Lower back stiffness the following morning?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Roddick85, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    I notice that most of the time, after a tough match, when I go home, my back feels OK. However, after I sleep and wake-up the next morning, I have pain. I can barely bend forward as I feel my back is a bit "locked". It takes a few hours for the muscles to warm-up and I regain some flexibility.

    About me, I'm 27, I workout 3 times a week and play tennis 1-2 times on the weekend, i'm in pretty good shape and have been for years. I stretch every other day, trying to target my hamstrings as I know they are a cause of lower back problems. I suffered a herniated disc (L5) last July, however I don't think it's an issue anymore.I don't understand, during the week i'm fine when I workout, it's really the morning following a tennis match. Could the kick serve be the culprit? Is there anything I can do to avoid this?
     
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  2. vin

    vin Professional

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    There are a lot of muscles besides the hamstrings that attach to the pelvis and can therefore alter posture and cause back stiffness or pain. In addition, how can you know for sure that your symptoms aren't related to your herniated disc? Unless you had some kind of traumatic accident that caused your disc herniation, you likely had some kind of imbalance that predisposed you to the herniation, and unless you worked with a great therapist, chances are that the imbalance may still be hanging around.

    I would spend some time with The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies. Aside from possibly resolving your stiffness, it will help you identify muscles that are being overused. Having a massage on a regular basis would be a good idea as well. In addition, I would get educated on the specifics of neutral spine posture and make it a big part of your training to develop the strength and endurance to maintain this posture during various exercises.

    Hope that helps, good luck!
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    That is a great book.
     
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  4. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor Professional

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    1) How are you stretching your hamstrings? i.e. what moves are you using?

    2) Does the stiffness show up the day after the stretching?

    I had a period where I had lower back stiffness on waking. After a while I realized it was due to the stretching exercises I was doing (like you, designed to stretch my hamstrings). After I stopped stretching that way, the stiffness went away completely.
     
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  5. Mighty Matteo

    Mighty Matteo Semi-Pro

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    I would be willing to bet that the kick serve is the root cause of your problems if you feel the pain really low in your back and especially on the left side if you are a righty.If this is the case, you just need to rest your lower back and avoid kick serves. Slice serves are the easiest on a sore back. Flat serves are a little more violent and stressful. this common with many players
     
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  6. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    It's indeed on the left side.
    I had a match sunday, was so sore yesterday (Monday), however today i'm fine. Hence why I don't think it's my herniated disc that is causing the issue. According to my doctor/physiotherapist when I saw them last time, they said the disc was back in place.

    As for stretching my hamstring, I just lie down on the floor and raise my leg straight in the air and pull it back gently toward me for 30 secs X 3 reps.
     
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  7. vin

    vin Professional

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    When you do this stretch, it's good to put a rolled up towel under your low back to help prevent you from flexing your lumbar spine to get more range of motion.

    And don't forget about your quads, glutes, and hip flexors!
     
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  8. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    Good idea about the towel, didn't think of that.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Happens to me after I turned 50, but only after a "hard" session of tennis, like 8 doubles sets or 3 singles, on cement courts.
    Light stretching after leaving the courts helps. Going windsurfing after tennis helps more.
     
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  10. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    This happened to me this morning but I'm over twice your age. I haven't been stretching enough lately and it does catch up to me. I think that our mattress is a problem too - I've been looking to replace it with a memory foam for a few weeks.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Try before you buy.
    I know tons of people who say they tried, and it felt weird or incorrect for them. Unfortunately, it takes about a month to get used to the new bed, and you have a 30 return period.
     
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  12. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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  13. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    One thing that is making a substantial difference toward reducing my next-day stiffness is to get some deliberate stretching done immediately after finishing on the courts. Even before I get in the car and drive only 15-20 minutes to get back to the house, I like to get my quads, calves, lower back, etc. stretched so that the "recovery odds" are tilted a bit more in my favor. This isn't the entire solution, but I think it's an easy step toward a happy back.

    Good luck there.
     
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  14. Roddick85

    Roddick85 Professional

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    I already have a good mattress with memory foam etc...doubt it's the culprit. If it'd be the mattress i'd have this issue every day, I can say without any doubts, it's always the morning after a tennis match. Not even after my regular weight lifting workout does it do that. I'm going to try to stretch more and see what it does.
     
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