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  1. #1
    Registered User Babylon1023's Avatar
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    How long should I give a sprained lower back to heal?

    First, let me just say what I'm experiencing in case anybody with experience can elaborate as to what happened:

    One day about 3 weeks ago I was doing my warmup set with squats. I didn't round my back or perform any jerky movements but all of a sudden on the way down my lower back muscles started hurting bad. Not agonizing or shooting pain, but I knew something was wrong. However unlike the pain and inflexibility I get if I pulled the bar up with my lower back using bad form, I was able to bend over without tightness, just a mild to medium discomfort. A week later the pain came back when I was doing cable rows and my lower back was just tight isometrically. I haven't done either exercise since then and just have some hints of pain here and there, like when I get up from sitting and start walking. Goes away in a second or two. Also it hurts when I start coughing (getting over a cold). Judging from this I don't think it's a disc problem but rather a sprain or something with my lower back muscles.

    Second, if that is what's going on, what should I be doing about it besides avoiding any exercise that utilizes the lower back even isometrically? How long should I wait until attempting to give it another go?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Altitude's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Babylon1023 View Post
    First, let me just say what I'm experiencing in case anybody with experience can elaborate as to what happened:

    One day about 3 weeks ago I was doing my warmup set with squats. I didn't round my back or perform any jerky movements but all of a sudden on the way down my lower back muscles started hurting bad. Not agonizing or shooting pain, but I knew something was wrong. However unlike the pain and inflexibility I get if I pulled the bar up with my lower back using bad form, I was able to bend over without tightness, just a mild to medium discomfort. A week later the pain came back when I was doing cable rows and my lower back was just tight isometrically. I haven't done either exercise since then and just have some hints of pain here and there, like when I get up from sitting and start walking. Goes away in a second or two. Also it hurts when I start coughing (getting over a cold). Judging from this I don't think it's a disc problem but rather a sprain or something with my lower back muscles.

    Second, if that is what's going on, what should I be doing about it besides avoiding any exercise that utilizes the lower back even isometrically? How long should I wait until attempting to give it another go?
    Sounds like a bulging disc - I'm going through the same thing right now. It's not a debilitating injury, but enough to steer clear of lifting for a few days. I've had this problem before and it typically takes only about 2-4 days for the disc to return to it's normal position. When that happens you're good as new. Just continue to wait to lift so you don't irritate it any more. Some people say that heat/ice helps so you can try that as well. Also, ibuprofen should help reduce the swelling and should assist in the healing process.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Babylon1023's Avatar
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    When I read the word 'disc' I nearly crapped myself. My coworker had a herniated disc and it really f*cked him up and will continue to f*ck with him for the rest of his life. Glad to hear I didn't do any permanent damage based on what I'm experiencing.
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    Registered User Altitude's Avatar
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    Don't let that word freak you out, there are varying levels of disc problems from the minute (what it sounds like you have) to the kind that absolutely cripple you like herniated or ruptured discs. Those of us who lift weights and are active are bound to have some back issues at some point in our lives. The key is to try and heal it as quickly as possible so you don't damage it even more. I'd say I throw my back out on average once or twice each year. It sucks, but I deal with it and move on.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Babylon1023's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Altitude View Post
    Don't let that word freak you out, there are varying levels of disc problems from the minute (what it sounds like you have) to the kind that absolutely cripple you like herniated or ruptured discs. Those of us who lift weights and are active are bound to have some back issues at some point in our lives. The key is to try and heal it as quickly as possible so you don't damage it even more. I'd say I throw my back out on average once or twice each year. It sucks, but I deal with it and move on.
    Would lower back specific exercises like extensions that could strengthen the area making it less prone to injury, or is the only prevention constant vigilance?
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    Registered User Altitude's Avatar
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    I think it may help a tad, but the reality is that the discs have little to do with your actual back muscles. Disc issues occur because of the spongey, connective tissue between your discs degenerate and I'm not sure if anyone knows how to prevent that.

    I try and do as much core as I can to shore up that whole area, but like I said.....I still throw my back out a few times each year. It's usually in the summer when I'm playing a lot of sports like golf and softball on top of lifting heavy weights. And for some reason, certain exercises just tweak my back. When I do the leg-sled and push the weight that just murders my lower back for some reason. I may be curling my low-back and not using perfect form. I am going to try and stick to squats this summer and see if that helps alleviate that pain.
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  7. #7
    4 8 15 16 23 42 marblehead's Avatar
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    Herniated disc and Bulging disc are two different forms of filth...



    The second picture down is a bulging disc

    The 3rd and 4th pics are of herniated discs.

    Does this pain radiate into your glutes, or have a toothache type pain your glutes/low back?

    It is best to go to the doctor, an orthopedic doctor.

    In the meantime stretch your hamstrings, glutes and low back, both flexion and extension, really well.
    It is also possible you have sciatica.

    Stretches
    http://www.bigbackpain.com/back_exer...chingexercises
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  8. #8
    Registered User Babylon1023's Avatar
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    AND the verdict is: LUMBAR SPRAIN!

    Had some x-rays done and the discs are fine. Phew. What makes me sad is they banned me from the gym (cardio included) for two weeks and are having my attend physical therapy sessions (exercise, heat pads, etc) 3x week for 2-4 weeks. Also gave me a strong version of Aleve for 4 days. Fun.
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    Originally Posted by Babylon1023 View Post
    First, let me just say what I'm experiencing in case anybody with experience can elaborate as to what happened:

    One day about 3 weeks ago I was doing my warmup set with squats. I didn't round my back or perform any jerky movements but all of a sudden on the way down my lower back muscles started hurting bad. Not agonizing or shooting pain, but I knew something was wrong. However unlike the pain and inflexibility I get if I pulled the bar up with my lower back using bad form, I was able to bend over without tightness, just a mild to medium discomfort. A week later the pain came back when I was doing cable rows and my lower back was just tight isometrically. I haven't done either exercise since then and just have some hints of pain here and there, like when I get up from sitting and start walking. Goes away in a second or two. Also it hurts when I start coughing (getting over a cold). Judging from this I don't think it's a disc problem but rather a sprain or something with my lower back muscles.

    Second, if that is what's going on, what should I be doing about it besides avoiding any exercise that utilizes the lower back even isometrically? How long should I wait until attempting to give it another go?
    try to go to the medical experts for you to understand more about your problem!
    and dont try to over do anything that will lead to fatugue or worst injury.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Babylon1023's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusterKeaton View Post
    try to go to the medical experts for you to understand more about your problem!
    and dont try to over do anything that will lead to fatugue or worst injury.
    Uhh, already got that covered. See my last post before yours. Thanks!
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  11. #11
    Registered User jwbeeler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Babylon1023 View Post
    AND the verdict is: LUMBAR SPRAIN!

    Had some x-rays done and the discs are fine. Phew. What makes me sad is they banned me from the gym (cardio included) for two weeks and are having my attend physical therapy sessions (exercise, heat pads, etc) 3x week for 2-4 weeks. Also gave me a strong version of Aleve for 4 days. Fun.
    I'm not a Dr...but, x-rays can't determine disc herniation/bulges. You need an MRI for that. Take it easy, it is much better to take 2 weeks off than 2 months.

    You might look at this thread too: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=106708001.

    Good luck with your injury.
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  12. #12
    4 8 15 16 23 42 marblehead's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by marblehead View Post
    Herniated disc and Bulging disc are two different forms of filth...



    The second picture down is a bulging disc

    The 3rd and 4th pics are of herniated discs.

    Does this pain radiate into your glutes, or have a toothache type pain your glutes/low back?

    It is best to go to the doctor, an orthopedic doctor.

    In the meantime stretch your hamstrings, glutes and low back, both flexion and extension, really well.
    It is also possible you have sciatica.

    Stretches
    http://www.bigbackpain.com/back_exer...chingexercises
    LOL
    I just saw my epic fail with the pic there....
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