a couple links to specific hamstring stretches for back pain: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/specific-hamstring-stretches-back-pain-relief http://golf.about.com/od/fitnesshealth/a/back_stretch_2.htm

Talk to a sports specialist if it keeps up. You want someone who sees athletes all day every day diagnosing your sports injuries, not someone who is a generalist.

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