BJJ or something else- WTF to do with a bad back
So heres the story. Went to 6 months of bjj, was probably a couple months away from a blue belt. Then I pulled my back, found out I had spondylolysis in my L5. that phased me pretty bad and I ditched out for a good 4 months. been doing some light physio but TBH not commmiting. Now Im swimming 5x a week, getting back into physio. Im thinking in 3 months I can be in pretty good shape and not have to worry too too much about screwing myself up again- as long as I keep things strong. hopefully.
Anyways BJJ is pretty brutal on the back it seems, just from reading on here, and googling "BJJ and back problems". With all the bridging etc I can see the strain. Love the sport but also wondering if it might be smart to change focus. Maybe do some muay thai, which i know is hard training still but perhaps involves less cranking on the old spine. Anyways you guys that have been around, what do you think about the merits of bjj vs other arts in my case?
Anecdote: I am very prone to low-back pain due to some curvature issues, though I have nothing nasty like spondylolysis. Subjectively, it seems to me that BJJ helps reduce my pain, because the strengthening of my back muscles far outweighs the stresses.
That said, have you asked your physio, or a good sports doctor, about it?
I tore my rhomboid and a sprained a few thoracic muscles 8 months into bjj. It's tight and gets sore often but nothing stretching and lifting haven't help strengthen. Good luck.
oh yeah for sure. he said I might be ok. I can understand why hed say that he doesnt know- noone will for sure until I have another "event". im not asking for anyones medical opinion or anything just looking for some ideas/personal experiences to ponder
Last edited by Catweiser; 10/13/2011 12:03am at .
I have a medicine ball I roll over when my back is stiff, and a heating pad. I recommend doing deadlift and squats to help strengthen that are, but start extremely light.
Originally Posted by Catweiser
I've got an arthritic neck. Found out 2 yrs ago after I hurt it boxing training. Muay Thai might not be the best option. Head control is a bitch when trying to manage a crook neck. Even sparring with half decent contact is likely to make work painfull for the rest of the week (if you're lucky).
I've found that if I don't go hard on bench press or overhead movements it wont complain too much (along with a few lifestyle changes).
As I'm sure you'd know its very hard to strengthen and stretch a neck that needs to be relaxed and in perfect posture. For me correcting my posture and lots of romboid training helped.
also check out taebomaster's articles, these were helpfull for me too.
Six Months into BJJ and you were a couple of months from blue belt? Eight months sounds a little fast unless you're training several hours a day. Maybe the OP is just exaggerating a little though or being optimistic.
Do you know if your spondylolysis is genetic or injury related? Genetic spondylolysis is not uncommon, most people don't even realize they have it and find out while having another problem checked out. If it's an injury let it heal and get back into BJJ. If it's hereditary ask your doctor what the risks are of continuing BJJ.
On a side note I can see how BJJ can put some stress on the spine but I'm reminded of what Pedro Sauer said at a seminar (not a direct quote) if you're using muscle you're doing it wrong. As your skill continues to develop you should be using less muscle.
Why not tell your partners to "go light"? Of course this requires that you actually go light so the intensity of the session doesn't slowly escalate. Tell the instructor and your partners exactly what you can and cannot do, and then stay within those limits.
:High:Oh yeah, and weed helps get rid of that tension in the shoulders. (not much good for cardio though).