i've just found a new technique to help my back during workouts.

a little history... I ripped a muscle in my back playing volleyball and it never healed right. not having decent medical coverage, it has languished until I get a real job. in that time, ive lost 15+ lbs of muscle, 3 inches off each leg, can no longer do power cleans, deads, or jump squats. i used to squat 365 and now can barely do 275. my other muscles have even suffered do to lack of intensity and having to take time off repeatedly cause my back muscles are too painful.

well after much experimentation i have found the following routine to allow me to do a workout relatively pain free:

1) take 2-4 excedrin 30-60min before workout.
2) apply icyhot patch to problem area 30-60min before workout
3) get a hot water bottle filled with extra hot water and sit in a stretched position (where back muscles are stretched out) with bottle heating the problem muscles for 30-60min before workout.

when I get done, the muscles are loose and warm, with not much pain.
usually, i have walked a little to get body temp up beforehand.

anyway, i just wanted to share in case anybody else could be helped.