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Old 06-02-2009, 09:41 AM   #1
Matthieu Hertilus
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Default Lower Back Prehab

I find that my lower back aches tremendously even during warm-up drills (burgener warm up, Javorian complex, etc)). I do basic Dynamic Range of Motion movements and foam roll before starting yet my lower back still aches. Any suggestions on prehab drills/ stretches I should be doing or is this a bigger problem?
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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Is the problem muscular or spiny/bony?

If it's the former then get a deep tissue massage and/or stretch + foam roll

If it's the latter you might wanna see a doc or take it easy on the exercise...
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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How's your sleep position ( do you sleep on your side or stomach )? How much sitting?

Hang from a bar or rings and do sideways straddle swings and hip circles. Can help and loosen things up. Good for shoulders and neck too.

I've always been partial to doing seal stretches and yoga plow thingie in my warmup besides those side twisting things ( scorpion? ) or windshield wipers on back. A lot of this was caused by a lot of sitting in my car during a commute, I think.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:30 AM   #4
Matthieu Hertilus
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Thanks for the advice. I usually sleep on my side, and unfortunately I do a lot of sitting as I spend a lot of time writing and researching. At this point I'm being very careful about it by shifting all my focus to a stable core when I lift and including some iron crosses in my warm-up. Anyone have any thoughts on heat or ice therapy for the lower back?
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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Swelling or bony/ligament/tendon = ice
Muscle = heat
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
Emily Mattes
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I had been having tightness and soreness issues in my lower back that rolling, heat, Icy Hot, and any amount of stretching wasn't helping. The onset came when I started hitting a heavy squat period in my programming AND spent a lot more time sitting in the car due to a move.

A friend of mine with the same issues told me to start stretching my glutes more, like ridiculously more--the first couple of days I did maybe twenty minutes a day of just glute stretching, holding each stretch for five minutes before switching. It has worked great. Perhaps try stretching out the glutes and hamstrings? His theory was inflexible glutes were pulling the lower back down and preventing a proper lumbar curve.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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I'll second hip mobility helping with lower back issues. Lately I've been doing a simple 20-minute hip stretching four days a week, and the back pain is gone.

Now if I could just resolve my neck issues...

BTW, Emily, what stretches are you using?
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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That's a lot of stretching Emily, but if it worked for you, I will certainly take your word from it as I've also been suffering from it during training cycles that involved heavy squats. I may try switching up back squats with trapbar deadlifts off a riser and good mournings just to take a break from the exercise itself. Thanks for the input Emily.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:14 AM   #9
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Emily's experiene is similar to mine. This was a particular aggravation when I combined heavy cleans or DLs with long hours sitting, especially in the car, where mobility is particularly constrained. The stretch that does the best for me is a psoas stretch (think sampson stretch with a 45-degree turn and gentle bend away from the rear leg). (It's suprisingly hard to find a decent image of this particular stretch, given how easy it is to find stretches for the so-called iliopsoas that don't do as much for the psoas, because the iliacus takes the brunt of the stretch.

Glute stretches that are a variant of pigeon pose seem to help as well. There's little doubt that having more flexible hamstrings couldn't hurt me either.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:15 PM   #10
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I've had good luck with yoga, but also by using HAM and HUG from Mountain Athlete a few times a day. I've started a number of folks on just those with good results.
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