Lower Back Pop Unracking For A Squat Lower Back Pop Unracking For A Squat

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Thread: Lower Back Pop Unracking For A Squat

  1. #1
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    Default Lower Back Pop Unracking For A Squat

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    Hi - I'm 41 now and on DL's, whenever I'd get to around 300 I'd tweak my back. A few weeks ago, I was doing 225 and when lowering the weight, my lower back popped on the left side then immediately tightened up. I let it heal for a while then went to a coach because I figured it was form. Ok great.

    Today, I was squatting. I've been squatting for seven or so years but not heavy (I start getting anxious under the bar at a certain weight) but recently decided to start increasing weight again. I had 225 on the bar today. I did the first set successfully. On the second, as I was unracking the weight...literally standing the bar out of the rack, my lower back popped again. The pain/tightness is on the lower left side. This has never happened. The pain is manageable but enough to tell me to quit doing stuff. I'm kind of at a loss because this sort of thing keeps happening now. It's never happened before. A) Does this sound like anything anyone has heard of? B) Is this a function of age (didn't happen until I turned 40). C) Based on this minimal amount of information, do you have any recommendations on how to proceed? More core work/maybe I'm not bracing my core enough/more warmup, etc.?

    I realize this is kind of a vague description so if you need more information, please tell me. I'm just so frustrated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Does the ďpopĒ you heard create anxiety or fear, and, if so, why?

  3. #3
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    Look into SI Joint pain. You didnít say anything about pain running down the leg so if the pain is localized, I would rule out SI joint pain. Overall, I would suggest treating unracking the weight like a mini squat in terms of tightness. Iím sure a coach could confirm this but I would get into lumbar extension and valsalva before lifting off the rack.

  4. #4
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    The pop freaked me out a little and got me to put the weight back on the rack and then the pain (not overly severe) came a little later. I put the weight back down because the last time i heard/felt a pop was during deadlifts and my back started to hurt a few hours later and get extremely tight.

    Ultimately yes, the pop created anxiety but I could have possibly done the set. Right now I have a dull ache in what feels like my kidney area. This is just new for me because I've had minor injuries before doing deadlifts (due to form I'm sure) but never the squat and the pops are new. Plus I was just very surprised that it happened when I stood the bar out of the rack, a move I've done so many times. It just didn't make sense. I went back and re-read some of the book and maybe I need to do the valsalva and/or get a belt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbraddock View Post
    Look into SI Joint pain. You didn’t say anything about pain running down the leg so if the pain is localized, I would rule out SI joint pain. Overall, I would suggest treating unracking the weight like a mini squat in terms of tightness. I’m sure a coach could confirm this but I would get into lumbar extension and valsalva before lifting off the rack.
    Absolutely. Unracking the bar is rep zero for a squat. You should be every bit as tight and in position unracking the bar as you are performing a rep.

    Can SI Joint problems cause radiating pain down the leg?

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    Quote Originally Posted by solo1001 View Post
    The pop freaked me out a little Since pain was not immediate onset, do you happen to be of the belief that your own expectation / anxiety / personal history / beliefs and values about hearing this pop in your back could explain why you had pain that came on later? Anxiety and pain are very much interconnected. and got me to put the weight back on the rack and then the pain (not overly severe) came a little later. I put the weight back down because the last time i heard/felt a pop was during deadlifts and my back started to hurt a few hours later and get extremely tight. Do you have the same reaction when your finger joints pop, or your knee pops, or you crack your neck? People pay a lot of money to have their backs popped. Then again, you are paying a practitioner to do this, so that sets up the expectation that this "pop" is therapeutic and likely to make you feel better. When it happens out of the blue, anxiety gets a hold of you and starts to make you wonder what tissue just had a catastrophic failure. There being no pain when it happens is likely a good indicator that no tissue failed.

    Ultimately yes, the pop created anxiety but I could have possibly done the set. Right now I have a dull ache in what feels like my kidney area. This is just new for me because I've had minor injuries before doing deadlifts (due to form I'm sure) but never the squat and the pops are new. Plus I was just very surprised that it happened when I stood the bar out of the rack, a move I've done so many times. It just didn't make sense. I went back and re-read some of the book and maybe I need to do the valsalva and/or get a belt.
    Pops are generally not a concern, especially when they are devoid of blinding pain at onset. Pops are generally thought to just be gas escaping from a joint. When tissue fails that causes a "pop", it is generally an entirely different emotional response.

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    Thanks to both of you. I'll really focus on technique when unracking and re-read the whole squat section of the book again.

    There was no pain down the leg so I don't know about SI Joint (sorry Gbraddock I missed your post above or i would have addressed it earlier). I'll look into other SI Joint symptoms to see if there's anything there. The pain isn't terrible so I don't think it's anything serious. I appreciate the responses and it helps in keeping me from getting discouraged. I have no problems turning 40/41 EXCEPT when it comes to strength/fitness. That's when I get in my head.

  8. #8
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    Very good to know and keep in mind. It felt like a normal joint pop until the little bit of pain kicked in later on but nothing immediate. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    Absolutely. Unracking the bar is rep zero for a squat. You should be every bit as tight and in position unracking the bar as you are performing a rep.

    Can SI Joint problems cause radiating pain down the leg?
    Iím not a neuro or Ortho spine surgeon but I do work with em as a medical device rep. My understanding SI joint pain is axial and may radiate around the waistline of the affected side and possibly even some pain can be felt anterior. My understanding of pain radiating down the leg as being defined as radiculopathy and is caused by nerve root irritation (eg. Causes from bulging or herniated disc, foraminal stenosis due to bone spurs, or stenosis due to hypertrophy of the posterior tension band ligaments like the ligamentum flavum).

    My PERSONAL experience with SI joint pain is it is axial and does not radiate down my leg, comes on quick to a SPECIFIC SIDE of my lower back just off center line, and leaves damned nearly as fast as it came. Iíve learned some active release techniques and stretches to help manage the pain. At the end of the day I usually do what I can routine wise and see my chiro if it really gets grumpy. He can usually pop it back into place and I get some fairly immediate relief sans some irritation thatís already set in.

    Hope it helps

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbraddock View Post
    I’m not a neuro or Ortho spine surgeon but I do work with em as a medical device rep. My understanding SI joint pain is axial and may radiate around the waistline of the affected side and possibly even some pain can be felt anterior. My understanding of pain radiating down the leg as being defined as radiculopathy and is caused by nerve root irritation (eg. Causes from bulging or herniated disc, foraminal stenosis due to bone spurs, or stenosis due to hypertrophy of the posterior tension band ligaments like the ligamentum flavum).

    My PERSONAL experience with SI joint pain is it is axial and does not radiate down my leg, comes on quick to a SPECIFIC SIDE of my lower back just off center line, and leaves damned nearly as fast as it came. I’ve learned some active release techniques and stretches to help manage the pain. At the end of the day I usually do what I can routine wise and see my chiro if it really gets grumpy. He can usually pop it back into place and I get some fairly immediate relief sans some irritation that’s already set in.

    Hope it helps
    What is directly adjacent to the superior aspect of the sacroiliac joint bilaterally?

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