In early 2011 I unfortunately herniated my L5 and S1 discs and found myself in a lot of pain and discomfort. I did it very easily and it is a reminder to make sure that we respect this important part of our body. Back injuries suck!!
For someone who has always been sporty, active and mobile this was very frustrating.
It was actually really depressing.
So what did I do?
I have never been one to stand down or take the easy way out and that particular year was a challenging one for me for a number of personal reasons and I was focusing on self development and my physical fitness and at the same time I was dealing with a debilitating back injury.
Looking back it was the most challenging year of my life in so many ways.
So I stepped up my training when most people would slow down and stop even under teh guidance of external advice.
Avoiding strength worked just did not sit well with me and that seemed to be counter productive.
So..I continued my fitness program and in fact stepped it up.
I was training once a day and some times twice.
Due to the pain and the back injury I did however modify my skills which included a very focused stretching and release protocol on a daily basis.
I wanted the pain gone. I wanted to fix it.
I was stretching at least 30-60 minutes before work everyday and before every gym session. I removed all heavy lifting (deads / overheads/ back squats), focused on dumbbells, kettlebells, sprinting and specific machines like the seated row and cables to ensure my progress was maintained.
I used the roller and ball and worked my entire muscle lines from the back, glute, piriformis, ITB, calf and the foot.
It was tedious however I could not operate unless I at least spent some time loosening up the muscles.
I had a plan, had my music playlist and it became a routine.
I lost 20kg in just over a month that year (yes I was not in good shape at the time) and moved my fitness to a new level and 9 months later my back injury had subsided and I felt great.
I give credit to the fact I did not stop, I was consistent and I did all the release work.
I also used visualisation techniques to encourage recovery.
The main reason I am writing this is because it happened to me again this year, 6 years after the first incident.
In Feb 2017, I re-injured my back with a silly moment in my gym when I landed heavily on my heels after falling from the monkey bars.
The shock wave went up my legs into my back and boom I was at square one.
I could not walk for a week and the pain was ridiculous.
It is now December, again 10 months on, and only this week have I had my back recover to a point where I feel I can start training with more dynamics and confidence.
I have been reminded that we are precious and mobility and attitude comes before everything else.
The attached photos are a variety, not all, of the mobility skills I did on a daily basis to get through and find recovery and remember I also focused on core and back strength.
Hope this helps those who have a similar story and/or are facing similar pain.
I have been there and gotten through.....twice.
If in doubt always see your Physio and get second opinions on everything and make sure to do the exercises and never give up.
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