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Elliot Royce 12-10-2006 12:08 PM

I was putting the bar down after a bunch of snatches and C&Js and got lazy for a second and didn't use my legs. Next thing I know I got a painful twinge right across my lower back.

This has happened to me 4x before: in each case when my lower back is tired and I fail to maintain the lordotic arch. In each case, it's taken a while to recover.

Symptoms right now are extreme stiffness around the area plus an inability to arch the back to a normal degree.

Following the injury, I stretched for 20 minutes then took a warm bath with epsom salts and 800mg of ibuprofen. After 2 hours I applied a cold pack.

Any suggestions for what else I can do? Also, should I exercise before the stiffness goes away. I'm not talking about weightlifting but something like hockey which does use the lower back a lot.


Kevin McKay 12-10-2006 03:24 PM

I would say ice rather than a hot bath at this point you want to reduce inflammation no encourage it.

Kenneth R Davis 12-11-2006 07:25 PM

I have learned through very regretful experience: if it hurts don't work it.

Massage, and stretching is ok if it doesn't hurt. Working your back or arms or knees or whatever thinking that the pain is "a sign of weakness" is absoulately stupid. Pain means STOP! If you can replicate a back pain while lifting weights, then I'd strongly recommend you change something, the weight, or your stance for example.

Elliot Royce 12-12-2006 06:35 AM

It's getting better and I played hockey last night without problem. Just a little stiff today.

The back pain I get is actually a spasm that kicks in when my spine is not in great alignment and when the back muscles are tired. I think of it as a circuit breaker that the brain trips when it senses a combination of poor position and weak muscles. Basically the brain causes the muscles to cramp to lock down that part of the spine to protect what it thinks will be a more serious injury.

It takes a few days for the affected area to return to normal.

so, yes, it's about maintaining perfect form. I just have a less forgiving "circuit breaker" probably due to limited flexibility.

Christian Lemburg 12-12-2006 09:19 AM


"The back pain I get is actually a spasm that kicks in when my spine is not in great alignment and when the back muscles are tired."

I had the exact same thing happening to me twice (some months ago) on heavy cleans in the area between my shoulder blades (about Th5-Th7) - a sudden spasm related to bad form on lifting.

For fast recovery, don't forget massage - lying on the floor on a hard ball seems to work best for me. I found that massage right on the spot - in the gym after the problem happens - really cuts down the problem. Then it will be more like DOMS in the affected muscles.

Obviously, for prevention, fix bad form. Not much new here. Well, maybe have a look at hydration/minerals, too.



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