Over the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve had this pain in my lower back that just won’t go away. Any sneezing or coughing triggered pain, twisting motions were difficult and painful, and even bending over to put on my tall boots was not an easy feat. This whole not being able to workout thing has really been eating away at me >_<
If you workout intensely, getting the proper rest and rehabilitation is an essential. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way again. The sad part is that this workout injury could have been prevented had I known my limits. So now, I have put myself on a joint mobility & stretching program to heal my back.
What did me in this time was probably this one week in March where I did 5 workouts within a 3 day time span. Saturday was a combination of kettlebell sport training, a few heavy deadlifts, olympic rings & bodyweight moves as my morning workout. Later that day was a video shoot for Funk Roberts’ Spartacus 2.0 Workout where I was climbing ropes, lifting kettlebells, and swinging clubbells. Sunday was an MMA workout, then Monday was Zumba dance with the girls. This was pretty much my routine for at least a month before the pain kicked in (minus the video shoot). Life was good and I felt like a badass! Of course, this minor setback has changed things a bit. Stuff like not being able to train and possibly having to forgo attending the Agatsu Kettlebell Championships that’s in 2 weeks. I was really looking forward to lifting again, so unless I can heal myself within the next week, I will have to attend the next event. If I lift, I want to be sure that I feel ready.
Today I went to see my MAT* (Muscle Activation Technique) specialist, Ian Murray up at Core Strength. For those of you who’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know he is the one who helped me rehabilitate my broken collarbone. AMAZING stuff and I highly recommend it!!
Simply stated: your body will function pain free as long as you are biomechanically balanced. Based on his tests, I was walking with a bit of a tilt and had a couple of imbalances in my body which were causing me the pain. My lumbar discs (L4-5) were rubbing and there was a slight misalignment in my pelvis, thus causing a bit of inflammation (facet irritation). Luckily it was not too serious, seeing that the pain came maybe a week or so after the fact. A much better scenario than if I were to, for example feel a pull in my muscles right after performing a deadlift. Ian was able to help me regain some balance within the hour. I literally walked out of there with better posture and I’m feeling better already. I’m definitely back on the road to recovery 🙂
For now, I am staying away from too many twisting motions and doing more single plane motions until my back is fully healed. That combined with some isometric movements, stretching, and joint mobility.
* MATTM is a biomechanics-based system that aims to identify and treat muscular inhibitions that can lead to chronic orthopedic dysfunction, impeded recovery, and discomfort. The treatment involves a systematic checks and balance process that evaluates the integrity of the neuromuscular system.
What makes it unique?
MAT™ involves a new paradigm shift in how tightness is viewed. Traditionally, tightness or restricted range of motion at a joint is viewed as the primary source of your problem. Thus, most modalities aim at directly decreasing tightness. The fundamental principle of the MATTM thought process is that muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness. Muscles tighten as a protective mechanism that is secondary to the instability made manifest by the presence of muscle inhibition. MAT™ focuses on treating the underlying cause of the problem rather than the symptom.
The MATTM evaluation is unique as it considers the mechanical relationships existing between joints. With this perspective, we look at how abnormal mechanics in one joint may affect the function of all other joints shared in arthrokinematic, arthrokinetic, or myokinetic chains. This means that where you are experiencing discomfort different than the site of the true mechanical issue.