View Full Version : Sore lower back after sprints yesterday

October 27th, 2008, 11:09 AM
So I'm trying to figure out what happened here...I had a sprints meet yesterday and after my first event (100yd Free), I have been feeling pain in my lower right back ever since. It feels like I overextended or something. I can barely feel it just sitting here, but if I extend my right arm over my head I can feel it. It definitely feels like a sore muscle as opposed to anything too serious. I've tried some stretches putting my right arm over head and leaning to the left, but I'm not sure they've been effective.

Does anyone have any idea what the cause could be and treatment for this should be? I usually don't warm up that much being pretty young (26) so maybe I need to start taking warm up more seriously. I only did a 200 or so warmup. I do try to stretch, but just extremities. Maybe I should find some good back stretches. I'm sure I'll be okay by the end of the week, but I'd like to avoid this in the future.

Big AL
October 27th, 2008, 11:50 AM
I get the same thing from short fast freestyle. It seems to be some kind of whiplash from throwing my heels over my head prior to the turn. It just takes a while to recover. Pushing or prodding on the pain just makes it worse... so I maintain the same routine as best I can afterward. Something like crunches or ab work PRIOR to the event can help diminish the longevity of the pain and improve recovery.

October 27th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Switch to distance events :rolleyes:

Seriously, though, warming up, then stretching my back is important for me (although I'm 15 years older). Whenever I do spring (rarely) in a meet, I think the thing that kills my lower back is the starts. As a Master's swimmer, we tend not to do as much from the blocks. That explosive action off the blocks if you're not trained for it can really do a number on the back.

As to fixing it, I know some folks are skeptical of chiropractors, but try one who has a number of younger and older athletes as patients. I wrenched my shoulder this summer (not swimming) and have had a pretty dramatic recovery thanks to a great chiropractor (a former swimmer, himself).

October 27th, 2008, 01:18 PM
What does being 26 have to do with not needing a warmup? My age group sons all take extensive warmups at the beginning of a meet and a short warmup before most races. Plus warmdowns after each race.

Most non-serious back soreness will go away in a few days with ibuprofen and careful, light swimming or exercise.

October 27th, 2008, 01:23 PM
I'd wager it was the starts.

Hyper-extending, leaping, sudden spasm-motion thing.

Especially if you swam a lot of events, especially the 25s at the end where you don't get a chance to warm down between races.

No dives in open water swimming! And no lap counting!


October 28th, 2008, 10:41 AM
I'd wager it was the starts.

me too

October 28th, 2008, 12:27 PM
If my experience is any indication, 26 is just about the age where previously insignificant things can start to make a big difference. I think you are on the right track. I would absolutely warm up more (and between races) and find some good core stretches that work for you.

Whatever you do, remember that discretion is the better part of valor. I made plenty of mistakes in the decade between 25 and 35. Mostly, this was due to the belief that my body would respond the way it had previously (i.e., push through the pain). I have a few chronic problems to show for my obstinance. I would suggest being flexible with your training program and easing back into your routine until the pain is completely gone.

Good luck!