Thorocolumbar muscle (back)


I was wondering if anyone has ever had issues with the Thorocolumbar muscle or lower back pain just isolated on one side of their back.

Just over 2 weeks ago I was pitching on a mound that wasn’t very solid. The dirt (sand) was very loose and just after a few pitches I’d have a deep hole that I’d have to fill in. After about 25 pitches I started having extreme lower back pain. Almost shooting electric type pain. It hurt to bend over, run, anything. A couple days go by and my back feels normal again so I figure it was nothing. The next time I throw a baseball (just normal soft toss, warming up) the pain starts coming back. When I start pitching the pain comes back to 100%…

The pain starts right above my left upper hip and goes halfway up my back. Its isolated to just my left side (planting foot). I thought my hip might be fractured or something (!) so I started looking on the net to see if anyone had a similar problem. I came across a muscle diagram and it looks like I’ve pulled my left Thorocolumbar muscle. My pain is pretty much exactly where this muscle is…

Now this is where my confusion is… I’ve pulled quads and hams before… when you pull those, it hurts to get out of a chair, flex it, do anything physical with it before its fully healed. But with this, I can jog, bend over, sit down etc without it hurting. Its only after I throw a baseball that the pain comes and afterwards it hurts to do those things.

Below is a diagram to show where my pain is…

Anyone ever have something like this happen? Its been like this for 2 weeks. I’m hoping this isn’t a serious injury. I’m going to give it 5 days with absolutely no throwing at all. If that doesn’t fix it I don’t know what I’m going to do. Anyone have any advice besides ‘Go see a doc’?

yea i had that exact same pain before in fall ball. same way i injured it too. DONT try to throw through it…i did that and it got to the point where i couldnt walk jog or run for a while. take a couple weeks off and it will go away. trust me. and stretch it alot.

How old are you? If you are an adolescent or teenager it could very well be spondylolysis which is a stress fracture in your back. The symptoms don’t seem quite the same as the pain would normally be more localized with the stress fracture, but it shows up in exactly the location you’ve shown, especially for right handers. In any case, go and see a doctor, preferably a sports medicine doctor or an orthopedist. Almost half the adolescents who go to a doctor with lower back pain end up having spondylolysis. There are simple tests the doctor can run to check for spondylolysis. If those are positive they’ll take x-rays and a CT scan or MRI to confirm it. If you want to pre-check for yourself one test you can do is to stand on one leg and arch your back as far as you can. Try it on each leg. If doing that hurts your back then there’s a good chance you have spondylolysis.

If it is spondylolysis and you don’t treat it properly you could end up with a permanent disability.

Here are two things that I saw in your motion when I first analyzed it way back when that could be relevant…

  1. You really reverse-rotate your shoulders and maintain this attitude as you start to move to the plate.

  2. You seem to land on the heel of your glove-side foot.

Both of these things could put you in an odd (e.g. tilted awkwardly) orientation as you land and could contribute to your back problems. Landing on the heel in particular could cause jarring and problems with your back.

You might want to make sure you land very smooth.

You might also want to consider doing some exercises to strengthen the muscles of your torso (after first going to an M.D. to see what’s going on right now).

[quote]f you want to pre-check for yourself one test you can do is to stand on one leg and arch your back as far as you can. Try it on each leg. If doing that hurts your back then there’s a good chance you have spondylolysis.

I could do this on both legs with no pain.

We had a game tonight. After 5 days of rest with stretching and heat it got better but still not 100%. The pain isn’t as severe as it had been. I tweaked it a couple times during the game but 20-30 seconds of stretching it out again seemed to normalize it. I talked to someone else on my team and he had the same problem as me… he said it lasted a couple of weeks and he got through it with lots of stretching and Icey Hot.

We are in a 3 day memorial day tournament and I’ll be getting plenty of pitching in. Hopefully with another day of rest I can get it to 90-95%.

OK Corky how’s the back? Hopefully it responded well to rest and didn’t hurt too much over the weekend. Sounds more like a strain than anything else, especially since stretching it seemed to help. You might also want to stretch your hamstrings as tight hamstrings can put tension on that part of your back. If you rest it and the pain keeps coming back then you’ll need to see a doctor.

Things went pretty well this weekend. My back got tight later in the day so I came out. Sunday and Monday were much better. It definitely was some type of muscle pull/strain. It took over 3 weeks to recover but I’m nearly 100% again.