Lower back pain after dynamic stretching - help

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Lower back pain after dynamic stretching - help

Postby chrislines » May 18, 2005 09:04

I recently purchased Scientific Stretching and have been embarking on the twice a day dynamic stretching as reccomended. I have only been doing this for a week and have suffered from lower back pain twice for a few days and still have it today after excercises two days ago. I have now stopped.

I suspect this is due to the trunk rotation excercises rather than the leg raises but I wondered if I was doing something wrong.

I try and do 3 or 4 sets of 10 or 12 of reps of each exercise. 20 min total workout.

Could i be doing them too fast, I read that they should be done no slower than 75% of full speed.

Has anyone else experienced this or am I on my own?

I have been attending Taekwondo classes twice a week for 2 years without such pain so generally my back is in good condition.

Any advise of how to avoid this would be appreciated - maybe I am just trying too hard!? Thanks.
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Postby dragon » May 19, 2005 05:38

If you've just started i'd say twice per day,every day is too much.
Try the dynamic stretches only before your workouts when you are fully warmed up to get used to the technique before trying the early morning stretches.

Only you know what the pain feels like but i would think that a lower back strain through the torso twists is unlikely.I have strained mine before doing front leg raises,possibly by rounding my spine and thus stretching the lower back.

Maybe you are trying too hard.Pavel Tsatsouline says that the dynamic stretches are more to loosen you rather than stretch you.He says if you start to feel it pull or tighten,you've already gone to far.
Progressive stretching is achieved by isometrics/relaxed stretches.
Dynamic stretches are to prepare you for kicking at full velocity and height for your current level of flexibility.

Dragon
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Postby chrislines » May 19, 2005 08:19

Oh ok, thanks Dragon. Maybe I was trying too hard to stretch with the dynamic leg rises rather than just warm up. It may have been that yes.

So the improvement in kicking height for example will be increased by isometrics ( after training in my case couple of times a week). The dynamics are just to keep you going/stay supple and so you can kick cold.

I'll try the dynamics on training days to begin as you suggest. If they go well I'll increase. I was thinking I might get the Tom Kurtz DVD as I assumed I was doing the stretches wrong. I would have liked a little warning in the book about these leg stratches really... they are quite dangerous if done to hard.

My back is still sore today so I reckon I've got to rest for a good few more days yet. It's annoying when trying to do the right thing/improve your flexability leads to an injury in itself!
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Postby dragon » May 19, 2005 10:33

The difference between dynamic stretches and other forms of stretching is that it mimics the action of the kick.So not only does it stretch you,it stretches you at near maximum velocity.

If you have been kicking ok for 2 years in TKD without injury then it may be that your dynamic stretching technique is wrong,or it may be that you are not warmed up enough for the amount of stretch you're trying for.

I have had injury myself but i can't blame the Thomas Kurz(or anyone else's) material for that.It was my fault for trying to rush the results.

Dragon
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Postby chrislines » May 19, 2005 10:40

I have ordered the DVD now to visually check if my technique is bad... hopefully this may help.

I'll take it very gradualy when I start up again and won't push the stretch until I'm used to the movement.

Thanks.
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Postby chrislines » Jul 07, 2005 07:01

I got the DVD and studied it carefullyand I still get the lower back pain?! I have been calming down the dynamic stretching to just my beforemy classes then just in the mornings, very gentle and light and not anything like the velocity I train at in the eve at my TKD classes. Just 8 reps on each leg, but my back still hurts. I think it's the morning exercise that it doesn't like. Maybe I need to warm up more but I do every thing it says on the DVD. I might have to give this up and just do normal stretching - maybe dynamic stretches in the morning isn't for everyone! I think it's too much of a shock first thing! Help!
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Postby dragon » Jul 07, 2005 07:46

You could try performing only one direction of the leg raises for a week or so to see if only one of them is causing the pain.If it's the side or rear raises there are alternatives/alterations you could make(front raises would be more difficult to change).
I don't perform the morning dynamic stretches at all.First thing in a morning i perform mobility joint exercises but that's all.
Personally,i have no priority to be able to kick high at any point during the day without warm up.It's personal choice,but i wouldn't be throwing high kicks in a life threatening self defence situation.

Dragon
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Postby chrislines » Jul 07, 2005 08:03

That's true - in reality, you would do what you could to escape in a self defence situation, a reverse hook kick to the head may not be the most practical technique!! It could be that my aerobic work out before the leg raises is not enough - after the joint rotations I do some push ups, sit ups and star jumps in order to get the blood flowing, but it might not be enough. Interestingly I do not seem to get this pain during my actual TKD class in the evening... at least not as much. I cycle to work everyday (I know the DVD and book says this is no good for high kicks!) but maybe I'll do the leg raises after I've got to work and am properly warmed up. I did try getting rid of the back raises and just doing front and side raises as you suggest but it still happens. I am frustrated as I am trying to increase my kicking height for my TKD but I'm not sure dynamic stretching in the morning is the best thing for me. Also the TKD stretches I perform in class are not really dynamic and other people seem to have good flexability so I could just try doing more of these at home. Any thoughts?
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Postby mat » Jul 07, 2005 08:29

You should be able to do dynamic leg raises from cold. make sure you are doing them gently and building up the height gradually as you loosen up.

As Dragon hints it may be that you are leaning forwards too much and puttng pressure on your lower back. Try leaning back slightly - This is better as then you are stretching the top of the thigh on the standing leg as well, and putting less pressure on the back.

If you still experience back pain then you probably need to do some exercises to strengthen your back.

Mat
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Postby dragon » Jul 07, 2005 08:44

There can be a fine line between warmed up and fatigued if you're not careful.I would drop the sit ups and push ups as part of your warm up and stick with light aerobic work-jogging,skipping,star jumps,shadow boxing.

When doing the side raises lean forwards on a chair like in the DVD(maybe even more so).This will eliminate excessive arch in the lower back from trying to remain upright whilst also tilting your pelvis forwards.

Alternatively,you could perform the side raise in the same position as a side kick-heel pointing towards the target,leaning back slightly.You may find this targets the hamstring of the supporting leg more though.Some adjustment may be needed.

Dragon
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Postby chrislines » Jul 07, 2005 09:21

Thanks for the tips...

I do the side raises exactly the same as a side kick basically, leaning to the opposite side slightly (iei not upright) with the kicking leg going slightly backwards as it raises, heel down. This really emulates how a real kick would be. It seems reasonably comfortable and seems much more easy to control than the front leg raise. The front leg raise I do like I have been taught in my class i.e. the raised leg comes back behind the supporting leg when it lands so you finish in a walking stance. This seems easier than just launching a front leg raise from the upright position/both legs together like the DVD shows. I have not tried the side kick with a chair much so I could try this more for sure. The front kick could be the problem, it's quite hard to kick up forward with proper control, it tends to be more of a 'swing' which could be putting pressure on the back. I really am being careful though and doing the exercises very slowly and not too high so I really am suprised it's such a weak spot for me. Maybe I should try strengthing/stretching the back more for a few weeks. I do cat stretches/arching etc as part of my warm up so it should not be that stiff.
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Postby dragon » Jul 07, 2005 09:50

Sometimes it can be more comfortable to start the front raise with one leg in front of the other for balance.On the other hand,if you need to start this way you could be performing the leg raise ballistically(you said it's more of a swing).
I would concentrate on the strength aspect of your lower back training than the stretching aspect.Excessive back flexibility cause instability of the trunk.

Dragon
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Postby chrislines » Jul 07, 2005 10:16

Thanks.
Yes, possibly the front leg was more a ballistic swing than a raise engaging the muscles in the hip/leg etc. I'll watch that. Could be the problem.
OK, I will look at the DVD for some back strength exercises. I seem to remember the one where you lie on your front and lift your arms and legs in the air like a sky dive move. I'll see if there are others on there too...
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Weak back

Postby Kit » Jul 07, 2005 22:15

Hi there
When I first started training with leg swings, i also had lower back pain. Everything you describe fits the problems that I had. The cause is most likely your posture and a lack of strength. If you have a mirror or a video camera, record and look at yourself doing the swings. Take a look at your posture and I am sure you will probably find you are rounding your lower back, trying to get more height. You will especially notice that your supporting leg is bending and that your upper body may even lean forward. The way to correct this is to be strict on yourself in your training. Don't try to fool yourself into thinking you can kick higher than you can by rounding your lower back.

To solve the problem I recommend:
1) Build your lower back and abdominal strength. This is the only way to get your core strong enough to help keep your trunk upright.
2) When doing dynamic swings to the front (especially) make sure you always keep your supporting leg and body straight. This will feel like a setback at first as you will find that you can no longer kick as high as you thought you could. But the reality is if you don't start dealing with these issues you will injure yourself and then your training will have to stop. Stay with it, keeping your body straight and you will find that your flexibility will increase.

You may even want to consider seeing a chiropractor or doctor and get your back looked at. Have you had any back strains ever before ?
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Postby chrislines » Jul 08, 2005 06:00

Thanks Kit, glad it is not just me who's had this problem. Generally my back is fine. I hurt it about 15 years ago and had a few phases of pain due to bad posture etc but for the last 5 or 10 years it's been ok except the odd bad week. As I said earlier in this post, I have trained in TKD for two years with no back pain at all, this has only started once I practised the dynamic leg swings in the morning. I can imagine standing fully upright and not bending the other leg etc would approximately half my kicking height so it would certainly be a set back from that point of view. But as you indicate, if I'm not doing it right I will only be hurting myself. so this needs to be addressed.
I'm sure my abs are strong enough as I have no problem with crunches etc, the back may need strengthening though. Did you have to strengthen your back or just correct your posture?
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