You’re injured. It happens. It really sucks, but don’t give up. Even with the best practices and prevention measures, lower back injury is still a possibility. It doesn’t have to be the end of your fitness and lose weight goals.
My aging back has reared its ugly head again. I have had back issues for many years now. In fact, I have had 2 cervical fusions. Most of the time, my back feels strong and just fine. But now, I have a disc in my lower spine that is inflamed and possibly bulging since I have nerve pain down both legs. It’s not all over though! We have options!
If you are dealing with a lower back injury or another type of injury right now, you are probably as ticked off about it as I am. Maybe your workouts have really began to make a difference and your eating habits are the best they’ve ever been. No one wants to stall out or digress after so much work and effort has been made to feel and look better.
Well, don’t stop now. A lower back injury will make fitness a little tougher for a while, but with some planning and continued diligence you don’t have to lose momentum.
About 6 years ago I started having issues with my lower back, at waist level. Once every year or so my back would “go out” as it is frequently called, in which it would require 2-3 weeks of rest and light physical therapy before returning to my normal activity level. It’s been a couple of years now since I have had serious complications from it. Maintaining strong back and core muscles have really helped me in that area of my back, but injuries can still occur. Thankfully, my back isn’t flaring up in the old spot that I have worked so hard to strengthen, but it is a lower area of my spine that is giving me pain now.
A lower back injury makes it impossible to continue to workout at the level prior to the injury, but don’t throw the towel in.
Here are some things I am focusing on during my own lower back injury recovery.
Lower Back Injury Doesn’t Have to Stop Weight Loss & Fitness
1 – Maintain excellent nutrition to continue to maximize weight loss without muscle loss. Remember to keep up with your macros, eat enough protein and eat every 2-3 hours.
2 – Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about exercises that are safe during recovery rest time. However, don’t push the limits as this could aggravate lower back injury and prolong recovery. There may or may not be any exercises appropriate during your recovery period. Perhaps you can focus on your arm workouts and upper body during this time.
3 – Identify projects on your to-do list you’ve procrastinated doing. Of course, these need to be within your scope of physical ability per doctor’s orders. Use the time normally set aside for your workouts to get some much needed other projects completed. This will help prevent you from slipping into old habits.
4 – Stay hydrated. It may take a little extra effort to stay hydrated while you are more stationary but it is just as important to stay hydrated.
These tips should help minimize any fitness digression during a lower back injury recovery time. The important thing to remember is not to push your limits during this time that could extend recovery. Be diligent in following the doctor’s orders so that you can return to the active lifestyle you love as soon as possible.
This week, I am resting my back by not riding my horse and not doing my usual workouts. Instead of focusing on whole body workouts, I will be doing this arm workout a few times a week. I am taking steroids with pain medicine to try to calm the disc and lower back. Hoping that is all that is needed, but I will see the doctor again next week. If it’s still hurting, he will schedule an MRI to see exactly what’s going on. I will keep you updated!
What have you done to keep losing weight during an injury?