T Nation

Coming Back from a Back Strain

i pulled my back jackhammering the last balls-out set of my 5/3/1 deadlift on 8/20 (i blame it on watching a ronnie coleman video of him pulling 800#, lul). the pain was so bad on 8/20 and 8/21 that i couldn’t sleep despite taking naproxen 1000mg then ibuprofen 800mg. on 8/22 i started foam rolling, supermans and stretching. however, now it’s only 8/29, i feel pretty good and i’m tempted to start putting direct loads on my back again. in reference to these articles:

it seems i should wait a month before i attempt directly loading my spinal erectors. of special note, the first article mentions:

"Stage 2 â?? Proliferation

This stage comes after inflammation and lasts about 2-3 weeks (10-12 weeks in bone injury) and is in place to form temporary replacement tissues. These tissues are usually weaker than the originally injured tissues yet still provide some structure and function to the site of injury."

so that means i run a real risk of re-injury if i start now. however, i can now do the following without discomfort:

  • contract my upper abs to get out of bed
  • touch my toes
  • pick up stuff off the floor
  • get into and out of low cars (infiniti g35, bmw z4)
  • pick up an 85# barbell and do curls
  • move patients from bed-to-bed, chair-to-bed, bed-to-chair (i’m a RN)

if i’m sitting slouched for too long though, my back does feel somewhat uncomfortable and “stretched out” but this disappears after a few isometric spinal extensions. on the other hand, i rode my motorcycle (yamaha 600r) about 15 minutes today without more back soreness than i’ve gotten before.

so, should i start working up spinal flexion/extension with resistance yet, or should i play it safe and continue to work around the injury for three more weeks?