What To Do When You Have A Bad Back?

So yeah. I messed my back up a couple weeks back with poor form on a squat. Learnt my lesson and researched form for all my routines.

Only issue is that my back is still bad. Other half is a Physio and says it is sciatica (trapped nerve). I am stretching and foam rolling daily but worried I am losing all my progress since I started lifting 2 months ago.

What would you do while waiting for it to heal? Some days it's a struggle to get dressed let alone work out but it's so depressing not going to the gym!


  • sparkle_313
    sparkle_313 Posts: 18 Member
    If it's early onset, youre doing yourself a favor by letting things relax. I was young snd dumb and now really suffering by letting it go on for 5 years before getting serious about caring for my back. Keep a strong core and keep up with physical therapy! Give it a few months and hopefully you can get back out there (with proper form!!!).
  • ChrisLindsay9
    ChrisLindsay9 Posts: 837 Member
    Sorry about the setback man. Lots of heat (targeted water spray in hot shower, heating pad,, etc.) and light stretching a few times a day might help.

    Injuries happen, but you will get back to where you were. Many people have been sidelined for extended periods of time, but they were persistent, yet patient, and ultimately got back to where they were before the injury happened.

    In the meanwhile, try to work on strengthening abs/lower back/obliques if and when you can .. (planks, maybe with some weight if your back can take it, like plates or a weighted vest), lower back extensions (even if it's partial range of motion), stir the pots, side planks, and bird dog. some of these are a challenge to do coordination-wise, but do the best you can ... and you'll find the coordination improves after a few times. I usually put these at the end of a workout, at least twice a week.

    Also, maybe not relevant, but I'll mention it anyways ... an indicator of lower back injuries on squats is sometimes manifested from tight posterior chain (hamstrings/glutes). When they are tight, those muscles pull on your lower back. Extra exercises that target those two muscle groups (leg curl, ham raises, glute bridges, good mornings, etc.), along with regular stretching/rolling might help - even if it's low weight/high rep.

    Good luck, and speedy recovery.
  • kyrah702
    kyrah702 Posts: 24 Member
    I've had my share of back injuries, so I know it sucks. Main thing is to only do what your doctor/physio approve IMO. It took me a few years to recover from my last back injury and I kept trying to do too much too soon.

    Listen to your body, if it hurts either readjust or stop. Maybe do some yoga just to keep everything from seizing up. Just my two cents.

    Keep your chin up!
  • dizzieblondeuk
    dizzieblondeuk Posts: 286 Member
    edited July 2015
    Pilates has been a revelation for my back. Going from daily back pain, if just standing or walking for any length of time, to practically none at all, and now able to start adding in more and more cardio, and eventually strength training. A strong core is everything, I've discovered, to being able to increase your fitness. I'd definitely recommend finding a good pilates studio/trainer (make sure that they're full qualified - makes all the difference in the world)! Pilates can totally be tailored to your current physical condition, so you can start really slow and easy, and gradually work up. And don't start exercising until it's safe to do so - having an at-home physio sounds useful!
  • fitnes121
    fitnes121 Posts: 1 Member
    There are a lot of exercises that you can try at home to reduce your back pain. I was a back pain sufferer for a long time and tried many treatments. None of them worked for me and then I consulted a physio in Toronto at Physiomed clinic and start doing physiotherapy. He also suggested me some regular stretches to workout at home. These exercises really made my relief much faster than I thought. I have mentioned some of them below. Please check that and have a try.
    - Hamstring wall stretch
    - Knees to chest stretch
    - Spinal stretch
    - Hip flexor stretch
    - Total back stretch
  • smslogan317
    smslogan317 Posts: 39 Member

    I agree with everyone, I have a grade 2 Spondylolithesis with a pars fracture at L5 and S1. Don't let anything stop you, I worked on my core muscles with 10-15 reps of seated ab pulls, planks ( which I am terrible at but they work), roman chair knee raises, and lots of stretching including lots of hamstring stretches, again for my needs that is what worked for me. After about 4 months I started weight training again. I did not work my lower back at all, but rather everything around it. after about 8 months I started to do low weight low reps lower back, and now 2 years later I just started squatting and deadlifting.

    Squats bother me a lot, so I only do them do switch it up, I mainly stick to leg press, dumbbell sumo squats, and goblet squats. Deadlifts I enjoy and they don't seem to bug me so I push it further every time. For me I had to get to the gym and train even when I had to roll my *kitten* out of bed, I didn't want to stiffen up, they more I did the better I felt.

    Good luck