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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Dec-17 > TREATMENT ROOM

TREATMENT ROOM member Steffen from Dynamic Health in Jersey provides advice on running-related lower back pain

A common cause of lower back pain in runners is a weakness of core muscles, so as your foot strikes the ground the lower back may over-extend, overloading the facet joints of the lower back. A classic sign of core weakness is back pain aggravated when running downhill but relieved when running uphill. Test your core strength by performing the side plank test: on your side with your spine straight, supported by your bottom elbow and both feet. Hold this position for as long as you can, with good alignment, noting the time then repeat on the opposite side. Less than 60 seconds on either side or a 5% or greater difference between sides can indicate core weakness or imbalance. This side bridge is also a great way to train the core as it works many key spinal stabilising muscles but with relatively low load on the spine, making it extremely safe.

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About Men's Running

Discover the best running gear of 2017 with the December issue of Men’s Running. In our annual Men's Running Awards, our team of real runners has tried and tested over 1,000 products to give you an impartial guide to the very best shoes, kit, tech and nutrition of 2017. We're not just helping to fill out your Christmas lists, though; this issue, we sent writer Matt Maynard to the wild forests of Sweden to find out, among other things, what it's like to run with wolves. Hopefully it inspires you to set out on your own running adventure, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life – deadly animals optional. Elsewhere, regular contributors Steve Way and Rob Kemp both turn their attentions to the subject of staying fit while injured. The impact nature of our sport means we’re all destined for at least a brief spell on the sidelines, but it's what you do during your injury lay-off that determines how quickly you can get back into the swing of things. All that, plus the usual run-boosting advice, inspiration and race reports in the December issue of Men's Running.