If you have chronic back pain and you're a runner, a new study may have found the perfect exercise for your problem.

The plank.

Why the plank you may wonder? Apparently researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found evidence that weak deep core muscles can put runners at greater risk for back pain. And all the sit ups in the world won't reach those deep core muscles, but the plank can.

The researchers used technology that was able to measure the dimensions of a runner's body and how they moved to create a computer model. With this model, they tracked bone and joint movement and  virtually "turned off" certain muscles to see how the rest of the body reacts.

They found evidence that weak deep core muscles force superficial muscles like abs to work harder and reach fatigue faster. When superficial muscles have to work much harder they're going to be overtaxed in a way that increases the load on the spine. The result can lead to low back pain.

Ajit Chaudhari, associate professor of physical therapy and biomedical engineering at the medical center said, "If you look at great runners, they don't typically have a six-pack but their muscles are very fit. 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."

Runners with flat feet can also develop low back pain. In addition to building "plank" into a workout routine, runners with flat feet will very likely need orthotics to correct their faulty foot mechanics to prevent low back pain and other foot problems such as plantar fasciitis.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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