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Back Pain Center

Intense Lower Back Pain From a Workout a Couple of Days Ago

author image Darla Ferrara
Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.
Intense Lower Back Pain From a Workout a Couple of Days Ago
Severe back pain may be a symptom of a herniated disk.

Pain from exercise does not automatically appear during the routine. Discomfort after the fact is common. However, severe pain is always a concern. Lower back discomfort may be a sign of an injury and not just normal muscle ache. Talk to your doctor about any lower back pain to rule out a degenerative disk or herniation.

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Exercise and Muscles

Soreness comes when you stress the muscles enough so the body breaks them down and rebuilds them stronger. Creating muscle fatigue is the key to building mass, but it damages the tissue. The severity of the damage depends on the extent of the exercise. Strenuous exercise that you are not used to can lead to muscles that are tender and painful. Pain that occurs during your workout may reflect an injury and not muscle soreness.

Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is pain that begins 24 hours or more after you exercise. The exact cause of the delay is unknown. It may be due to a lactic acid buildup in the tissue, according to Stony Brook University. Another theory states the discomfort comes from the damage that leads to rebuilding and increased muscle mass. Regardless of why the pain occurs, it can last for up to 10 days. Delayed-onset muscle soreness in your lower back is a sign the muscles worked harder during the exercise than normal.


The most effective treatment for DOMS is rest. The connective tissue in the lower back may have some damage. Waiting to work out again until you are pain-free for at least a week can help prevent a repeat of the discomfort. Basic first-aid techniques may help to reduce inflammation and pain. Apply ice to your lower back several times a day for three days. Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as ibuprofen if necessary.


If you have a history of back problems, any new pain should be reported to your doctor. The physiology in the lower back region is complex. Severe back pain may indicate a problem with the vertebrae or disks. Pain that becomes disabling should be evaluated by a medical professional. Stretching and thermal massage before and after your workout may help reduce the incidence of DOMS. If you are new to exercise, discuss a fitness program with your doctor before beginning.

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