Back injury...now what do I do??

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sophzhr
sophzhr Posts: 96 Member
A few months ago I injured my lower back - I'm not sure how to be honest. I train with callisthenics, and have only recently been making significant progress to personal goals (pull ups, pistol squats, L sits etc.), and so I didn't take a rest period for it, since if I was careful, there was no pain.
A few days ago I had to do grappling as part of my martial arts class, and now my back is in SERIOUS pain. Literally everything hurts it, so I've just done walking and mild stretching the last 2 days...

So I guess my question is for people who have been in this situation before: what did you do in terms of workouts? I've heard bed rest is a bad idea, and that you should still work the muscles to prevent them weakening...so what workouts/exercises are best? Also, how long do you think this kind of injury will take to heal? I hate not being able to work out like I do usually, but I really just want it to heal properly.

Thanks in advance for any advice, I appreciate it :)

Replies

  • Walter__
    Walter__ Posts: 518 Member
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    Depends on your injury. I have a posterior disc bulge in my lower back, so going into flexion (bending forward) can cause discomfort. I do pretty much everything you can think of, except not in the conventional way. For example, with rows I do chest supported rows so there is no strain on my low back. With deadlifts, I'll do sumo instead of traditional. Basically I do anything so long as I don't allow myself to go into flexion, which is what causes discomfort. My aim is to keep my low back neutral or just very slightly in extension.

    I have focused a lot on training my core in order to keep my back strong and stable throughout my lifts. If I feel my form is going to start compromising, I'll just drop it and lower the weight.

    But like I said it all depends on your injury. Although I still do recommend working on your core strength regardless of what type of injury you have.
  • DesertGunR
    DesertGunR Posts: 187 Member
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    Bed rest may not be totally out of the picture. Having my own back issues to deal with, sometimes that is the only option. As for losing strength and weakening it will take several weeks for any noticeable loss to occur.

    As for how long it will take to heal depends totally on the type of injury it is. Since you said that this is not your first injury to you back the possibility exist that the first injury did not properly heal before you resumed your activities.

    As for the injury, is the pain in only one direction of movement or in all directions? If it is in one only, odds are it is a strain and several days of rest with easy stretching or foam roller will benefit in your recovery. If it is in all directions of movement then you have torn a muscle or worse yet actually done some real damage. If you have a physio, make an appointment and get evaluated. Once you've been evaluated do whatever the physio recommends for either further evaluation or physical therapy.

    Once you have properly recovered and return to your usual workouts remember one thing. Every athlete, no matter how elite, takes rests and recovery days. It is something the body requires in order to properly heal and recover from the stress we place on it during our workouts.

    Good Luck and I hope it is a simple fix for you, unlike mine is.
  • sophzhr
    sophzhr Posts: 96 Member
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    DesertGunR wrote: »
    Bed rest may not be totally out of the picture. Having my own back issues to deal with, sometimes that is the only option. As for losing strength and weakening it will take several weeks for any noticeable loss to occur.

    As for how long it will take to heal depends totally on the type of injury it is. Since you said that this is not your first injury to you back the possibility exist that the first injury did not properly heal before you resumed your activities.

    As for the injury, is the pain in only one direction of movement or in all directions? If it is in one only, odds are it is a strain and several days of rest with easy stretching or foam roller will benefit in your recovery. If it is in all directions of movement then you have torn a muscle or worse yet actually done some real damage. If you have a physio, make an appointment and get evaluated. Once you've been evaluated do whatever the physio recommends for either further evaluation or physical therapy.

    Once you have properly recovered and return to your usual workouts remember one thing. Every athlete, no matter how elite, takes rests and recovery days. It is something the body requires in order to properly heal and recover from the stress we place on it during our workouts.

    Good Luck and I hope it is a simple fix for you, unlike mine is.

    Hi there, thank you for your advice. I wouldn't say it's in all directions of movement - usually it hurts the most when I try and lift my legs from a lying position (in fact, I just lose all strength because of the pain can't do it), and also when I bend. Walking for long amounts of time actually becomes painful too...do you think it sounds more serious than strain? :#
  • DesertGunR
    DesertGunR Posts: 187 Member
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    @sophzhr Yes it does sound more serious, unfortunately. The lack of strength that occurs could be an indication that a nerve is suffering from some kind of impingement (being pinched or pressured in some way). I would have a physio check you out, they could recommend something as simple as an x-ray to see if the vertebrae in the spine are still aligned to as much as a set of MRI's and CT scan to check for bulging/herniated discs that are pinching a nerve. The cure hopefully will be as simple as seeing a Chiropractor a few times to get things realigned, followed by a simple set of movements designed to strengthen the area. If have done serious damage then the options available become less appealing like surgery or, like me, damage that can't be repaired and has to be dealt with daily.

    I highly advise you to get it checked out by a qualified physician. The longer you try and live with it the more damage that can be done to yourself. At 18 years old you want to return to having a strong healthy back for the rest of your life. You don't want a disability like mine that limits your life on a daily basis.
  • kpodaru
    kpodaru Posts: 133 Member
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    DesertGunR wrote: »
    @sophzhr Yes it does sound more serious, unfortunately. The lack of strength that occurs could be an indication that a nerve is suffering from some kind of impingement (being pinched or pressured in some way). I would have a physio check you out, they could recommend something as simple as an x-ray to see if the vertebrae in the spine are still aligned to as much as a set of MRI's and CT scan to check for bulging/herniated discs that are pinching a nerve. The cure hopefully will be as simple as seeing a Chiropractor a few times to get things realigned, followed by a simple set of movements designed to strengthen the area. If have done serious damage then the options available become less appealing like surgery or, like me, damage that can't be repaired and has to be dealt with daily.

    I highly advise you to get it checked out by a qualified physician. The longer you try and live with it the more damage that can be done to yourself. At 18 years old you want to return to having a strong healthy back for the rest of your life. You don't want a disability like mine that limits your life on a daily basis.

    ^^THIS. back injuries are no joke and if you leave it undiagnosed/continue to workout, you could be making it worse and it come become permanent. you are young so get this looked at immediately by a sports doctor
  • sophzhr
    sophzhr Posts: 96 Member
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    DesertGunR wrote: »
    @sophzhr Yes it does sound more serious, unfortunately. The lack of strength that occurs could be an indication that a nerve is suffering from some kind of impingement (being pinched or pressured in some way). I would have a physio check you out, they could recommend something as simple as an x-ray to see if the vertebrae in the spine are still aligned to as much as a set of MRI's and CT scan to check for bulging/herniated discs that are pinching a nerve. The cure hopefully will be as simple as seeing a Chiropractor a few times to get things realigned, followed by a simple set of movements designed to strengthen the area. If have done serious damage then the options available become less appealing like surgery or, like me, damage that can't be repaired and has to be dealt with daily.

    I highly advise you to get it checked out by a qualified physician. The longer you try and live with it the more damage that can be done to yourself. At 18 years old you want to return to having a strong healthy back for the rest of your life. You don't want a disability like mine that limits your life on a daily basis.

    Ok, thanks a lot for the advice DesertGunR - I'll make a trip to my doctor as soon as possible to get it checked out, hopefully it won't be too serious :/ The pain has eased a bit now after a few days, if that makes a difference? I think I'm just desperately clutching at straws :( I appreciate your help a lot though, so thank you.
  • DesertGunR
    DesertGunR Posts: 187 Member
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    sophzhr wrote: »
    Ok, thanks a lot for the advice DesertGunR - I'll make a trip to my doctor as soon as possible to get it checked out, hopefully it won't be too serious :/ The pain has eased a bit now after a few days, if that makes a difference? I think I'm just desperately clutching at straws :( I appreciate your help a lot though, so thank you.

    Your are more than welcome. I pray that all works out for you and you return to being a healthy 18 year old with a strong back again.