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Training discussion on Speedy recovery from lower back pain, within the Bodybuilding Forum; Do you have any tips to speed up recovery? I have never had any problems with my back before, but ...


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Old 03-07-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
slayer of souls
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Default Speedy recovery from lower back pain

Do you have any tips to speed up recovery? I have never had any problems with my back before, but all of a sudden it feels very tight and cramped up when I do squats or deadlifts.

I have a feeling it started about a week ago when I did squats. I tried squats and good morning again today, couldn't even go moderately heavy.

Any tips?

Thanks guys

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Old 03-07-2007, 10:11 PM   #2
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That sucks bro! When I was powerlifting, I always followed up a lower body session with a few easy pump sets of hyperextensions to flush some blood into that area to speed up recovery. Same with doing 20 rep banded pressdowns for triceps. Another route to take is that you may be overreached, and in need of a few "back off" sessions?

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Old 03-08-2007, 06:44 AM   #3
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Is it just tightening up on your, or is it painful, like you have a hard time sitting down after it happens?

You obviously know to strech, but beyond that perhaps a few back off sessions, or a stop by a chiropractors office ... wish I could help more slayer.

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Old 03-08-2007, 08:17 AM   #4
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Stretching, I agree, is your best bet to speed up recovery. Back stuff is very tricky so it's hard to give specific advice. Rest and stretching, like the others said, is about as much as I can recommend.

Besides the reverse hypers, which help a lot, if you have that happen again, make sure you immediately stretch the associated muscles heavily. This could make a difference the next day. If you want specific recommendations on that, let me know.

And make sure you are getting your fiber. This'll sound funny, but constipation and heavy lifting can lead to lower back cramps. So if you're not regular....(just some random shit I though I'd throw in).

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:52 AM   #5
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0311- I always do hyperextentions. However I think you are right I may need to back off a bit, I feel I was trying to over reach with squats.

Hrdgain- I think its just tightening up on me. Its not difficult sitting down, just when I have to bend down. Thanks for the input.

Eric- I will add in stretches, thanks for posting "Stretching and Flexibility", very helpful. What stretches would you suggest?

I highly doubt its fiber related I am pretty regular. haha
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:28 AM   #6
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Well I'll give you a list. It may seem like a lot but keep in mind that you don't have to do these for extended periods of time or multiple "reps". The thing with back you must keep in mind is that if you're having problems it can come from all sorts of things that connect to the lower back. The whole posterior chain and the core musculature in general go into it.

Stretching is the number one thing that will help problems like this. Relieving tightness and restoring the muscles to their normal lengths, improving blood flow. Help clear away metabolic waste, etc. People are big on exercises and "back offs" for this purpose but frankly it doesn't improve blood flow so much as put more blood in the muscle thus empairing blood flow. The idea is to clear out metabolic waste, get the blood moving and deliver nutrients, etc. Pumping the muscle with blood is like filling something with air. The more air that is in there the less air you can get in. Once the muscle is saturated with blood the movement of substrates thought the tissue is empaired, not enhanced.

This is some general stuff I'd recommend and the order I'd do them in. You may not need to do all of this all the time...just when you're having trouble. Hamstring and psoas stretches I do everytime after lower body and I'll either do the cat stretches (which help relive pressure on the spine or the "sage twist" according to how my back feels....most of the time I do all of it).

CAT STRETCH: Start out on your hands and knees with a flat back. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders with fingers spread. Knees should be directly under the hips. Head is held loosely so that you are looking at the floor between your hands. Inhale, and as you exhale, arch your back toward the ceiling, tuck your chin in to your chest so that you are looking at your navel, and tuck your tailbone underneath. Hold, then release back into your original position.

SAGE TWIST: Warning for this pose—it involves twisting your back, so you should take particular care not to twist too far or you risk aggravating any existing back pain. This should be a gentle stretch; twist just as far as is comfortable. Sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you. Bend your right knee, lift your right leg over your left, and place your right foot on the floor next to your left knee. Sitting with spine straight, place your left elbow on the right side of your right knee. Bend your left arm so that your left fingertips are touching your right hip, while at the same time, twisting to look over your right shoulder. This is where you need to be careful not to twist too far. Hold for a few seconds, release, and repeat on the opposite side.

This stretch here is the best way I’ve found to actually get a good stretch in the spinal erectors. If you play with it you can modify the pressure on you knee and the postion of the shoulder to get a good stretch of the erectors and not so much just a twist of the back. You can also get a good stretch of the lumbar region and the middle back, lats etc by allowing the shoulders to relax and the shouler blades to protract. This is much more effective and safer for you shoulders than the dead hang stretch which is downright stupid since in order to get a stretch that way you have to put you shoulder joints in severe jeapordy.

Lying Buttock Stretch

This mainly stretches your buttocks (gluteal muscles) but also makes some demands on your groin and upper inner-thigh area. You must be very careful not to apply any stress to the knee joint when performing this stretch. Otherwise, serious injury (such as the tearing of cartilage) may occur.

Lie on your back again with both knees bent and in the air and with your feet on the floor. Take your right foot in your left hand (with your hand wrapping under your foot so that the fingertips are on its outside edge) and hold your leg (with your knee bent) in the air about 1-3 feet above your left breast (relax, we haven’t started to stretch the buttocks just yet). The leg you are holding should be in much the same position as it is when you start your groin stretch in the next exercise, only now it is in the air because you are on your back (see Section B.3 [groin and inner-thigh stretch]). Exhale and slowly pull your foot over to the side and up (toward your head) as if you were trying to touch your outstretched leg about 12 inches to the outside of your left shoulder. You should feel a good stretch in your buttocks about now. If you feel any stress at all on your knee then stop at once. You are probably pulling “up” too much and not enough to the side. You may wish to use your free hand to support your knee in some way. Hold this stretch for about 20 seconds (and stop if you feel any stress in the knee joint). Now repeat this same stretch with the other leg (using the other hand). Remember that the leg you are not holding should have the sole of its foot on the floor with the knee bent and in the air.

To make an isometric stretch out of this, when you are performing the passive stretch (above) and feel the stretch in your buttocks, continue trying to pull your foot to the outside of your shoulder while at the same time resisting with your leg so that it pushes agains your hand. No actual leg motion should take place, just the resistance. Stop immediately if you feel any undue stress to your knee.

Hamstring Stretch…whatever you would normally do for hamstrings.

Psoas Stretch

This stretch is sometimes called the “runner’s start” because the position you are in resembles that of a sprinter at the starting block. It mainly stretches the psoas muscle located just above the top of the thigh.
Crouch down on the floor with both hands and knees on the ground. Put one leg forward with your foot on the floor so that your front leg is bent at the knee at about a 90 degree angle. Now extend your rear leg in back of you so that it is almost completely straight (with just an ever so slight bend) and so that the weight of your rear leg is on the ball of your rear foot with the foot in a forced arch position. Now we are in the position to stretch (notice that your rear leg should be in pretty much the same position that it would assume if you were performing a front split).

Keeping your back straight and in line with your rear thigh, exhale and slowly try to bring your chest down to the floor (you shouldn’t need to bend much further than the line your front knee is on). You should feel the stretch primarily in the upper thigh of your rear leg but you should also feel some stretch in your front hamstring as well. Hold this position for at least 15 seconds. If you wish to also stretch your rear quadricep from this position, you can shift your weight back so that your rear leg makes a right angle with your knee pointing toward the floor (but don’t let it touch the floor). Now, without bending your rear leg any further, try to force your rear knee straight down to the floor.

Now repeat the same stretch(es) with your other leg in front.
For an isometric stretch, you can do this same stretch in front of a wall and instead of putting your hands on the floor, put them in front of you against the wall and then push against the wall with the ball of your foot (without decreasing the “stretch” in your psoas).

Last edited by EricT; 03-11-2007 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:27 PM   #7
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Wow Eric, I really appreciate the post.

I am not sure how long it usually takes to recover, so I am just keeping all squats, and dead lifts rather light. On my training today, I kept the same weight for front squats but had to reduce my dead lifts by 90 lbs. All additional posterior chain work I keep at lighter weights since I am scared to aggravate my condition.



Its been aprox 1 week since I first noticed the discomfort. I only notice it when I squat or dead lift. Today after my light deads, it did feel really tight around my back.
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:34 PM   #8
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Hows your back, Slayer, feeling any better?
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:10 PM   #9
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Hey thanks for checking up on me.

I planned on seeing a physiotherapist today regarding my back issues however, there was another issue on the agenda.

Last night, unable to do squats, I just did some leg extensions and some how managed to partially rupture my quadriceps extensor. So for the next two weeks the physiotherapist prescribed a cane

He did not notice anything unusual with my back and he said it was difficult to treat because of my knee.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:12 PM   #10
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OH man, Slayer, that sucks. Have I said I hate leg extensions?

Good luck, I hope it heals up fast.
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