backpain while kicking

Bay Area

Silver Belt
Aug 27, 2011
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So anyhoo, I have lower back pain that comes and goes. But after a kicking session, roundhouses mostly, the pain increases. Any excercises I can do to remedy the situation? Any excercises before or after my kicking sessions?

First we have to know the cause. Where does it hurt? Does it radiate anywhere? Describe the pain (dull, burning, sharp). Is the painful area tender to touch, or hurt with movement?
I think you want to kick well inside your flexibility.

I have a routine I used to do a lot that gave me the ability to kick cold. Sometimes I can't touch my toes because of my inflexibility and previous back injuries, but I can wake up at 3am and kick to the head without stretching thanks to this drill.

Besides normal kicking flexibility drills that I'm sure you know, sometimes back pain with kicking is rooted in another part of the body. You can also have a weakness that is aggravated by incorrect exercises.

Muscles in the lower back are designed for stability rather than motion. Any low back exercises where you arch the back, especially while holding a weight, isn't terribly useful. Dead lifts and rows are good because you keep the back straight while bending forward while holding a weight and coming up from the waist isn't that useful. Are you doing any odd back exercises that aren't stability, but instead dynamic motions with weights?

There could also be a weakness in your abs and your back is compensating. Bridging exercises are great for this. Find bridges that activate your abdominal muscles below your belly button to start. See if you are bad at any abdominal exercises and work on those.

Try to stay away from situps. Most people shouldn't do them. They lead to increased hip tightness. Look for things like knee ups or reverse crunches.

Some of my back pain was due to weak glutes, and when I started to do exercises for my butt and hamstrings, it improved dramatically.

Everything I mentioned - proper low back exercise, less situps, more bridges, flexibility, the kicking drills I can post later for you if you want, glute and hamstring strengthening, and so on, all that can be good for almost everyone.
same problem

I actually had to quit Muay Thai and switch to boxing becuz of the pain... I kept injuring myself again and again until I tried boxing and it didnt put pressure on my lower back at all...

I actually thought I had an herniated disk or something, got pretty scared... but it was impossible, I didnt lift any weights I was just kicking one day and BAM there goes my lower back... Im not sure but I think its piriformis syndrome, something to do with the muscles that become tight pressuring the sciatic nerve... do you get pain shooting down your legs? I got a little on one leg..
I have a compressed nerve in my lumbar from a shit disc I blew years ago (old man problems)

Now that I'm incorporating kicks into my fights, it's starting to flare up.
Ibuprofen and manual traction (aka decompression, aka someone pulling hard on your legs and your learning how to 'relax' your back to it's unloading the pressure on the discs) works great.)

Also, I've found that inversion is great.
Basically, google "spinal unloading". Lots of methods, that really, really works for me.
doctors >> sherdoggers

Hope its nothing serious. :)
but i need to ad: find a doctor that know what hard training and sport is all about.
stop kicking for 2 weeks.

i have same problem when i do a lot of kicks on thai pads with full power. but only when i kick with my right leg(more powerful).it started year ago.then i stopped kicking for 2 weeks it gone but sometimes it hurts again
I have pretty chronic back pain that I have learned to manage. It happens to me too when kicking a lot. Two main things: stretch your hip flexors out, especially on the rear side as that is crunched over and in a shortened position. The other is stretch your quadratus lumborum (back muscle on side of erector spinae) on the rear side especially. I won't bother to explain the stretch but you'll be able to google. I didn't even know they existed before finding out they were my main issue.

Also I find foam rolling with a short piece of foam (I cut a normal foam roll down to 6") immediately loosens my back up and alleviates aches. You can do this both before and after a session. It's so quick that you could even do it in between rounds.

And definitely strengthen your glutes. Glutes are vital for taking the strain of your back.
How long have you been training? Self taught or proper coaching?

Just being honest here and don't mean to insult but most of the time people who get back pains are beginners who kick improperly (not pivoting,leaning back,etc.)
Just go do a shit load of heavy deadlifts man. Problem solved. :icon_evil

I'm kidding. I vote doc to see what the cause is. I had a back injury when I was 17 and stayed with me till I was 19 all because I didn't let it heal properly.
but i need to ad: find a doctor that know what hard training and sport is all about.

Everyone saying to see a doctor is right, but this guy absolutely nailed it with the most important detail
i experienced lower back pain when doing a lot of circular kicks in capoeira. i do recall experiencing a similar pain when training muay thai.

i can't speak for your situation, but for me i think the problem was that i slouch/hunch a lot normally, so maybe my back muscles aren't as great as they should be.
I had the same issue, even up to a couple months ago when I threw my back out and couldn't walk normally for a week.

1) Relax the leg when you kick, do not contract your leg muscles and flex when you're kicking. You generate a lot of power on your kicks, and if you contract your leg muscles, it pulls on your vertebrae. So relax, learn to kick with a floppy loose leg.

2) You need to warm your body up; don't kick 100% if you're not warm. Like, warm enough to be sweating already. I found this very helpful in loosening up the lower back.

3) Obviously, stretch out the lower back, stretch your your hip muscles so you its easier for you to kick higher with less strain on your spine.

Best of luck.
I have two training partners and a coach that had the same problem as you. The problem stemmed from the fact that they were only practicing kicks from an orthodox stance.

They were flexing the back leg and whipping their back hip around a lot more often than their from leg and hip. My coach actually pulled his lower back out of alignment.

To make a long story short, he, on the advice and guidance of a doctor and physio therapist, had to "train" his lower back into alignment and balance out the muscles on both sides of his body.
It's definitely very important to see the doctor. I think some of the rules in other Sherdog forums don't even allow posts like this... but we're not in those forums right now, so hey...

Unfortunately, seeing a doctor because you have back pain is a lot like seeing a doctor because you're sneezing. At least in the US. They'll probably tell you to stop kicking and prescribe you some naproxen. As someone who has experienced back pain for 4-5 years, I'd recommend taking it easy for a little while and maybe experimenting with an easy stretching regimen.
See adoc. And if you won't do that take up Yoga. Have seen a Doc, and basically got prescribed Yoga or a pain blocker. I took yoga.