Low Back Pain Part 1 – Damage Control

Back pain… It’s one of the most common and debilitating injuries that anyone can get.

Stats show that 80% of adults will incur some form of low back injury in their lifetime.

If you’ve ever had a bad one, you know how shitty it feels to miss training because you’re all stiff and you’re moving around like you’re 95.

Trust me, I know what you’re going through, as I’ve had to deal with some low back issues because of this:

Here’s what happened…

I was born with a pretty big birth mark on my back, it was a bit smaller than the palm of your hand.

When I was in Grade 8, the docs decided it might be a good idea for me to get it removed, just in case it ever went malignant (cancerous).

Although the chance of that happening seemed to be slim, the prospect of having this ugly, hairy birthmark removed from my back outweighed going under the knife, so I agreed.

Looking back on it now, I wish I would’ve left it, because it was a lot cooler than the scar I have now. But hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, I went under the knife, got the thing removed, and for 2 months, I was flat on my back and immobile.

Needless to say, I got weak and stiffened up a lot.

Because I was young and I always enjoyed sports and pushing myself, I got back into shape.

But my body wasn’t the same.

When I started weight training a few years later, I had difficulty squatting and deadlifting, which persisted for years.

Every once in a while, I’d tweak my back and be in pain for 1-3 days.

I mean, there was no way I was going to stop squats or deadlifts, so I just dealt with it.

There were other instances where my back would tweak.

I remember one time I was reaching across to the passenger side of my car to pick something up and my back just went out.

I was actually on my way to a beach vball tournament with my bro and I didn’t want to pull out, so when I got to the beach, I started doing a bunch of core exercises.

I knew from my university days with Dr. Stu McGill that stability is the key to back health and I thought to myself, “If there’s no damage, and the muscles are all contracting to guard the area because the brain thinks the area is unstable, if you can prove to your brain that the area is stable and that the muscles are working properly, you can shut off the spasms.”

So I did 1 set of 4 core exercises, which took me about 7 minutes to complete, which I now call the ‘Damage Control’ routine.

After doing this simple little routine, my spasms greatly decreased and I was able to play.

The back actually got better as I was playing until I was at 100% by the end of the day!

I was amazed at how fast I got relief, as I knew from previous experience that this pain would last at least a full day, but usually 2-3 days.

But you can only do the routine if you KNOW there’s no actual damage/trauma, like it’s one of those instances where you were tying your shoes or picking something up off the ground, then try the routine out.

Here’s the link to the DAMAGE CONTROL ROUTINE:

>> Get Rid of Back Pain NOW

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Darren
Darren

I did mma and traditional ju jitsu for a number of years and i suffered some lower tissue damage few years back and still to this day after a while of rolling on the mats or just general exercises like the plank I feel so much pain in my lower back it just caves in.

ann
ann

i have lower back pain for 6 years wake up every morning stiff,have tried everything

Carlton
Carlton

Had surgery in the army April/95. Since then if I bend over there will be a electric shock feeling in my lower back followed by the muscles swelling around the surgery area. Still happens to this day and the doctors are clueless/don’t care.

Please send me the core workout. I recently started PT again after several years of “I can’t workout because my lower back will swell”. So anything to control my spasms would be awesome.

Thanks!!

Eric

Check the link here:

http://ericwongmma.com/lbp-part-2-the-damage-control-routine-video/

Melissa Clemenr
Melissa Clemenr

Hey Eric,

I really need your routine. I have been hurting for over a month and now it’s going from sore to pain and stiffness. I am very active. I have been doing core exercises for 16 weeks now with a trainer and I am not sure why the pain isn’t stopping. Other than an old bed. I would love to see what your exercises include. My trainer is very open to new suggestions, but insists on form which I am grateful for! She has been amazing. Please help!

Melissa

Eric

Here’s the link – sorry for the delay: http://ericwongmma.com/lbp-part-2-the-damage-control-routine-video/

Natalie
Natalie

Hi! I hurt my back last year. My pelvis was rotated and lower lumbar were all out of place. I played through it for about a month until it got so back one day I couldn’t even bend down to pick something up. I went to pt for 3 months and just got back stretches. About to be releases, one night my entire back spazzed and I couldn’t get out of my chair or out of bed. I switched pt groups and this helped because it was more of a mix between regular pt and chiropracty (sp.?). Anyway, it’s been about a year now and I still have pretty bad days, no spasms, but immense pain due to severe tightness in my back. Suggestions?

Natalie

Alice
Alice

I have had recurring back pain for at least 20 years. I have recently done something to my back and am in pain most the time. It is especially painful for the first 3 or 4 days after the weekend after i visit my grandchildren – ages almost 3 and 10 months since they want grandma to pick them up. I want to be able to continue picking them up.

Patrick
Patrick

I just leaned to the right to push a dresser and my lower back muscle started to spasm. It got worse after sitting for awhile when I got up.
Then I have random spasms at night sleeping.

Bruce Moore

Check out this product you stand and use a hammer drill it’s called a Backsaver go to www.hammerdrillattachment.com

abhishek
abhishek

i have a lower back pain
n martial art is my passion ,i cant live widout it
i m 29 years old .in my past i had learnt it but i had to leave it…..
could i learn it again ,but doc said that dont try to lift heavy wait …………..wat should i do?
thx plz help me

Shelly
Shelly

I’ve been having lower back pains for the last week. Right now I’ve been rolling out of bed. I’ve been doing some core exercises but looking for some really good ones. I have a very weak core and need to really work on strengthening my body. Would appreciate some help!

Meg Griffin
Meg Griffin

I was moving mattresses around in my house to give us some more space when all of a sudden its like it hurt to stand or walk or do anything!

cliff

eric,
i think i do too much KB swing,. i think too much of it cause my lower back to give problem or spasm
when i try to pick up my daugther at certain angle, it just happen

i use 16kg swing 10 rep and switch hand.
i am sure my form is good.

Tess
Tess

Hey Eric, wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about my VERY tight lower back. You sent me the Damage Control routine and said to try it out. I cannot THANK YOU enough! I do it almost every day, and if I miss a day, my back gets tight again. That is the only change I have made, so I know that is what is making a difference.

Thank you so much, Tess

Eric

Awesome to hear Tess, glad I could help you out. 🙂

Jonathan
Jonathan

I pretty much developed my own “damage control” program. I threw my back out throwing a shitty kick about a year ago… My old school kickboxing coach (12 time world champ) kept pushing me to train. He had no idea how much my back bothered me and I’m pretty grateful for him pushing me it’s def made me tougher but it came to the point where I had a hard time putting socks on my feet before I decided to take some time off. I’ve read “eat move and be healthy” a book given to me by a C.H.E.K. Professional. They are big on core work and it helped me figure out how I hurt my back and how to rehab it. Core work, upper/lower body integration, stretching, yoga and periodization have been a godsend and now I feel I can work at 110%. but there’s still time I feel… Read more »

Percy
Percy

I was playing basketball a few years ago, when i went up for a rebound i came down and landed on both of my heals at the same time and had to crawl off of the court because the pain was so bad. The Dr. gave me muscle relaxers for the spasms but it never took the pain away my wife gives me massages but it feels like my back is tired all the time. I am very active in my daily life. I am not training for anything but i work out regularly and would love some advice on how to easy my back pain without medication like advil or ibuprofin.

doi
doi

yeahi would like had back pain for years ever since started work yen 16 steel fixing alwayz cent over nice one eric peace

al castillo
al castillo

I hurt my low back about 2 years ago, while lifting my grandchild off the floor. When lifting him up I felt as if something busted, it almost felt like a rubber band, and a shooting pain from my upper spine to my lower spine, the pain is so bad that it doesnt let me sleep. I cant stand for long periods of time in one place because my feet go numb and then its hard to walk.

rex
rex

My back went out the first time about 6 years ago during a set of squats. Now it goes out once or twice a year, sometimes from getting in ackward positions or sometimes just out of nowhere.

sean
sean

hi eric, i was working in a factory when i went to pull a large freezer door open i pulled my back and couldent move for the rest of the day. i have been to physio recently as i have been having on and of pains for over a year and a half after the incident i have had xrays done and they said it was clear, i still am getting pains and physio is useless as they do very little when i am there. the pain is only in my lumbar region and my physio said i bend from the top of my lumbar region instaed on the bottom of my back. can you suggest anything that would help i have done the damage controle routine and it does help but i want to completely get rid of the pain as i want to get really fit. i do… Read more »

Eric

Sounds like you need to increase mobility in the hips so you bend more from the hips and can keep the lumbar spine stable.

Stretching and mobility exercises for the hip flexors, inner thighs and hamstrings.

Jean Ellis
Jean Ellis

Hi Eric I am subscribed to Craig Ballentines site and he mentioned that he jumped from a ledge onto the concrete floor below felt pain in his lower back and you said that he had sprained his Sacro Illiac Joint. I can sympathise with him for I had kicked into a rail once and could hardly walk afterwards and the Doctor said I had sprained my Sacro Illiac Joint. But only this week as I was bending down to change a bin liner in the kitchen yes I had that frightening twinge so I iced it and laid flat on my back for intervals at a time and then rolled myself up from the floor I coulden’t bare to sit but I pushed myself to still carry on doing my early morning hour walk for I had to keep moving or I would hunch up otherwise it was so painful… Read more »

jason
jason

Hiya,
I was sitting on the sofa and my lower back went into a terrible spasm. The pain was terrifying. I was stuck in a bent position and if I engaged my lower back muscle the painful spasm struck. For 5 days I was bent over like an old man and in shocking pain when I tried to move. Then it just started to get better on its own. It’s frightening because I don’t know what I did to bring it on and I don’t know if and when it will come back. I’d do anything to prevent it happening again.

Jason Grant

dean12389
dean12389

I’m 26yo and had just had a bilateral sacroliac joint fixation (two screws in each side of my hip). It started a year and a half ago and I continued training on it until I could hardly move. I haven’t trained MMA in almost a year and just had the surgery. I am almost pain free and the surgery was only two weeks ago. I hope this pain stays away, but I think stabilization is key. I want to start training again soon (against advice of docs of course) and hope I can do it pain free.

-Dean Friedland

Ervin Ruhe Jr.

Hi Eric,
Great story of your back. I’ve got back pain affect me at times. I was hit by a car riding my mountain bike. This is a story that I’ll post on my blog.
That was life changing experience for me, so now I work as a fitness trainer, specializing in Pilates, yoga & bodyweight exercises. Also, do organic gardening & put together
fitness videos. This way I can pass on what I’ve learned.
Thanks for all the great info.
Stay lean & strong, Ervin Ruhe Jr.

Lombar
Lombar

I’m 34 now and I hurt my low back pulling so many 200 lbs guys over my head (Judo / Jiu Jitsu). At that time it felt great beating those big guys, but now 10 years after I need to warm it up, stretch it thoroughly and protect it with a binder even if I’m just going to jog for 45 minutes. Would really appreciate your imput on this!
Best reagards from Spain!

Derek
Derek

Was training lasnyt and felt pain in my lower back sprawling and then again when rolling but jst decided to ignore the pain and push on,this has been hapning more recently in the past 2 weeks then as I just tweaked my back a few minutes ago picking up my laptop to check my emails,I had an email from you i came on the site and noticed the link on the right about lower back pains,would appreciate more info man.
Cheers,
Derek,Scotland!:D

Michael
Michael

Hi Eric,

I have had back pain for at least 4 years, it happens when i do any
type of deadlift,squats or kettle bell swings etc, the muscles of the lower back become very tight and hard limiting the amount of excersize i can do, even when i shoot in trying to lift my training partner the first few minutes are fine then i can feel the lower back becoming really tight forcing me to stop…..Please Help

Regards
Michael

jeremy
jeremy

im usually alright until i try to pick up something or if i stay bent down for a little bit cause im working on something but i havnt figured out how to get it to stop yet

Kevin
Kevin

Once, 2 years ago i had serious lower back pain and i am nearly 17. My back is better now but i still have some trouble squatting. Hope this stuff helps.

Blake S.
Blake S.

Eric, I have a question for you. I have had lower back pains since in high school. I was so young at the time I went into the doctor to be sure nothing TOO crazy was going on. They did numerous tests and could find n othign but I KNEW I was hurting. The conclusion they cam up with was: “Your muscles grew at a slower rate than your bones so with your bones being longer it’s putting pressure on your lower back form your hamstrings.” Only solution is DAILY stratches. I don’t have the pains quite like I used to but I still get them pretty often. It kind of makes sense though. To this day they have yet to find anything. Does this sound logical at all in your opinion? And I assuming that these excercises are sufficient for my issue as well.

Eric

It makes sense but it may or may not be the truth…

Some people do have to stretch the hammies daily to keep the low back healthy – I’m one of them…

I’m going to post Part 3 which will talk more about back pain and how to fix it…

Ben
Ben

Hey man, love the site. Quick question… what happened to Part 2? Did I miss something?

I’m super keen to get hold of ANYTHING that will help with my lower back. I have a couple of herniated discs and they have been giving me HELL for about 5 years now.

ANY help would be much appreciated.

Rock On,

Ben

Stevo
Stevo

cant wait to see video. I just threw my back out doing 95lb thrusters when very fatigued. I think i came too forward on the front squat and felt my back give out very low. I just hope im not out too long. Im not doing that exercise with a barbell anymore.

matt
matt

god yes i have been expeircing bad bad back pain for years and i have never been able to figure out why. so yes yes plz help!

patrice
patrice

My wife suffered the “skier’s fracture”, meaning the 12th dorsal has been crushed (~11 degree compression).

She hates the gym, but needs core stability desperately.
So if you have a quick and effective set of exercises, this may be a way for her to see the light, and adopt a basic set of core exercises.

So, yes, I look forward to your video.

tannerxcelik
tannerxcelik

I always have lower back pain, but I think mine may be a pinched nerve because I can feel the pain sort of run from my lower back down into my right leg all the way to my knee. I am only 20 years old and shouldn’t have this type of problem yet. I have a doctors appt on October 9th so hopefully he can do an MRI or something and let me know what’s up.

Tracey
Tracey

Hi Eric

I have a really bad back, I have bulging and dehydrated discs (L4 and L5), so when my back hurts, trust me it hurts!! I also get muscle spasms to go along with it. I’m usually quite stiff in my lower back in the morning, but as the day progresses I become looser. I have been told to work on my core muscles to help support my lower back, so please post the Damage Control Exercises I would like to try them to help with my bad back.

shawn
shawn

Transistional segment L5 over use cause my back to bow into the side…must get adjustments to get back in shape

Derek
Derek

Yeah, I get occasional lower back pain due to an old wrestling injury to my neck. I would try anything.

rickey arco
rickey arco

I have degenerated L-5, it flares up every once in a while… a few visit to my physical therapist an I’m back in business.

fateh belkalem
fateh belkalem

Hey Eric, I have to herniated disk in my lower back L4;L5, still training bjj very little judo, I do tons of core exercises but it seems to hold the pain for a 3 week cycle then stiff and pain resumes but it gives me some training time.

fateh belkalem
fateh belkalem

Hey Eric, I have to herniated disk in my lower back L4;L5, still training bjj very little judo, I do tons of core exercises but it seems to hold the pain for a 3 week cycle then stiff and pain resumes but it gives me some training time.

kenji

I’m having back pain right now. Started yesterday.

Karine
Karine

Hi,

I have a disc bulge in my lower back which makes it painful at times if I overdo some exercises. I would welcome any exercise routine that would strenghthen or improve the condition of my lower back so I could go back to martial arts on a regular basis.

Please give us a printed version of the routine,

Thank you

Kenny
Kenny

I’ve been dealing with back issues for about five years now. I have a small core routine as well that helps me out when I tweak it. I would like to expand my exercise selection for those specific problems, just because it gets pretty boring doing the same thing all the time.

BrianC
BrianC

I’ve been battling back pain for years. It comes every so often and lasts for a week, sometimes more. There are two discs in my lower back that have degenerated partially. Some days the spasm is so severe I can’t even put my socks on for days. Streching is painfull for the first couple of days until it loosens up a little. I don’t lift weights anymore, but used to for years, and always felt a dull chronic pain in my lower back which I always ignored. I wish I had better guidance then to strenghten my core properly and apply the weight training the ‘right’ way. Last year it lasted over 6 weeks and I seeked medical advise. Chiropractor made it worse. Then I bought an Inversion Table which was like godsent from heaven. However, I never felt strong enough around the lover back area for a long time,… Read more »

joakim
joakim

I have had lower back pain the last tree years. I have some exercises yo folow, but I would bee glad to learn more.

Keith
Keith

Back pain sufferers need 3 things: low intensity laser therapy, chiropractic and core exercises for prevention.

Bob mulhern
Bob mulhern

Hey Eric,
I have had chronic back pain for years. I work as an automotive technician and as you can imagine I end up bent over some cars for quite a while. It has gotta better since I have been training but it still bothers me from ti
e to time. Most of the time I can put up with it but sometimes it gets to the point that I can’t work, and going to school full time I need all the hours I can get. I would love it if you could get me some excersises that will help relax my back.

Gary

I don,t get back pain often but when i do i warm up and then do some stretching and strengtheninig exercises for my core as well , so i would be interested in how you are doing it.

John
John

Please do, I wrenched my back with a bad wreck on a mtn bike. I haven’t been the same since…docs say I’m fine, but I still have a lot of pain when doing repititious stuff…thanks.

Kris
Kris

I have fallen off a horse twice and had the lucky fortune to land in the same spot of my upper lower back. No permanant damage just never quite right. It is usually fine except when I sleep funny or if I’m on my feet too long on the hard floors at work. Core exercises help but I am always looking for other things to help.

james
james

Hi Eric
i have just had surgery on L2/L3 SIX WEEKS AGO.
I am a kickboxing instructor, and miss all the training.
I will start training next month nothing heavy just easie my way back into training again.I am still folowing my physios strenght routine anything else is a bonus.

Thanks James

Travis
Travis

Hi Eric,

Please share your damage control routine!! I’ve had back problems for years now and always looking for ways to relive pain + strengthen my back. I’ve been told by my doctor that I have one bulging disk and one protruding disk in my lumbar spine. They give me fits most of the time. I’m always looking for anything I can do to help condition my back and help prevent from having to get surgery.

Thanks, Travis