Flexing your back muscles against resistance, while weightlifting, puts it a compromised position. Low back pain can often be caused by poor posture or technique. Extending and flexing the spinal muscles using weight resistance can sometimes damage those muscles and ligaments, especially those dynamic exercises such as snatches which generate greater stresses in the back. Hitting the gym after 7 hours sitting behind a desk is not good either unless some sensible precaution is taken
Take sensible precautions to prevent back injuries from weightlifting
It’s better to take sensible precautions to protect your back than injure yourself needlessly then have to undergo a period of recovery. If you are new to weightlifting, it’s wise to get proper instruction from the experts rather than wade right in there. If you have a history of back problems then it’s essential to seek the advice of your medical practitioner beforehand
Here’s some common sense tips to prevent back injury whist weightlifting:-
To reduce risk of damaging your spine, consider
- Doing warm up and stretching exercises before commencement, especially if you are in a sedentary occupation before hitting the gym
- Reduce the amount of weight you are lifting but compensate with a greater number of reps
- Use a machine instead of free weights which will provide more stability to your posture and provide support. Talk to your trainer to understand the pro’s and cons of this in your regime eg free weights do have the benefit of requiring self regulation of posture for more experienced lifters
- Maybe consider wearing a belt for serious lifting but again talk to the trainer to understand this
- Brace your core by tensing your abs to help support your spine
- Lock your shoulders and flex your lats to provide stability to your upper back
- Avoid slouching or presenting a rounded back and poor mechanics
- Consider cutting down on those “higher risk” lifts such as clean and jerks dead lifts snatches and squats which are more stressful to the spinal joints and soft tissue. Certainly get advice on this from the trainer
- Take breaks in your routine to walk around in order to give your back a short recovery rest
If you are experiencing back pain after weightlifting
- You’ll know the difference between feeling tired but good after your workout, and the discomfort when you sense you have overdone things, and landed yourself with the infamous weightlifters back pain.
- You may experience pain in the lumbar spine area often brought about by strain on the muscles and ligaments, manifesting itself as maybe mild twinges to chronic pain, the area is sensitive to the touch and may sometimes accompanied by painful spasms,
- Generally this pain will usually subside fairly quickly with a period of rest and relaxation , Sometimes an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas in a towel) may be useful to reduce inflammation in the sore tissue.
- Lay off the weights for a few days and avoiding any spinal exertion is a must and try to do light exercise such as walking to keep mobile
- Its recommended to try to sleep on your side rather than back or stomach
However, it is wise to ensure that the symptoms are not indicative of a more serious condition. If you experience weakness in your back, any sensation of numbness, loss of bladder or bowel control, then seek immediate medical attention as this could be indicative of serious damage.
If your pain persists after several days then its best to speak to your medical practitioner as a precaution.
One useful way of rebalancing after weightlifting is a few minutes on LumbaCurve or indeed as a palliative regime between sessions. Click on the link below to see how easy LumbaCurve is to use for back pain relief
Here’s a comment from a weighlifter user on LumbaCurve Back Pain Relief .
“It’s fantastic. I will admit I struggled on the technique to start with, but I eventually got the right technique to hit the problem area. I’m very much into natural bodybuilding I’m 5ft 11 at 15st 2 atm on off season, so I am putting pain down to being heavy, but I noticed a difference as I was playing table tennis for 2 hours yesterday and my lower back didn’t hurt or get stiff which I’m over the moon about. I’ve got deadlifts on Friday, so I’ll be using it again after training.”
David Haagensen CEO Fitness Supermarket