Originally Posted by Brisco_County
I have been going to back specialists for 15 years, and I have found that the primary agitator of my lower back pain is improperly managed leg workouts. When I screw up my form doing squats or I over train, the subsequent soreness/stiffness radiates from L5 and L4. Fortunately, it does not result in sciatica, as the muscle spasms tend to travel up rather than down (For the record, working out is not the root cause of my back problems).
My point is that the speculation that Foster is "overused" seems off the mark. He did not have back problems at the end of last season, and he has not played in seven months. What preceded Foster's injury was, as Foster affirmed, the most intense offseason training he has ever subjected himself to. It is clear to me that he loaded up the squat rack, and ran a whole lot, and pushed his limits without allowing enough time to recover.
In other words, this is not an issue of mileage on his body, it is an issue of improper recovery from a possible disc or nerve injury during his offseason training.
Foster was running well in the first week of OTAs. He then was carted off the field after he tore his calf (described as a "severe calf strain") on May 28 and ended up on crutches. Before that, he had no problems with his back. He was then rehabbing for 2 months, which included running. His calf rehab was still not successful. It wasn't until after that his back started giving him problems. It is not uncommon for Grade II or III calf tears to require 2 - 3 months or more, because of ease of re-injury even during rehab. If he was having so much trouble coming back from the tear, you can bet that his core was compensating, especially with attempts to run. When your core is twisted, back muscles and vertebral bones maintain asymmetric positions with compression of the discs and of the spinal nerve roots that pass between the vertebrae and discs. This would easily explain his back problem now.