Lower Back/Glute Issues

#1
So I have had a bad back for a few years after some naïve lifting in the gym

Recently I was playing in a tournament and I injured it again in a slightly different place. Lower back right side near the hip muscles/spine/glutes sort of area etc.

I have been doing a lot of reading online , and watching videos on youtube and the problems seem to be stemming from my glutes if this is correct, which as I sit most of the day at my desk job before coaching ,are really tight on both sides.

I have been doing a few stretches , and can hit pain free but it comes back whenever I try to serve , it feels quite deep in the muscle , and cannot seem to stretch it. Im not really in a position for physio at the moment , and have tournaments coming up later this month which I need to be healthy for.

Has anyone experienced a similar injury or can suggest any stretches or fixes?. I have tried quite a few , but am unsure of the names. Think I need to start yoga or pilates moving forwards.
 
#2
So I have had a bad back for a few years after some naïve lifting in the gym

Recently I was playing in a tournament and I injured it again in a slightly different place. Lower back right side near the hip muscles/spine/glutes sort of area etc.

I have been doing a lot of reading online , and watching videos on youtube and the problems seem to be stemming from my glutes if this is correct, which as I sit most of the day at my desk job before coaching ,are really tight on both sides.

I have been doing a few stretches , and can hit pain free but it comes back whenever I try to serve , it feels quite deep in the muscle , and cannot seem to stretch it. Im not really in a position for physio at the moment , and have tournaments coming up later this month which I need to be healthy for.

Has anyone experienced a similar injury or can suggest any stretches or fixes?. I have tried quite a few , but am unsure of the names. Think I need to start yoga or pilates moving forwards.
i have the same similar pain...
for me i think it's a funtion of overreaching on my kick serve (ie. when it goes too far over my left shoulder).

solutions: haven't found one.... i do lax ball pressure rolling in that area next to my spine... but mainly focusing on fixing my serve (ie. make contact over head, or only slightly left of head).
 
#3
i have the same similar pain...
for me i think it's a funtion of overreaching on my kick serve (ie. when it goes too far over my left shoulder).

solutions: haven't found one.... i do lax ball pressure rolling in that area next to my spine... but mainly focusing on fixing my serve (ie. make contact over head, or only slightly left of head).
Wow!! really?

When mine happened again I was actually holding my baby daughter which was not good, and got stuck on the floor which was embaressing. However the injury came from playing on astro courts with too much sand and slid into a corner and ended up doing the splits. The pain was really bad and tight and couldn't walk properly or much else, I did a lot of stretching and exercises, using foam roller and also a tennis ball (trainer balls are best) and the pain went away.
I did a lot of different stretches and it got to the point where I actually got a match out of it without pain.
However I stupidly stopped as its not yet part of my routine and forgot once I felt fine , and its happened again.

Not sure what to do now , as I cant remember all the stretches I did and also cannot really know what worked and what didn't
 
#4
just to clarify... mine is in my back, next to my spine... feels like the pain is coming from deep in the muscle (not near the surface).
i feel it most when i do a back/side bend (ie. like i'm going up for a kicker)
you mentioned "spine, hip,..." which to me sounds completely opposite.
for me,... getting more flexibility in the legs, will let me keep my back straight.
 

buzz

New User
#5
I would be careful with pressure rolling if it's in the glute, a lot of the nerves in there (sciatic area) can get more inflamed with foam rolling and rolling with tennis balls. I would focus on stretches like seated pigeon, figure 4 stretch, and half pigeon, and then make sure your hamstrings are good and stretched as well. Tight hamstrings can really mess up the back and butt area.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
#6
What I do is assume my serve stance and very slowly sink down into the fully loaded position, knees bent 90 degrees, back straight, chest facing the sky, and slowly come up as many times as I can. 10 is a good starting number. Do not arch your back, there should be a straight line from knees to shoulders.

You will build balance, stability, flexibility and strength.

Lots of injuries come from sudden movements to compensate for a lack of strength or balance so in your motion if your body percieves that it is in danger of falling it will abort the serve and catch itself.

Doing this again and again with many sudden jerks is terrible for the body.

J
 

MotoboXer

Professional
#7
Same issue here, I have a very gimpy and weak lower back to begin with and also did as you say a naive lifting move. I've had it
for twenty years now but it doesnt bother on a tennis court, only when I'm not being active. Sitting in a car is hell ..
Roger Federer has the same issue and had to change his serve early in his career. He started walking where it looks like the legs
are almost bending backwards (at the knee), this is a physio-technique to unload the lower-back. Noah Rubin also walks like this, So I've
tried it recently and it definately helps in conjunction with stretching and massage.
Also check out federers pre-match warm up video:
 
#8
just to clarify... mine is in my back, next to my spine... feels like the pain is coming from deep in the muscle (not near the surface).
i feel it most when i do a back/side bend (ie. like i'm going up for a kicker)
you mentioned "spine, hip,..." which to me sounds completely opposite.
for me,... getting more flexibility in the legs, will let me keep my back straight.
It's kind of in the area between the two , where the indentations are I think. I definitely feel some on a side bend, like you said . Unsure if I have aggravated another muscle in doing some stretches etc
 
#9
I would be careful with pressure rolling if it's in the glute, a lot of the nerves in there (sciatic area) can get more inflamed with foam rolling and rolling with tennis balls. I would focus on stretches like seated pigeon, figure 4 stretch, and half pigeon, and then make sure your hamstrings are good and stretched as well. Tight hamstrings can really mess up the back and butt area.
Thanks , I do sit all day but my hamstrings feel fine. I stretch them and there's no pain or referred pain, I was also doing deadlifts in the gym this morning which was pain free. Think I need to do some pilates or yoga long term to stretch properly and gain flexibility.
 
#10
What I do is assume my serve stance and very slowly sink down into the fully loaded position, knees bent 90 degrees, back straight, chest facing the sky, and slowly come up as many times as I can. 10 is a good starting number. Do not arch your back, there should be a straight line from knees to shoulders.

You will build balance, stability, flexibility and strength.

Lots of injuries come from sudden movements to compensate for a lack of strength or balance so in your motion if your body percieves that it is in danger of falling it will abort the serve and catch itself.

Doing this again and again with many sudden jerks is terrible for the body.

J
Interesting, cheers i'll give it a go in conjunction with a few other things.
 
#11
I have been doing a few stretches , and can hit pain free but it comes back whenever I try to serve , it feels quite deep in the muscle , and cannot seem to stretch it. Im not really in a position for physio at the moment , and have tournaments coming up later this month which I need to be healthy for.
Not quite sure I'm understanding the mindset here. You want to be healthy for tournaments, but you "aren't in a position" to see a medical professional who may be able to steer you in a direction that could lead to that "healthy" state.

Subjective complaints esp in a potentially tricky area/label of "low back pain" can be.....iffy.....

Might be worth at least getting an evaluation by someone to identify what imbalances you've obviously developed and could show you some specific stretches and/or treatments that you seem to haphazardly be guessing on.

FWIW, google "quadratus lumborum".

Good luck.
 

Nostradamus

Talk Tennis Guru
#13
I am going to try this for my lower back problems. i seen this being used time and time again by ATP tour trainers during injury time outs at tour tournaments. This guy is one of the very few Physical theapists that seem to really know tennis injuries.

 
#14
i have the same similar pain...
for me i think it's a funtion of overreaching on my kick serve (ie. when it goes too far over my left shoulder).

solutions: haven't found one.... i do lax ball pressure rolling in that area next to my spine... but mainly focusing on fixing my serve (ie. make contact over head, or only slightly left of head).
That's how I hurt my lower back as a jr. I played non-stop and tossed deep into the court and to the left for kick serves b/c I serve & volleyed.
After a break from tennis when I started playing again years later, I changed my serve a little bit. Toss still strays too far left but it isn't as deep into the court anymore so less of a dynamic, launching into the court movement.

For me the lower back issue was from a couple things.
  1. toss to far left
  2. weak abs
  3. overuse and kept playing despite pain
  4. tight hamstrings/glutes/posterior chain
Having strong abs will help you maintain the line in your body that @J011yroger mentioned. (straight line extending from knees to shoulders)

Arching my back on serves usually is not that great for me -- especially if my abs are weak. Having tight glutes and/or hamstrings is bad because when you get stretched or lunge for a ball, the weakest link may give and that's probably going to be your lower back.
 
#15
That's how I hurt my lower back as a jr. I played non-stop and tossed deep into the court and to the left for kick serves b/c I serve & volleyed.
After a break from tennis when I started playing again years later, I changed my serve a little bit. Toss still strays too far left but it isn't as deep into the court anymore so less of a dynamic, launching into the court movement.

For me the lower back issue was from a couple things.
  1. toss to far left
  2. weak abs
  3. overuse and kept playing despite pain
  4. tight hamstrings/glutes/posterior chain
Having strong abs will help you maintain the line in your body that @J011yroger mentioned. (straight line extending from knees to shoulders)

Arching my back on serves usually is not that great for me -- especially if my abs are weak. Having tight glutes and/or hamstrings is bad because when you get stretched or lunge for a ball, the weakest link may give and that's probably going to be your lower back.
thx, yeah, i changed my toss to be more over my head (vs. way past my left shoulder)... still drifts way to the left, sometimes.. .but a work in progress.. in general avoiding the back bend is the way to go (stretch the legs, for a deeper knee bend, etc...)
 
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