By David Thurin

How I Overcame My Back Injury?



Ever had one of those injuries that just, well, knocked the wind out of you? Last year, I went through something similar.

Imagine not being able to move your back properly; it was a trip!

Let me walk you through it, especially if you're into fitness like me. Might save you some future hassle.

The Severity of My Back Injury

Man, you wouldn't believe how bad it was. I seriously couldn't even extend my back fully. You know how we all have our good and bad days? On a decent day, I looked like someone who'd just seen a ghost and was permanently stuck in a half-arching, half-straight pose. 

It wasn't pretty, let me tell you that. I'd try to stretch out, hoping for some relief, but nada. Zip. Zilch. It's like my back decided to play some cruel joke on me.

The Common Myth: Just Rest

Now here's where things get a tad interesting. You see, the typical advice we always hear is to take it easy. Just chill, rest up, and let time do its thing.

Sounds logical, right? I mean, why poke the bear? But here's a nugget for you: resting isn't always the magical cure we think it is. While there's no denying that our bodies do need downtime to heal, sometimes being a little proactive can make all the difference.

We often fall for the idea that if something hurts, you should just avoid it, like that ex you bump into at parties. But, when it comes to injuries, this passive "let-it-be" approach might not always be the best plan of action. Sometimes, you gotta face the music and dance, or in my case, move that pesky back!


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Taking Active Steps Towards Recovery

So, after realizing that lounging around like a sloth wasn’t doing me any favors, I decided to take matters into my own hands. (Or should I say my own back?) Anyway, I started moving – not when I felt 100%, but when it was "tolerable". And, if you’re imagining me leaping around pain-free, think again. 

By "tolerable", I mean a level of discomfort I could handle without screaming for mercy. It's like eating super spicy food. It burns, but in a way that you can, sort of, manage. So yeah, "tolerable" isn't a walk in the park; it's more like a careful tiptoe through a pebble-filled path.

The Specific Movements I Practiced

Alright, fitness enthusiasts, here's the juicy part you've been waiting for! Let's dive into the exact movements I ventured into during my recovery phase.

Bear in mind, I kept it zero-weight initially, focusing purely on repetition. We're talking 50+ reps here. No dumbbells, no resistance bands, just plain ol' me.

1. Flexion and Extension

Sounds fancy, doesn't it? But it's really quite basic. For the flexion, I would bend forward, trying to bring my chest closer to my thighs. And for the extension? Arching my back while looking up, I stretched out those muscles that felt like they'd forgotten how to move.

2. Lateral Flexion (both ways)

Ever done that stretch where you try to touch your right foot with your left hand and vice versa? That's it! I'd bend side to side, imagining I was trying to dodge imaginary obstacles being thrown at me. Left, then right – ensuring I gave both sides equal love.

3. Twisting

This was the trickiest one for me. Standing firm, I’d rotate my upper body side to side, kinda like those old-school dance moves where you twist your hips. It was all about ensuring my spine got a good ol' rotation without any added strain.

Progressing with Gravity

Now, here's where the plot thickens. After a while, just doing those movements felt a bit, well, basic. I needed a new challenge. Enter gravity. That's right, the same force that keeps our feet on the ground and makes dropping a sandwich always land butter side down. Who knew it could be your gym buddy?

Gravity as Resistance

Most of us think of weights or resistance bands when we hear "resistance training", but there's a free and ever-present tool we often forget: good old gravity.

By leveraging my body's position and playing with angles, I could make each movement a tad bit more challenging, ensuring my back was getting stronger day by day.

1. Weighted Flexion and Extension

By leaning forward slightly during the flexion, I allowed gravity to pull me down further, making the movement harder.

Similarly, during the extension, I would lean back a bit more, allowing gravity to pull against the arch, adding resistance naturally.

2. Weighted Lateral Flexion

This was fun (and a bit tricky). I'd stand sideways next to a wall, lean into the stretch, and then try to push away using only my core and back muscles.

The idea was to use the pull of gravity to deepen the stretch, and then use my muscles to push back up.

3. Weighted Twisting

For this, I'd get into a squat position to lower my center of gravity. Then, while twisting, I'd lean slightly into the direction of the twist. This tiny lean made all the difference, as I had to work harder to return to the starting position.

Getting Creative with Resistance

The beauty of using gravity is that it's super adaptable. You can increase or decrease the difficulty based on how much you lean, squat, or change your position. It's all about finding that "sweet spot" where it's challenging but still within your tolerance range.

And trust me, it's not about being a hero. It's about finding what works for you. If you feel like a move is too much, ease off a bit. If it's too easy, lean in a little more.


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The Results?

After months of diligent practice and battling gravity, the transformation in my back was astounding. Gone were the days of stiffness and discomfort; instead, my back was moving with ease and flexibility it hadn't known in ages. 

Simple tasks no longer felt like challenges, and my strength was noticeably amplified. In fact, with this newfound agility and vigor, it's fair to say my back is now in the best shape it's ever been. Who knew a setback could lead to such a comeback?

Disclaimer: This is fitness advice. Please consult with your doctor before starting any new training routines.

Bottom Line

Navigating a back injury wasn't just about healing; it was a journey of rediscovery.

By challenging conventional wisdom, embracing movement, and harnessing the power of gravity, I transformed pain into strength. 

Remember, setbacks can be set up for comebacks. Listen to your body, stay persistent, and you might just find your own way to flex and flourish. Stay Flexy!