Workouts are essential for helping us get stronger and keeping us healthy but they can also cause muscle strain in critical areas such as our low back. How do we heal this area after the damage has been done?
In today’s post I will share with you my method for rehabbing the low back after an injury.
How Does The Low Back Get Injured In The First Place?
The lower back is one of those areas that few people strengthen directly. It is usually strengthened as a stabilizer muscle and not much attention is brought to it. When we focus most of our time on isolation movements (meaning one muscle group) instead of compound movements (meaning more than one muscle group) certain areas can become weak.
The reason I like body weight exercises so much is because most of the exercises are compound. Its almost impossible to NOT strengthen, at least to a certain degree, your low back, abdominals and other stabilizer muscle groups.
So How Does My Low Back Get Injured?
The simplest answer is that the muscles in the low back have been overexerted. The muscles weren’t used to the exercise and ended up getting strained.
The damage is done and the pain you feel is the result. Its not the muscle soreness that we know and love but often a sharp, stabbing pain that prevents us from bending, twisting and lifting.
Todd’s Method For Healing A Low Back Injury
*Caveat – This method is used only for minor strains and pulled muscles. Its not meant as advice if you have done any type of serious damage to your low back.
Step 1: Apply Ice Immediately
The first thing you will want to do immediately is implement cold therapy. Grab an ice pack and put it on your low back. This will help reduce inflammation.
This step should be done as soon as you notice pain in your low back and 2-3 more times throughout a 24 hour period. Each ice session should last for 15 minutes. Be careful with the ice pack being directly on your skin because it could cause damage to your skin.
Step 2: Do Knee Circles 3X per day for 1m each direction
Below you will find a video where I teach you about knee circles. It is the BEST stretch that you can do for your low back. I have used it countless times to help rehab my low back after straining it and it has worked miracles.
Step 3: Do This 4 Minute Low Back Mad Monday Routine
The newest research in rehabbing a strain or a sprain shows that using a muscle is critical for helping it heal. The days of Rest Ice Compression and Elevation are out. Movement is now king of rehab.
The workout I created below should be done once a day along with the other steps until your low back feels better.
What’s the Routine?
Arm Haulers – 30 seconds
Cat Stretch – 30 seconds
Repeat the above 3 more times total.
So the total workout will take 4 minutes long. You’ll alternate arm haulers and cat stretch for 30 seconds each one until the 4 minutes are up.
Take the time to rehab your low back with the steps I outlined above. Notice that I did not include anything about rest. The body is made to move and although the general public will tell you to “give you low back time to rest and heal” I don’t believe in this concept.
The body NEEDS movement especially after an injury like this. The weight bearing activity that you do throughout your day along with the other steps will help the body heal your low back faster.
Injury is not death. Immobility is. Movement is the greatest method for healing.
P.S. Share your thoughts on the best method to heal your back after an injury. I read and respond to every comment.