Sometimes I forget my age. Sometimes I forget that I sit at a desk all day at work. Sometimes I forget that BJJ is a full-contact sport. But nothing reminds me better than an injury that takes you off the mat for a period of time and which could possibly have been prevented.
I’m not sure when I got injured during the roll. I didn’t know anything was really wrong until I stood up to leave the mat. I soon realised that I couldn’t actually stand up straight. I showered, drove home and got some food. By this time, everything was starting to seize up in my lower back.
The next day was Saturday, luckily, so no desk work but stuff to do and the only way I could get around was shuffling like Ozzy Osbourne. It wasn’t serious enough to go to the doctor so I took Ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory and used heat packs and sprays. I also have a foam roller and found some youtube videos on how to use it for lower back pain. It basically involved rolling your Glutes (bum muscles) and hamstrings (backs of legs). I found some great information on this instagram account – yogaforbjj but even just basic yoga moves are a good start and there are plenty of free youtube videos from which you can learn.
After about a week I was feeling better but really conscious of injuring it again. So I returned to classes but sat out the sparring just until I felt confident that there wouldn’t be any issues. So now I have the additional preventative foam rolling and stretching to incorporate into my week to prevent the lower back muscles from shortening and tightening which leads to injury.