5 Ways to Ease Crossfit Lower Back Pain

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Nov 19, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Anyone who does Crossfit will have an injury. It is in the name of the game that something will be sore, strained, or tired. But no injury has the ability to halt your training, and lifestyle, more than back pain. 

If you are suffering from Crossfit lower back pain, we are here to help. Below, we go through the types of injury you may have, explain how to treat it, and the best way to train with it while avoiding any more damage.

The Types of Crossfit Lower Back Pain

Before you do anything, you must determine what kind of problem is afflicting you. This will involve visiting a medical professional who will advise you on how to proceed.

Lumbar Strain

Lumbar strain is a very common issue of the lower back that tends to impact people who are lifting weights heavier than their body is prepared for. It results in a stretching and tearing of the muscles that stabilize the spine.


Sciatica is an excruciating pain that emanates from the sciatic nerve in the lower back. It is characterized by a shooting pain that emanates down the back of the legs. 

Herniated Disc

The discs between the spinal vertebrae can sometimes bulge or pop out when too much pressure is applied. They can then touch on the many nerves in the back and cause a myriad of problems. These may include numbness, loss of vision, and a lot of pain. 


Iliopsoas is the name given to stiff hip flexors. This is the easiest pain to rectify and can be done with good stretching before exercise, and a regular workout regime that strengthens the core. 

1. Aim for Core Stability

The truth is that many people in Crossfit are doing it for the perfect body. They want the definition, the toned six-pack, and the shaped muscles. That often means they are willing to exert themselves in one particular area while failing to address core stability in others. 

Before you even think about the abs, develop the trunk muscles and muscles of the lower spine over a long period of time. Change your workout regime to address these muscles, even taking away from other exercises if you need to. The good news is that most exercises on these muscles will also work the stomach and upper back regardless. 

The back is needed to hold you in place during any exercise you do. If it is sore or fatigued, then it needs to have the correct rest period before you start to train again. Long term damage is a very real possibility. 

2. Add Compression

There are two main types of compression, cold and hot. Done correctly, they can both ease the symptoms of back pain. 

Cold is used to bring down swelling. If the back is inflamed or bruised, then applying a cold ice pack three times a day will help. Do this when you wake in the morning, at midday, and before bed. 

Heat is used to increase blood flow to an area. You should avoid using this early, as it can slow the healing process. Wait until the swelling or bruising has gone, then give it another two days before you begin to apply heat.

You can then alternate them, adding each one for around 15 minutes starting with the ice pack. Do this at the same time periods each day. 

3. Embrace Deadlifts

It could be that a deadlift gave you this pain in the first place, and if it was, then you were doing something wrong. Once back strain begins, it is time to go back to basics and reset your clock.

Firstly, drop the weight you have been deadlifting to something that does not aggravate the pain. You are training, but also trying to recover. After this, you will begin looking at your posture when performing the lift. 

Keep the bar close to your shins and check your lift and descent in a mirror. Your spine should be straight for most of the lift, and you should never be hunching over on your shoulders. Make sure that your arms never bend at the elbow. 

If in doubt, ask a professional to check on your technique. You may even try a lighter deadlift, using a dumbbell between the feet. 

4. Swim

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise when trying to repair and recover. It gives your whole body a workout but does not put any external strain on the body. In effect, you are building muscle while floating in the water.

Swimming will workout your legs, arms, shoulders, neck, and back. It is often prescribed for people with herniated discs as it can realign anything that has popped out of place and strengthen it. 

5. Use Light Hip Extensions and Planks

Both of these moves will balance your abdominal muscles, setting them to work isometrically. One side may be stronger than the other, resulting in an imbalance with one set of muscles compensating for the other. 

Planks and side planks will work well, though do not push yourself to breaking point. Try them at short intervals throughout the day. 

The hip extension will need to be done on the correct apparatus at the gym. It will also help strengthen your calves and glutes, so is a great all-round exercise. 

When your back begins to heal, gently start to add some weight to your hip extension. You can choose to hold, or move down and bring yourself back to a straight back after. 

Getting Back Into Training

Once your pain begins to subside, you can think about resuming your previous training schedule. However, it is important to think about what caused your Crossfit lower back pain in the first place and rectify this. 

If you need more assistance managing the pain, then AZ Pain Doctors can help. Contact us for a consultation and discuss how a professional can ease your suffering, allowing you to concentrate on that important training schedule. 

Topics:crossfit lower back pain