Low Back Problem

Injured low back about 3 weeks ago. I regularly do loaded carries and participate in Brazilian jiujitsu.

The pain came on doing drilling triangle chokes the day before felt ok in the competition class with lots of rolls.

Pain is left side of low back with ache at front of hip/groin area.

Been to hospital they said i did not need xray etc as no red flags came up (what ever that means)

No pain in extension a bit in flexion but lots when i side bend to the left. .

I’m doing mckenzie pressup holds and bird/dog exercises.

Any advice would be appreciated.

I’m 52yrs old
Work as driver.

Basically, it means theyve deemed you as a member of the vast majority (~95%) of people who experience back pain but have very good outcomes, and no concern over obvious tissue damage.

In the no red-flag group (often referred to as mechanical back pain), significant recovery is expected in 2 weeks, and complete recovery by 6 for the majority of individuals. What’s more, this resolution tends to occur without any “special” or magical exercise.

Because you don’t have specific tissue damage, and because you don’t need special exercise to improve, you’ve got the power to decide what your body can tolerate over the coming weeks.

Generally, your job is to keep active as much as normal, but modifying what you do so you arent walking around feeling like a cripple.

Feel free to continue lifting weights, but choose exercises that don’t irritate your pain. Good options often involve machine or dumbbell exercises - especially for lower body. Some individuals report regular walking, swimming or wading feel great, so you can try these strategies also. Unfortunately, BJJ may need to take a little break, but only because it is likely to flare you up in this early-pain period.

If you do flare up your back pain with exercising, don’t worry! With mechanical back pain, increases in pain following activity are hardly ever caused by increased damage or injury to the structures. Instead, it’s usually just an irritable area (the back) telling you it wants to have a bit more of a relax.

To summarise:

  • The hospital has deemed that your back is safe: you don’t have any tissue damage of concern and you will likely improve without any special management
  • I suggest keeping your activiy as normal as possible, and modifying as needed so that you aren’t exercising through massive pain.
  • If you do flare up your pain, don’t worry - it doesn’t mean you have increased injury or reinjured any structures

@Jonjay I agree with @j4gga2 (great reply BTW).

It is super easy to have your pelvis become misaligned and then any sprain/strain situation can become perpetually “stuck” and the tissues stay irritated. Generally sprains/strains heal with time well enough, but if you stay misaligned, it can get irritated simply from sitting and doing normal movements. If you drive for a living, you may be literally sitting on the problem and helping it stay a problem.

Besides going and seeing your local body mechanic, aka chiropractor, try this:

The secret for old guys like us is to do this with as little tension as possible. Stay loose and let your range of motion happen as naturally as possible. Also, keep a long spine. Think that you are trying to separate the vertebrae, pulling them apart, one off the top of another, as you do this movement.

Don’t be surprised if you can get a “clunk” out of the low back or SI Joints. Just take it easy and don’t move into pain!


Thank you for reply yes it’s been over 3 weeks now . Read about muscle guarding which can cause tightness.

This looks really interesting goibg to try this.

I have had back pain thru out the years, woke up sunday crooked, seeing my chiro 3x this week and wearing a belt for support

its tough, but i will be good as new by end of month or sooner

I think it was caused by sleeping on the floor saturday night watching tv

1 Like

If it is a sprain/strain expect some recovery time for sure. Keep moving but don’t go into pain if you can avoid it.


Thats what my chiro says