It wasn't as bad as it sounds. The pain subsided quite a bit after a week or two. And, according to the doctor, since my back is essentially healthy and strong, my recovery was a matter of weeks, not months.
Even with a rather quick recovery, I had to make changes to my own workouts. Overhead lifts were out, as they compress the spine too much. No running either, as it's just too jarring. My MMA (and especially my BJJ) training had to be put on hold for a bit. So, while healing, my workouts mainly consisted of yoga, chins, and ocean swims. After a few weeks I added Kettlebell Swings.
I think it's important to consider why this injury did not prove more debilitating. As I mentioned, the doc said I seemed to have a healthy and strong back. I credit certain aspects of my training for this:
- Planks and Side Planks
- Kettlebell Swings
All of these greatly contribute to having a strong core and powerful posterior chain. And while my own experiences show that having a strong core and solid posterior chain aren't a guarantee of not getting a lower-back injury, they sure seem to lessen the effects of those injuries.