Free E-book Forum Recovery, Warm-up, and Prehab Working through an injury

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    I have some low back pain.  It hurts to do squats even with just the bar (front or back), but I can do RDLs, DLs, B-O rows, with limited weight with very little pain.  I've had an x-ray and it shows to be only a muscle pull but it's been going on for seven weeks.  I injured it doing one-legged squats with no weight; my back bowed for stability on about the third rep with my right leg.  The pain is at the extreme bottom and radiates to the right.   I was holding on to the squat rack upright with both hands, and it was immediately after finishing a third set of weighted, back squats for eight reps. with perfect form.  I was doing the one-leg squats as sort of a drop set for added intensity, but I didn't even go to failure on that day; only about 90% of maximum reps for the weight I used.

    Lately, after laying off lower body work for many weeks, I've been attempting some of the movements in FullBodyAttack on a limited basis.  These efforts don't seem to be hurting, yet they don't seem to be helping either.

    This is what I've been doing:  Body weight squats (instead of front squats); other lifts that engage the lower back at about 35-40% of 2-rep max; other lifts that do not engage the lower back @ 100% effort.  With regards to cardio, I can walk fast, and lightly sprint after warming up w/o too much pain, so I've been doing HIIT with little intensity.  Steady-state jogging starts hurting after just a few minutes.

    I fear that if I don't at least try to keep my muscles, joints, and nervous system engaged in some  of these full-body exercises, I'll lose all I've gained over the last year and I'll have to start from the beginning when I feel all better again.

    Does anyone on here have an opinion about how much I should be doing while trying to recover?



    It's so hard to hear situations like this.  Giving advice on injury recovery is not something to take lightly because a) you really need a professional and b) even a professional can't tell without you being right in front of them.

    I know you don't want to take too much time off, but it sounds like you've dialed it back and that it's not getting better.  One thing to try:  Cameron's recent articles on foam rolling.  Now, be careful when it comes to your back but if the xray shows it is a muscle pull, then I think SMR should help.

    I had an issue at the end of the summer with my left glute (I don't think I mentioned it in other posts).  I was in severe pain from combinations of heavy RDLs and lots of sprinting (and sad to say, not enough recovery time).  I took about 2 weeks to experiment and determined that I had to drop Deads and RDLs.  I could still do everything else (even lunges) so that kept me going.  I am glad I took the time off from those lifts.  After about 4 weeks of ZERO deads/RDLS, I then added really light sets back in but just once a week.  After 4 weeks of that, I went back to heavy (regular routine) and within 3 weeks I was back up to what I was doign before the injury. 

    Lesson: taking the time off stinks, but when you come back, you will be able to get back to your former levels pretty quickly.



    Thanks again, as always, for your thoughtful advice.  When this thing first occurred, I figured I'd be back in business in a couple of weeks.  It ended up being six weeks before I even began trying DLs and RDLs and I'm just now doing bodyweight squats and it's been about eight weeks.  The first couple of weeks the injury was kind of on again, off again, but after that, it kind of just sunk in for the long haul.  I just want to make sure I keep my legs in shape as best I can.

    I figure the root cause was back squats, even though I was staying very tight and my back, as always, very straight.  Somehow though, I must have been letting my back bow ever so slightly at the bottom, because this is the one exercise that I still, absolutely, cannot perform, and this is the last weighted movement I did before the strain, however, just two days before I had really worked hard on regular deadlifts.  I had dropped the weight some and had done three tough sets for ten repetions. 

    Of course it could have just been a cumulative, overworked situation like you had.  I was doing DLs and RDLs once every four days or so, squats ever four days or so, hang cleans about once per week, and steady-state jogging twice per week.  I'm a slow recovery person anyway, so sometimes I don't really need to follow the frequency schedule that's often published in literature.



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