Not Running gets you injured - Willem Mucher
Yes, you’re reading that right and a well-known back pain phenomenon for the people sitting in their office chairs all day! Hopefully, people with a naturally hollow lower back (lordosis) and long-term sitters will benefit from this info.

The cause is shortened psoas (see photo) and this is a very common cause of back pain.

Due to working conditions, I spent a month mainly sitting on my buttocks in the same supposedly comfortable chair. I just wanted to get my work done and didn’t give myself time to run anymore, even though my body always asks for it. The result was a recurring lower back injury (after a simple bend over) that this time was so intense that it took me 20 minutes, in tears of pain, to climb a stairs of 13 steps with a completely blocked lower back aka lumbago. I was naked in the morning and would have called the ambulance to pick me up, but my phone was suddenly miles away, upstairs in another room. A recurring lumbago gets more intense every time. I have discovered the pain is high left in the psoas and you can’t get to it with massage or painful dry needling. Many chairs – including car seats – also force you to sit with a curved lower back position and not to use your abs when sitting. What helps somewhat is heat: placing a cherry pit pillow in the microwave and on your painful area, an infrared cabin can also help. As long as you keep moving despite the pain to keep the blood flow going. The more you sit, the more painful it becomes. The pain can radiate to the side and front of the hip up to your thigh.


I never want to experience this again! With a dysfunctional or painful Psoas, your entire body stability is lost and it becomes impossible to move without pain. I therefore have to correct that curved lower back that I’ve had since childhood. My ChiRunning running technique is going to change along with it and I have to rebuild my running.
My Stryd interval running schedule has to be put aside for a while. This is a difficult assignment for me that will take several months.
Thanks to Master Instructor Matthew O’Connor, I have received a great bunch of exercises and I have no choice, because that pain must not come back and I want to stay pain-free at least at this point for the rest of my life. So, I’m doing exercises several times a day and no more chairs with a backrest. I made my own “soul chair” on the chassis of an office chair, which allows me to sit cross-legged, on my knees or as if on a stool to alternate my position more often. A Pilates ball is a good, cheap alternative for long sitting hours and to have a strong back.

I have gained a few kilos due to less exercise, but I will lose it again with running. I got to learn and understand better how less exercise leads to a feeling of apathy, restlessness, how you continue to have a feeling of hunger and less and less desire to exercise. Like a silent killer, this voice grows stronger with time and you slowly but surely weaken your mental and physical resistance. The communication between your head, body and heart becomes increasingly unclear, especially when using electronic devices all the time without being outside. But luckily you can work on that!

What works for me as a non-believer in one size fits all, is to just start by picking up something that gives you a mental or physical resistance, no matter how small, but at the same time nourishing your heart and soul. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck in your head too much. I use the Pomodoro system more often and do some physical exercises after 25 minutes, but I don’t do that systematically every day. My smartwatch is totally ridiculous, it congratulates me every time I get up from my chair! I start the morning with what absolutely must be done that day. I also regularly throw in days without screen time, that is nowadays increasingly difficult and I lose energy from screen and internet. We have started to behave massively like ADDers watching our screens. I force myself to go at least for a walk. With a barefoot walking meditation (entirely barefoot) I literally get grounded very quickly.
Chasing your goals completely on your own willpower (from your head) doesn’t work for me because that’s a struggle that only works in the short term, you might forget to love yourself. Willpower combined with love is the best balance for me to keep learning and to move with what is happening!
But I hope to be able to run another 100 miles in September! The photo below is a living example and still impressive how you can still change into old age. Keep up the good work!

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