Hey Trifuelers, I've been a frequent reader of the Forums, but a 1st time poster. As the subject suggests, I am suffering from a back spasm. Here's my quick history before I ask my question. I'm a 48 yr old male who did his first OLY in 1986. Over the next 6 years I did over 30 events including 3 marathons. From 1993 to 2007 I stayed in good condition mostly from gym workouts and casual running. I've got the tri bug again and completed 4 tris in 2008 including a HIM. For 2009 I have a new TT bike, a solid training plan, a real good endurance base, and 5 events scheduled from Jun-Aug, my first one on Jun 6th. Last night doing nothing more than casually bending over I felt my back "grab" and knew immediately that I'm in for a couple weeks of pain. It's not the first time, in fact it seems that every 5-6 months what starts out as a tight back eventually "grabs" and puts me in this condition. I've used chiropractic (x-rays negative for spine damage), PT, stretching, ice, etc. to try to relieve it, but relief usually requires time off, more than I like to take especially this time of year.
Since it's not the first time I am extremely aware of taking care of my back and injury prevention. I have worked my core through the off season, I have a stretching routine I do several times a week, and I have tight hamstrings and glutes that I know can factor in to back issues. In trying to figure out "why now", my last week was not a normal training week, in fact it was planned to be an active recovery week with multiple days off. We traveled to the mountains of NC for my daughter's college graduation and of course I took my bike so I could get at least one mountain ride in over a long weekend. Last week I swam 1000 on Tuesday followed by a 4 mile run, ran 6.5 tempo run on Weds, then on Saturday did my mountain ride, just 7 miles total, the first half a 3.5 mile grind to the top. And for 4 nights I slept on a bed much too soft for my liking. After taking Sun and Mon off I ran a hard 6.3 miles on Tuesday, and feeling tight on Weds went through my stretching routine in the morning. So that's all that lead up to my spasm last night, and this morning just putting socks on was a painful challenge.
So I'm looking for insight from others who may have the same problem. What therapies have you used? What stretches can you suggest? I'm open to anything I might learn from your collective experiences that could speed my recovery along without missing too many workouts. Thanks for your input!