By: Michael Beiter
Q: I hurt my back the other day. What should I do?
A: The name of the game whenever injury or illness comes around is regression. Your goal is to regress your exercise as much as necessary until you can do it without upsetting your injury. In this case maybe deadlifts and squats are too much but hamstring curls and lunges are fine. The person should do those with the same set and rep scheme he was supposed to do squats and deadlifts with until he can comfortably get back to the former movements with no pain.
For most people the regressions will max out when the only thing that can be done without pain is walking. This doesn't mean you should take whole days off and do nothing. It does mean you should walk when all else fails. Movement and blood flow heal. Stretching and yoga are also great options and can be used in the place of weight lifting if lower weight and higher rep options still cause too much pain.
After 10-14 days of regression assess whether you can return to your previous workload. If yes then good, you took care of things on your own. If not then it is time to reach out to a doctor or specialist to test further and maybe receive a diagnosis or specific treatment plan.
Start with regression and 'do it yourself.' Test the injury to see if it improves without outside help. If it does great, if not know when enough is enough and reach out for help.