Why Your Upper Back Hurts When You Run




June 13, 2016

As featured in this post for Competitor, I explain how poor technique or weak back muscles can contribute to upper back pain while running.  You’ll learn why it’s important to get your body to do the opposite of hunching forward and to stretch out the neck and upper back muscles in order to eliminate pain when running.  I also recommend a series of exercises to strengthen the lower and mid trapezius muscles, and the rhomboid muscles, along the spine at the base of the neck.

At the end of a long hard run, you expect your legs and lungs to be burning, but your upper back? No way.

Unfortunately, “it’s a very common thing,” said Nick Studholme, a sports chiropractor in Colorado.  As the intensity and length of a run increases, many runners will often experience a worsening sharp pain in their upper back, in between or under the shoulder blades.  It’s not quite debilitating, but it sure is painful and annoying.

It’s particularly common in novice runners, said physical therapist Ben Shatto, but it can happen to anyone with poor technique or weak back muscles.  And that’s most of us.  Continue Reading