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Injury Psychology 101


#1

Hi friends,

So I had injured my lower back doing deadlifts and then re-injured it a week later playing football, after I had foolishly thought I had recovered from the injury.

I probably need to take another week or two off any strenuous activity. I have been pretty lucky with injuries as the last time I was "out"" for more than 2 weeks was about 3 years ago with a similar lower back injury.

Anyway, I was wondering what is the best approach to tackle the mental side of dealing with an injury?

I know its not the end of the world, but I have been feeling really depressed about missing out on football training and the gym. Before the injury I was really peaking in my fitness and strength and felt the best I have had for years. And now it feels like I will have to start from step 1 again, as I will probably be "out" for a total of 3 weeks.

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#2

Train around it mate!

Chest supported work on the bench, rows, flyes, shoulder work using light DB’s. Seated curls, shoulder shocker, etc.

Isolate other areas you want to improve whilst the back heals up. Leg extensions, curls, calf raises.

Throw in some plank work if the back is up to it?


#3

[quote]raven78 wrote:
Train around it mate!

Chest supported work on the bench, rows, flyes, shoulder work using light DB’s. Seated curls, shoulder shocker, etc.

Isolate other areas you want to improve whilst the back heals up. Leg extensions, curls, calf raises.

Throw in some plank work if the back is up to it?[/quote]

Thanks buddy. The spasms and pain is severe. I can’t even turn in bed without the fear of a sharp back spasm.

Saying all that, its getting better, and hopefully by the weekend I will be moving more freely and will start of with some dips, pull-ups and push-ups.

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#4

Where in your back do you feel pain?

I have a 20 year history with back spasms, so I can certainly empathize with you. My worst spasm happened while walking to work on a cold, rainy October day. Apropos of nothing, my left erector spasmed and the pain was so bad I dropped to my knees. Any movement at all, including breathing, would set off more spasms, so I laid down in a puddle on the sidewalk until I was able to finally stand up. It’s difficult to persuade helpful strangers not to call an ambulance while even something as simple as talking causes excrutaiting pain.


#5

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Where in your back do you feel pain?

I have a 20 year history with back spasms, so I can certainly empathize with you. My worst spasm happened while walking to work on a cold, rainy October day. Apropos of nothing, my left erector spasmed and the pain was so bad I dropped to my knees. Any movement at all, including breathing, would set off more spasms, so I laid down in a puddle on the sidewalk until I was able to finally stand up. It’s difficult to persuade helpful strangers not to call an ambulance while even something as simple as talking causes excrutaiting pain.[/quote]

Ouch!

That reminds me of a time I had to crawl out of my car. Took me about 15 minutes to drag myself from the driveway to the front door.

Dr P., I finally sought an opinion from chiro yesterday. He asked me to do a few stretches and asked me what hurt and how much it hurt. So he has diagnosed me with a left SI joint injury, and he seems to think it might take up to 6 weeks to get better.

He wants me to attend his practice twice a week for adjustments which he feels will aid the recovery. I will probably attend for 2 weeks, as my health insurance covers 80% of the cost, but I am a but skeptical that these “adjustments” will make any significant difference.

Im devastated as my football season starts in about 2 weeks. I still feel some pain and my range of movement is limited, although I feel its slowly getting better, maybe 5% improvement everyday. At least the muscle spasms had ceased. Im actually hopping that it will be better in about 2 weeks time.

Thanks for the empathy Dr. P. On days like this, it makes a difference.

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#6

I went through a period of SI joint pain from deadlifts too, and it took a lot of trial and error before I figured out how to adjust my form to prevent it. In my case, I was focusing too much on arching my back, and not enough on loading the glutes and hamstrings.

It doesn’t sound like my pain was quite as bad as yours, but it took me somewhere between 2-3 weeks of rest (I was on vacation) before the pain finally dissipated.

The SI joint is the joint between the tailbone and the hipbones. It’s not supposed to move much at all, so it’s hardly a joint, but can be strained if it’s moved too much. Because of where it is, there are a number of forces on it from the hamstrings, glutes, and piriformis.

I would suggest primarily working on rolling out knots in your calves (they form a chain with the hamstrings), and your piriformis (with a ball, like a lacrosse ball, softball, etc.) With the ball, just find a tender spot and put your weight on it for a count of 20 or 30. I didn’t get much relief out of working on the hamstrings.

I do believe the chiropractor will help, especially if they discuss the muscular issues going on too, but one way or another you need to figure out a way to keep those muscles from pulling the joint beyond its normal ROM.


#7

[quote]LoRez wrote:
I went through a period of SI joint pain from deadlifts too, and it took a lot of trial and error before I figured out how to adjust my form to prevent it. In my case, I was focusing too much on arching my back, and not enough on loading the glutes and hamstrings.

It doesn’t sound like my pain was quite as bad as yours, but it took me somewhere between 2-3 weeks of rest (I was on vacation) before the pain finally dissipated.

The SI joint is the joint between the tailbone and the hipbones. It’s not supposed to move much at all, so it’s hardly a joint, but can be strained if it’s moved too much. Because of where it is, there are a number of forces on it from the hamstrings, glutes, and piriformis.

I would suggest primarily working on rolling out knots in your calves (they form a chain with the hamstrings), and your piriformis (with a ball, like a lacrosse ball, softball, etc.) With the ball, just find a tender spot and put your weight on it for a count of 20 or 30. I didn’t get much relief out of working on the hamstrings.

I do believe the chiropractor will help, especially if they discuss the muscular issues going on too, but one way or another you need to figure out a way to keep those muscles from pulling the joint beyond its normal ROM.[/quote]
Thanks Lorez.

I am done with deadlifts. The risk is too high, and the pain is debilitating. I need my girlfriend to tie my shoes at the moment.

Interestingly enough I have had surgery on left ankle (just a general clean up), and the mobility of my left ankle is significantly less than my right. I will start working on my knee-to-wall drills. I will also do some work on my piriformis, although at the moment things are still sore and I might wait another few days before I start, as it hurts if I move around too much.

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#8

Pangy, if I’d been there I’d have carried you.

My worst ever back injury had me so crippled, to go from lying on the sofa to standing I had to roll off the sofa onto my face, push myself up into a quadraped position, crawl to the door and use the door handle to pull myself up to standing.

Chin up, Birdy. The important thing to remember is it’s only temporary. You’ll be back in no time, and your decision to stop deadlifting will mean you stay injury free from now on so you’ll get into better shape than you’ve ever been.


#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Pangy, if I’d been there I’d have carried you.

My worst ever back injury had me so crippled, to go from lying on the sofa to standing I had to roll off the sofa onto my face, push myself up into a quadraped position, crawl to the door and use the door handle to pull myself up to standing.

Chin up, Birdy. The important thing to remember is it’s only temporary. You’ll be back in no time, and your decision to stop deadlifting will mean you stay injury free from now on so you’ll get into better shape than you’ve ever been.[/quote]
Thanks mate. Im almost recovered. Another 5 days or so and I should be good to go.

Although my latest injury ha even got me second guessing on if I ever want to front squat again.
:frowning:

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#10

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Pangy, if I’d been there I’d have carried you.

My worst ever back injury had me so crippled, to go from lying on the sofa to standing I had to roll off the sofa onto my face, push myself up into a quadraped position, crawl to the door and use the door handle to pull myself up to standing.

Chin up, Birdy. The important thing to remember is it’s only temporary. You’ll be back in no time, and your decision to stop deadlifting will mean you stay injury free from now on so you’ll get into better shape than you’ve ever been.[/quote]
Thanks mate. Im almost recovered. Another 5 days or so and I should be good to go.

Although my latest injury ha even got me second guessing on if I ever want to front squat again.
:frowning:

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[/quote]

but front squatting’s the best thing ever!

I trained my legs for the best part of a year just doing:

-Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats
-GHR
-HIp Thrusts

You might want to consider a few weeks (months?) of doing something similar. No real load on the back with any of those movements (although careful not to hyperextend on the hip thrusts).


#11

[quote]Yogi wrote:

but front squatting’s the best thing ever!

I trained my legs for the best part of a year just doing:

-Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats
-GHR
-HIp Thrusts

You might want to consider a few weeks (months?) of doing something similar. No real load on the back with any of those movements (although careful not to hyperextend on the hip thrusts).
[/quote]
Sounds like a good idea!

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