T Nation

Softball and Lower Back Injury


I'm 36, play competitive softball 2-3 games a week. I have an old lower back injury that has recently given me problems flaring up after games. Usually I can recover in a couple days but it seems like my swing has taken its toll as of late, and my recovery time is more like 4-6 days. I stretch as much as possible.

Any suggestions other than taking Motrin that I can do to help reduce the injury and strengthen the lower back? I'm scheduled to play 4 games a week starting in August. Maybe some techniques that the pros use to keep their back in tact? Thanks for your help.


Don't stretch the back muscles. According to Stuart McGill, you want stability for the lower back. I'll go out on a limb here and say weak abs, or more specifically inability to "brace" during hitting and throwing. Actually there was an article recently here at T-Nation about joints.
Check it out.



Be careful with the Motrin. Dr John Berardi writes:

"Yet new research suggests that NSAIDs, in some cases, might actually hinder injury healing in the mid-term. Celebrex, for example, reduced ligament strength in rats recovering from injury by about 32%. In another study, the same thing happened with both Celebrex and indocin. Not all studies show these effects, but enough of them do to cause some concern and to moderate our NSAID use in acute injury or muscle pain. Beyond interfering with ligament healing, NSAIDs also may interfere with the healing of muscle strains, adaptations to weight training, and bone healing in the mid-term. Of course, there are also the side effects (GI bleed, etc with non-selective NSAIDS). Yet again, the data are mixed."

And I'll give another vote for work on your abs. All my back pains went away when I started concentrating on abdominal work. Also, studies have shown that static stretching before exercise actually increases your chance of injury. Warm up dynamically.

Vitamins A & C help with collagen deposition and don't forget your aminos:

"...in one study, the combined administration of 14g arginine, 3g HMB, and 14g glutamine in two divided doses (two doses of 7g arginine, 1.5g HMB, 7g glutamine per day) for 14 days significantly increased collagen synthesis in adults."

Good luck!


No offense, but studies show a lot of things. That doesn't make them right. For me, static stretching is a must. Despite the fact that some view static stretching as the devil (especially lately) dynamic warmup is not necessarily for everyone.

I find static stretching to be a big help, before working out and otherwise. If OP thinks it helps, he should keep doing it, despite what the "experts" say. As always, do what works for you.


Looks like herniated disc(s)

Big problem and not much to do, it takes time to recover!!! I know, i have 3 herniated discs, it took about 10 years to get much better and i have to be carefull!

Streching is good but NO BOUNCING!!!!!! work on the hamstrings(gradual stretch) and strenghten your middle sedtion(lower back, abs and VERY important, obliques!)

Good luck!!!!


What I'm about to advise will cost you more than any stretching or even surgery (ego-wise, that is) - change your hitting style. It sounds like you're swinging exactly right - to go yard every time. Rotating your hips, developing power, and mashing the ball. Feels good...until you wake up the next day. (Am I getting close here?)

Once you hit for power, it's very hard to change, but I think you need to go with less hip rotation, less violence to your swing. Go opposite field, placement hits, slap singles for OBP.

Your fielding might also be causing problems, depending on what position you play, how you field grounders, etc.


Kong you can go to youtube and search for speedswing I have several hitting clips.

Softball is my passion. I lift to hit better and farther. I hit a ball today off of my T over a 401' 10' high fence.

I'm 6'7"330lbs

as a weight lifter the older we get the more we have to stretch and stay loose.

I'm 43 and I've learned to take time off to heal as well. The 50+ softball bracket is the fastest growing bracket in softball.

you're to young to give yourself a permanent injury.

take the time off to heal do some therapeutic excercises and come back stronger and healthier.


Thanks for the response and ideas. I have taken all under consideration. I have always had strong abs but I feel they do need some more work, especially as I get older. I will change that aspect of my workouts to incorporate even more abs, obliques and lower back. This injury resulted from an improper seated row. Had too much on and my form went right out the window.

I've paid ever since. I have the aminos covered.
My swing is very aggressive, always has been. I don't swing for the fences but rather try to put as much on the ball coming off the bat so that it makes it hard to field wherever it goes. But, your post did hit home. I know what you're talking about. It's hard to change from a power swing to a finesse swing. Anyway, thanks for all your comments and help!


Well all I can say is if your have back surgery you can come back (I did) but it took 4 years to recover. It hurts most of the time but I can walk and lift. I look at it this way... I want my muscles and strength back more than the pain trying to hold me back, so I win!