Is ART Necessary?
I haven’t been training lately because I royally f*cked my back up on Thursday. Those that follow the log already know that my back was an on-and-off issue for the last year or so, but I really thought I was out of the woods. I made a few changes in my training over the last year, including increasing my raw volume and improving my warm-ups, and up until Thursday, I felt better than ever.
The b*tch of it was that I wasn’t doing anything hard when I got hurt. I was in the middle of a warm-up set of squats with 225 pounds, when my whole lower back went into a spasm. For the next three days, I was pretty much unable to even stand up straight for more than 10 minutes or so. It’s steadily getting better, but I’m still probably a week away from actually getting under a barbell.
Since I obviously was not able to address the problem on my own, it’s time to outsource this motherf*cker. After more than 15 years in the business, I know some really great rehab/prehab experts, and it’s time to start tapping them to see what the hell is going on. I had my massage therapist work me over the day after it happened, and according to her (and the excruciating pain she inflicted on it), my left hip is a mess, so that should probably be the starting point.
The fact is, I can only do this to myself so many times before I permanently f*ck myself up.
This whole week was a wash due to that low back strain last Thursday. I tweaked this area a few times before, but this was by far the worst. Now, six days later, I actually felt worse than the day I did it. Here’s how injuries like this tend to work. First, you hurt yourself due to some type of muscle imbalance. The injury causes you to hobble around like a hunchback for a few days or weeks, exacerbating the original imbalance. You f*ck yourself up worse a few months later due to your newer, more severe imbalances.
In the past, I would just back off for a few days or weeks until the pain was gone, maybe get a massage or two, and then start right back up, only to do it again six months later. So, in an effort to break this cycle, I had my buddy, Paper, refer me to his chiropractor Dr. Castro, who works with numerous pro bodybuilders and powerlifters. The doctor is well over an hour from me, but it was important that I go to someone who understands what we do. After hearing a bit about my history, how I did it, my symptoms, and doing some palpations, the doctor was confident that the issue was not a herniated disk (my biggest worry) but a facet joint strain.
He was also convinced that my hip flexors were to blame. This makes a lot of sense because the problem worsened considerably since I took a desk job. After giving me some electrical stim and doing some Active Release Techniques (ART) on my hip flexors and pirformis, I felt noticeably better for the first time in a week. I’ve definitely reached a point in my career where regular ART is a necessity, not a luxury. The next step will be to find someone more local for regular treatments. Castro is certainly worth the time investment, but the hour and a half car ride home did cause my hip flexors to start locking back up a bit. It looks like we’ll be back at Eastside next Sunday, so assuming my back continues to progress, I should be ready for some conservative squatting by then. Ideally, I would like to be able to put in a reasonably heavy session in next month at the elitefts™ Compound. On a similar note, Jo Jordan also had some surgery. If you get the chance, reach out and throw him some support. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.