Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And the Evaluation Is...

Strained ligaments in the lumbar spine. This was the result of my evaluation this evening with my physical therapist. (So my prediction was not too far off!)

Further, this injury appears to be the result of... can you guess it?... come on now, think... what do kettlebellers always complain about?...

That's right! Overly tight hip flexors!!

Apparently my hip flexors and quads are extremely tight. And they have created stress on the back muscles particularly where they attach to my lumbar spine. So my initial rehab work will focus on opening up the hip flexors and quads while strengthening my core, or transverse abdominis, to be exact. A strong transverse abdominis helps support the spine and will help reduce some of the stress imposed by the repetitive loading that results from kettlebell movements.

Lastly, I am going to have to tweak my standing posture (and we still have to go into this in more detail) but it appears that I might pitch my upper body a bit thereby loading my ligaments more so than others which may contribute to some of the stress.

Short-term work, between now and Monday, will consist of my own continued Z-Health along with 3 specific exercises to stretch and strengthen those muscles mentioned above.

Now, for all of you out there reading this, this goes out to you. DO NOT be reactive about your stretching like I was. Be sure you're stretching NOW, following your workout sessions. I never realized that I was tight. And even after the aching began, I thought the tightness was in my back, not originating from my hips. Even if you feel healthy and strong now, be sure to stretch. When I teach my classes, I always make sure we cool down and stretch at the end. When I work out myself, not so much. Be smart and take care of things while you are feeling good. Don't wait for the aches and pains like I did. If I had only ordered that Prasara Yoga tape 2-3 months ago!!

5 comments:

Franklin B Herman, RKC said...

Nice! It sounds like you went to a top-notch PT.

Do you believe the strained ligaments was a result of a flexibility issue that was magnified during your Cotter Cert?

Did you get the okay to resume light training?

It will be interesting to see what the FMS screen shows up as well.

hunashaman said...

Wow, we are way too similar. I tend to have issues with the exact same parts of my body and it also has a lot to do with tight hip flexors. Since I've been doing yoga again I've noticed a distinct improvement in the lower back mainly due to working on loosening my hips and pelvic area. Looking forward to seeing you training again buddy.

Howie Brewer said...

Thanks Johan. Until I am able to start incorporating the Prasara regularly into my practice, it might be difficult for me to notice how tight these hip flexors might be. I too am looking forward to training again. Resting is more difficult than training these days.

Ellen Stein said...

Hey Howie-get Pavel's Strength Stretching DVD-try to create space in your hip joint by prying it loose. I have been ultra vigilant with my hip mobility work and it has greatly reduced any and all back discomfort and at the same time improved my squats and DL's. Also work on moblizing your thoracic spine-where your shoulders go so do your hips!

Howie Brewer said...

Ellen, is Stretch-Strengthening anything like Resilient? I have Resilient and have taken a look at the hip-opening movements. Unfortunately, even they are a bit extreme for me at the moment.