Pulled Muscle Lower Back

After taking several years off running due to an arthritic injury in my foot, I've recovered enough to start running again and working my way toward a half marathon at the end of this month, I feel like I've been given a new lease of life. However just 10 days before the event I've pulled something in my lower back and am having difficulty even walking and standing. I'm applying heat packs regularly and its easing day by day but my wife reckons the half marathon would be a crazy idea now, no matter how much better it feels. The idea of missing it makes me feel gutted. Anyone had experience of running soon after this type of injury and any words of hope?


  • I would highly recommend "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin Mckenzie. I semi prolapsed a disc in my lower back and whilst I was waiting for a physio appointment I was recommended this fabulous book. When I finally managed to see my physio my back had eased tremendously, I told him I had been doing Mckenzie exercises and he was perfectly happy I had done so. He gave me back strengthening exercises for once the pain subsided and I run regularly with no issues at all. I have twinged my back on a couple of occasions since and this is my immediate source of information to get me back on my feet and running again.

    Not allowed to post a link for the book , but look it up on Amazon UK, its concise and easy to follow.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I can't comment on your injury as it's a bit vague so I will just relate something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I do Bikram yoga to keep myself strong and limber, but it's quite back intensive. A couple of days after a 20 mile run (marathon training) I pushed too hard into a forward bend and hurt something in my lower back. It was to the side (sacroiliac region) rather than the spine itself. I have hurt this area before so I know it usually eases after a few days, but the problem was I had a half marathon that weekend (I hurt it on the Tuesday). I'd been looking forward to the race and already had a massage booked for the day after.
    Initially I rested the back but tried a shortish (4 mile - that's short for me currently) run on the Thursday. Back hurt a bit but I got through it. I have a TENS device so I strapped that on when I was resting and took some ibuprofen.
    Did some yoga on the Friday and deliberately backed off of the positions most likely to irritate but even so, my back didn't like it much so that was probably a mistake.
    Saturday was a rest day but I was marshalling at parkrun and standing for an hour in the cold left me hurting and I thought that there was absolutely no way I'd make the start of my half. However, I'd been really looking forward to it, so I determined to do as much as I could to try and fix it. I spent a while lounging around with the TENS on, took more ibuprofen and did a little stretching. Then around lunchtime, I went out for a stress test - just a jog around the block with a couple of sprints thrown in. This seemed to go OK so I ate, chilled out for the afternoon and then went out again at 6 to repeat the stress test. After that I decided I probably could run the next day.
    I did so, but rather than take the train all the way to the race, I walked two miles to the station where I'd need to change trains as a bit of a warm-up.
    The race itself went really well and I got a PB.

    Now I'm not saying you should do the same. I'd see someone - a physio or sports masseur if you can afford one - to find out what the problem is. Maybe get a massage to release anything that has tightened up. If it's disc related rather than muscular, you may well need to cancel your race, but if it's muscular, there's a chance you could sort yourself out in time. Good luck.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Hi Bruce, I hurt my back about three weeks ago, probably a combination of going on a trampoline park with my kids and then over-training. Doctor told me I had "non-specific back pain" (gee, that was helpful!). It was a really sharp pain, and hurt when I walked, ran or moved through a particular point.A really good physio told me I had stressed and inflamed a disc (well, not a disc, but the fluid sac around it) right at the base of my spine. Lots of ibuprofen and back strengthening exercises later, and yesterday ran 21 miles with no pain whatsoever (at least, not from my back!). Suddenly my April marathons are back on!!!

    Hope yours is similar and you have a speedy recovery.
  • FootmechFootmech ✭✭✭
    It's all in your history. 
    A one sided foot problem, indicated assay entry in your gait, possible caused buy a functional leg length discrepancy.
    why don't you go and see a osteopath, physio or chiropractor. 
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