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Mid Back/ Lower lat Muscle spasm

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:25 pm
by jessegxoxo
I'm a massage therapist and personal training coach. I work with contemporary ballet dancers, think martial arts meets tennis players meets gymnast. One of the girls was doing a fairly simple twisting movement while running in the choreographed dance. She'd been having short bouts of sharp shooting pain from her mid back for a few days. This past weekend she was floored, Literally hit the floor, from the pain shooting in her back. She said her muscle spasmed. It was hard for her to breathe deeply but eventually her muscle relaxed and she was able to stand and walk away.She's out of the show for now, any ideas of what might have contributed to her spasm?

Thanks, Jesse

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:44 am
by Ironman
Well in a twisting motion muscles on one side of the back will get pulled and stretched. One of them may have been pulled too far. That can cause a spasm. That's me best guess anyway. You have to be careful when twisting.

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:17 am
by Rik-Blades
I'm a massage therapist and personal training coach.
Come must have an idea if the above statement is true. You should have plenty of resources available if you have any kind of qualification, or be able to work out which muscle is causing the problem.

I smell a rat.

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:30 am
by stuward
It sounds like my youngest daughter. She's takes dance in school but also complains of low back pain. She hates doing any kind of strength training and is very lax when it comes to looking after her back. A pain-free back requires strength. Weighted glute bridges and deadlifts are logical exercises for most readers here but your typical dancer wouldn't go near a barbell.

I would first refer her to a physio therapist since I think some electro stimulation would probably help, along with some bodyweight glute bridges. In the long run you may be able to get her into a kettlebell class. Exercises like swings, snatches, TGUs, etc will build a strong core and probably help in the long run.

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:29 am
by KPj
I would refer out purely because of the pain. Personal Training is very unregulated but my views in that case is - if there's sever pain (i.e. back spasm) or you can't train them pain free then you need to refer out.

Anyway, I have an ex gymnast as a regular client who has the classic gymnast spine - Excessive lordosis!! And a history of back (and knee) problems and when it hurts the pain is right where you describe it. She had a very unstable core and dominant lower back, also big discprepancy in side plank endurance. Very knee dominant. Sounds like everyone else, really, but it can seem more complicated than it is when someone has an athletic background. Very unusually, she loved lifting from the start!

I also have a client who has a back ground in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, etc and is also a Ballet instructor, part time - she's quite young (21). She also has minor complaints of back pain. She's a difficult one to get to embrace lifting, too!

One thing about Ballet and most forms of dance, but especially Ballet is everything is done way up on the toes. Remember weight lifting is one of the only "sports" where you're back on your heels - atleast for the most part. Gettting a Ballet dancer back on her heels will expose a world of weaknesses. This client is honestly amazing at Ballet, but a simple single leg glute bridge will cause a hamstring cramp because the glutes won't fire properly. The glutes are a big issue, and so is "anterior core" - that lower back will try and take over everything. You need to get the rest of the "core" really stable to take some stress off the lower back. In some cases she's extremely athletic and moves amazingly, and in others (glutes, "core"), I literally have 50+ year old women who put her to shame. The goal should be to prioritise the weaknesses.

Read this for the core stuff - ... training_1


Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:40 am
by Jungledoc
Rik-Blades wrote:I smell a rat.
stuward wrote:It sounds like my youngest daughter.
Hmmmmm.... I could interpret this several ways! :lol:

Actually, I'm with Rik on this. If you have those qualifications, why do you need to get on a forum like this and ask a bunch of (as far as you know) random guys a question like this. If there were a massage therapist/"personal training coach" who was a regular member of the forum, we'd all ask him or her this type of question.

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:45 am
by KPj
I've gave benefit of the doubt just because trainer courses don't actualy teach you very much and i've dealt with a few "massage therapists" and it's amazing how poor their knowledge of basic anatomy can be, never mind dealing with pain. That's not a criticism of "massage therapists" - more the certifications but you'll never find a perfect certification in anything. It's also quite a general term and may refer to the "nice" massages that make you feel relaxed and send you to sleep and not the sports related massages where they'll generally have a lot more knowledge of the body...

Only time will tell though...


Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:05 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
I went to a "massage therapist" one time
She worked for tips.

She did not smell like a rat.