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Old 01-20-2008, 10:04 AM   #1
Jeff Yan
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did something bad to my back

I was doing some db cleans yesterday and my already poor form was breaking down due to fatigue when I wrenched my lower back (sounded a bit like crunching or grinding or tearing burlap).

Now I'm having pain, weakness and lack of stability whenever I round my lower back, such as when sitting up and slouching or leaning back in a seated position. It took a few hours before I could get ROM back to do a knee to elbow.

Can anybody shed some light on what happened to my back and maybe give some advice on what I should do?

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:33 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: did something bad to my back

You might have herniated a disk.

Rest. A lot.

See a sports doctor about it. Don't mess around with stuff when it's your spine which is pretty much extremely important.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:29 PM   #3
Corey Duvall
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Re: did something bad to my back

You answered yourself really... poor form under high intensity.

In reference to the disc herniation or any back injury, the most recent protocols actually call for avoiding rest beyond 1 or 2 days. It obviously isn't TOO serious if you were doing K2E's just a few hours later. Proper activity is the best method to recover from injury as well as prevent further injury. PROPER activity... I can't say this enough. From what I've heard and read, the Black Box in NYC is an excellent affiliate that could help you out with technique.

Whatever the injury, if you are to ever get back to working out, work on your form. Find an affiliate or utilize the video coaching... a large and often unseen benefit to doing these complex movements is improved movement. Learn to squat, press, DL, clean, jerk, snatch, dip, pullup correctly and they'll make you structurally healthier.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Last edited by Corey Duvall : 01-20-2008 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
Jeff Yan
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Re: did something bad to my back

I've been gradually regaining ROM and strength, so maybe this injury is seeming a little less scary. Because of this, I'm going to wait another day or three before I contact a doctor.

I've been taking acetaminophen and using menthol gels, getting lots of sleep and dressing warmly (it's really cold in NYC this weekend). My ability to do things like sit up and hold a hollow back, which weren't there two days ago, are slowly coming back. (I'm not doing sets of K2Es or sit ups, mind you, just one or two to check to see where my progress is.) Later today I'm going to test again with some light stretching, like butterfly stretch or one-leg pike stretch where I'll be folding myself and rounding my back a little.

As for this "Black Box" affiliate--I think I'll go check them out. Perhaps I'll go buy a t-shirt from them...

More background on how I did this to myself:
I normally work out at my local affiliate, but this time I decided to make up my own WOD and do it by myself at home. At our affiliate we do cleans with barbells and kettlebells, but rarely/never with dumbbells, which are the only weights I use in my apartment. While there are certainly very distinct differences in doing cleans with barbells, kettlebells, or dumbbells, I probably could have avoided injury if I was more mindful of the common principles underlying all three.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
Corey Duvall
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Re: did something bad to my back

Haha, well I'm not very observant am I?

You hit the nail on the head Jeff. All of the functional movements crossfit uses are moderately different, but the body was meant to move certain ways and those exercises are the most efficient and safe way to do that. Midline stabilization means rigid trunk, mobile extremities. The under load needs to stay as neutral as possible, as that is how it was designed to absorb and transmit forces. In daily life we need to keep this in mind, though it does not have to be as strict as it is in training, because often the forces aren't as great and aren't repeated as many times. Keep that spine neutral and rigid and pump those hips and shoulders.

I hope things keep improving for you... good luck.
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