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ShFIT Talk #7 - Back Injuries & Recovery

Did you know that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries account for 1 of every 5 injuries and illnesses in the workplace and 80% of these back injuries occur to the lower back. It doesn't matter what your age, back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly. If you do contact sports like football, rugby or jiu-jitsu your chances of experiencing back injuries are even higher.

The lumbar spine is often the site of back pain and results from a variety of things, but happens when damage, wear, or trauma to the bones, muscles, or other tissues occurs in back.

Common back injuries include:

  • sprains and strains

  • herniated discs

  • fractured vertebrae

When you overstretch or overwork the muscle in your back you can tear a ligament in that area around the muscles and it will usually become inflamed.

Even though back injuries are often quick to occur, the recovery time is much longer. Recovery for back injuries is not a quick fix. Nearly 50% of back injuries take about 2 weeks to repair yet survivor ones take about 6 weeks.

Remember if you R.I.C.E and you are still in pain it is always important to follow up with your doctor.

Signs you may have injured your back include:

  • pain or tenderness (sore to touch)

  • pain that worsens with movement, coughing, sneezing or laughing

  • stiffness or difficulty moving

  • difficulty standing up straight

  • muscles in spasm on either side of the spine

  • bruising

  • swelling

  • pain that radiates down one or both legs

To speed the healing, you should always R.I.C.E

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Compress

  • Elevate

When it comes to your back compression and Elevation may be hard, applying heat to your back alternating with icing to reduce pain and swelling along with Advil or another painkillers (if recommended by your doctor) with the addition of a back use support should help. Don’t try to rush it. Jumping back into your routine is never a good thing. Take the time to stretch and develop the weaker muscles that help contribute to the injury before hitting the rack again like a muscle head.

Some stretches for lower back pain are:

  • Prayer Stretch

  • Single Knee to Chest

  • Piriformis Stretch

  • Core Stability – Pelvic Tilt

  • Glute Stretches

  • Sphinx Pose

Stretching your back is just as important as strengthening it. Once you feel like going to the gym again, it is important that you take the time to strengthen your muscles so you reduce the risk of re-injury.

Some great strengthening exercises are:

  • Cat/Cow

  • Birddog

  • Superman

  • Reverse Leg Raises

  • Plank

  • Pike Ups

  • Back Extensions

  • Swimmers

Why not work with one of our certified trainers to help develop a workout routine to help avoid the risk of back injuries in the future.


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