Versailles - 78000

How does running protect your back?

We regularly hear from people around us that running puts a strain on the back and creates too many injuries for the body. Until now, you didn't know what to say, but thanks to this article, you will have the arguments to discuss the subject with them. 

In April 2017, Australian researchers Daniel L. Belavy and Matthew J. Quitter published "Running exercise strengtens the intervertebral disc," a paper that explains why running strengthens the lumbar intervertebral discs. 

The two researchers conducted the study on three groups of individuals around 30 years old. 

  • a group of runners who run more than 50km per week 
  • a group with individuals who run 20 to 40 km per week
  • a group of non-runners 


Each participant underwent an MRI of the spine so that the researchers could compare the lumbar vertebrae (i.e., the lower spine) of each individual and group. 

What are the results of the study?

  • Repeated axial compression of the spine benefits the lumbar discs and the disc nucleus (i.e. the center of the disc). 
  • Both groups of runners have better disc hydration and high glycosaminoglycan counts.
  • The group practicing 50km per week of running has thicker discs than the other two groups observed. The graph below proves the effectiveness of running on the nucleus of the disc

Even if the study does not show that running is good for the body, it highlights the protective virtues of running on the lumbar spine, 

A reminder that in order to make running the least traumatic possible, it should be coupled with other physical activities such as weight training or swimming. 

And remember, we told you that swimming was good for your back...

What if it's not good for your intervertebral discs! That's right, check out the article below to learn more:

Marie Messager
Osteopath D.O
In Versailles - 78

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