The Runner’s Guide to Spinal Health: How Your Chair and Practices Affect Your Performance

Runner's Guide: Spinal Health & Performance

As a runner, you’re likely well-acquainted with the common injuries and ailments that come with the territory. However, there’s one aspect of health that often gets overlooked in the running community: spinal health. Believe it or not, the chair you recline in after a long run or the posture you adopt during your day-to-day activities can significantly impact your running performance and overall health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the effects of reclining chairs on your spine, offer insights into managing acute lower back pain, and provide actionable advice for runners seeking to maintain optimal spinal health.

Is Your Reclining Chair Affecting Your Spine?

Reclining chairs are a staple in many households, offering a seemingly ideal spot to relax after a taxing run. However, the comfort they provide may come at a cost to your spinal health. As discussed in a detailed article on our website, reclining chairs can sometimes exacerbate spinal issues rather than alleviate them. The key lies in the chair’s design and how it supports (or fails to support) your back’s natural curve. When you write papers for a long time, you need to take short breaks to stretch. Without proper support, prolonged sitting in a reclined position can lead to increased strain on the lower back, potentially leading to or exacerbating back pain and affecting your running posture and efficiency.

For more detailed insights, visit our full article on the matter: Is a Reclining Chair Bad for Your Spine?

Managing Acute Lower Back Pain: A Runner’s Guide

Runner's Guide: Spinal Health & Performance


Acute lower back pain is not uncommon among runners, given the repetitive impact and stress running places on the body. To help our readers navigate this common issue, we’ve developed a comprehensive PDF handout that delves into the causes, symptoms, and management strategies for acute lower back pain. This resource is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to address lower back pain effectively, ensuring it doesn’t sideline your running goals.

Download our FREE PDF handout on managing acute lower back pain: ANPT Acute Lower Back Pain Handout.

Tips for Runners to Maintain Optimal Spinal Health

  1. Mind Your Posture: Whether you’re sitting, standing, or running, maintaining good posture is crucial. Ensure your running form is correct and that your work and relaxation environments support your back adequately. Heres our FREE Posture and Ergonomics Handout to get you started!
  2. Strengthen Your Core: A strong core supports your spine, reducing the risk of injury. Incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your training routine to enhance stability and performance.
  3. Stay Flexible: Flexibility, especially in the hips and hamstrings, can prevent undue strain on your lower back. Include dynamic stretching in your warm-up and static stretching in your cool-down routines.
  4. Choose the Right Gear: Invest in a quality running shoe that provides adequate support and cushioning. Similarly, consider ergonomic options for your work and relaxation chairs to promote spinal health.
  5. Listen to Your Body: Don’t ignore pain or discomfort. If you experience persistent back pain, it may be time to consult a physical therapist specialized in running injuries and spinal health.


Maintaining spinal health is essential for runners, not only to prevent injury but also to enhance performance. By being mindful of how everyday activities like sitting can affect your spine, and by adopting practices that support back health, you can ensure that you stay on track with your running goals. Remember, managing acute lower back pain effectively and maintaining a healthy spine are integral to your success and longevity as a runner.

For personalized advice and treatment options, consider consulting with a physical therapist specializing in sports injuries. At Auto-Ness Physical Therapy, we’re dedicated to helping runners like you achieve their best health and performance. Visit our blog for more tips and insights: Auto-Ness Physical Therapy Blog.

Stay healthy, stay running, and remember, your spine’s health is as crucial as your legs when it comes to hitting those running milestones!

Auto-Ness PT_Matthew Perry

Dr. Matthew Perry

Auto-Ness Physical Therapy

We help active adults like YOU rebound from injuries and discomfort. Our tailored plans steer you clear of needless medications and surgeries, empowering a vibrant, active life.