I have had a bad back for a few months now and it seems to be getting progressively worse. My lower back in particular is uncomfortable most of the time, of late higher and towards my shoulders as well, and after a few particular minor injuries in training (which I ignored) it is becoming a genuine hindrance. Not training for five days for other reasons didn't significantly improve it. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely what is sore; my spine itself in general seems to be particularly when under pressure or when I am twisting to escape from a hold (and more recently, simply rolling), and as I sit writing this my whole mid to lower back is uncomfortable.
So I am looking for recommendations. Any suggestions of things that might help would be very much appreciated, please?
There are generally two possibilities. Each have a different approach. The two possibilities are:
1. Something is anatomically wrong with your spine, and you have either pain or no pain.
2. Something is not anatomically wrong with your spine, and you have pain (the option of nothing being wrong and not having any pain is not really worth considering).
I will now further elaborate on either option.
1. If #1 applies the it is important to diagnose what is anatomically wrong. An example of something being anatomically wrong is a hernia, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis.A quick likely/not likely diagnosis of something being anatomically wrong can be made through palpation, visual and X-rays. A more in-dept diagnosis of what precisely is wrong necessitates MRI or CT-Scan. If #1 applies, then your case is serious enough that you require individual advice from a qualified physician who can actually examine you, your medical record and take medical responsibility for you. These case are not frequent, but they do happen in judo. To give you some ball park, I have two people in my club who have a diagnosed hernia, they are between 40-65 years of age; one was a superb competitive judoka and very supple, the other wasn't either. One got the injury through judo, the other did not. I also have one club member who had a broken spine; the reason was not judo but horseback riding.
2. #2 occurs with certain regularity in judo. In this case there is nothing anatomically wrong in the sense of breaks, cracks or tears in any structure whether it be muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments or anything, and there is no imminent danger to your health. Why does this occur and what actually happens ? Due to a certain movement, cold, cramp or nervous reaction, a muscle goes in spasmic contraction, the body responds, and a vicious circle is established where there really isn't anything wrong, but the presence of A causes B, and the fact that B is present causes A. Medically this condition is not serious in terms of danger, but it can be very serious in terms of pain, to the extent that you cannot move. Theoretically this can be simple to treat From the moment you can instantaneously sever the link, the circle may break and the problem may be gone. There is a likelihood that this is what you are having, but ... only a qualified board-certified (or equivalent in your country) physician can safely and responsibly establish that diagnoses. Nothing or very little would be visible on X-rays. treatment is manipulation through a chiropractor, acupuncture, or drugs. My personal preference would be to find an excellent chiropractor. One or a couple of sessions depending on how serious the spasms are and how long you've had them may be sufficient. Because of your age (--which I am estimating from factors, but not mentioning in protection of your privacy--), it is more likely that you are suffering from the second option than from the first. Apart from getting rid of the problem it is worthwhile reflecting on how prone you are to this problem. If you are you may wish to devote consideration to how you sleep and the quality of your bed and mattress; if doing so, please be careful for the many clichés that exist about this; it is, for example, not true that a hard bed is good for your back.
Good luck !!