Back pain is a common problem in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As an osteopath treating combat sports injuries, this is one of the most common complaints that I see. It can range from more serious conditions that can be very painful – such as disc herniations, for example – to milder kinds of pain that are less troublesome in everyday life, but can still interfere with training.
My aim is always to get people back out of my clinic and back on the mat; and although there’s no “one size fits all” solution, there are some straightforward exercises that my patients often find very helpful. I’ve used very similar routines with everyone from BJJ newbies through to high level competitors. In some cases, these were people who had already tried other kinds of treatment with no success and had resigned themselves to limiting or giving up their training altogether; but who found that doing just a few of these exercises have given their jiu-jitsu training a whole new lease of life.
For Backs for BJJ, I’ve filmed a series of these routines so that I can make them available to more people. It’s not a substitute for professional advice, but can be a useful supplement to it once serious injury has been ruled out.
I strongly believe that in most cases, rehab doesn’t need to be complicated – it just needs to be consistent. For most injuries, the very best and first answer should be a good exercise programme. There are many aspects of BJJ that can be challenging for the lower back in particular, and this programme is put together with the needs of the modern grappler in mind.