Lumbar Decompression in the gym - a question Lumbar Decompression in the gym - a question

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Thread: Lumbar Decompression in the gym - a question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    289

    Default Lumbar Decompression in the gym - a question

    Hi Rip,

    Did a search and found a thread on lumbar decompression. I have a question for you and perhaps those who have done it about how this is supposed to feel.

    In the past you have recommended hanging from the arms w/ two belts in the rack to decompress the spine When you hang are you supposed to actively try and stretch the injured area or just hang without forcing a stretch? My low back hurt quite a bit while doing this last night. I could almost feel the discs "stretching" and I was wondering if this kind of "hurt" is supposed to be therapeutic or injurious.

    I don't feel any worse today since doing the exercise. My back has improved greatly in the last week doing some Stuart McGill-style back exercises. I have not loaded my back at all and took a steady regimen of ibuprofen. I was considering taking ibuprofen for about a months time to try and get the inflammation wiped out. Then I want to try deadlifting again without involving a stupid pelvic tilt which caused this recent injury (as you pointed out in a video i posted).

    When I do decide to get back to deadlifting, do you recommend that I do higher reps w/ lighter weight for a while or should I just continue with a 1x5 approach with small increases in load. I have been dealing with this injury for over 3 years now and I NEED to get a handle on this thing.

  2. #2
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    Don't force the stretch, i.e. put a bar under your toes and pull down or something like that. Just let gravity draw your vertebral segments apart while you hand in normal anatomical position. My experience with this has been that it hurts at first and then the pain subsides. Hang a couple of minutes, stand down, then repeat. Come back to the deadlift with 5s, and increase the load as you tolerate it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    613

    Default low back traction results

    I injured a spinal erector 10 days out from a meet deadlifting 530x2

    called Rip, he said do the traction

    I used the traction technique by hanging until my arms got fatigued, when I came out of the stretch if did kind of hurt the first couple of steps until things settle back into place. I did this for 3 sets of 30 seconds 2x a day for 5 days,

    did it work? Hell yeah, I hit a DL PR 573 only 10 days after the injury,

    Thanks again to Uncle Rip

    Use the advice, the shit works, the only cases I have seen where this is not true is when people have multiple disc rupture or fused lumbar vertebrae, those people are fucked and a lot of this stuff has minimal effect on them. Most of those injuries are from car accident, military madness and years of occupational abuse.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2008
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    Thanks for your insight, as always. Going to try and make this a regular part of my routine as well as chiro adjustments. Hoping to see you in Brooklyn next April. Hopefully by then I will be in better shape.

  5. #5
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    You'll be fine by then.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2008
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    Long Island City, NY
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    I didn't do a search first here so apologies/ ignore if posted elsewhere, but does anyone have experience hanging upside down? My gym has a machine which effectively inverts you upside down, and while I've no injury atm im curious as to it's benefits.

  7. #7
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    I don't like the position at all. If you get vertical enough to actually decompress, it's putting a lot of tension on the knee ligaments, and my knees do not appreciate this.

  8. #8
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    Yesler's Palace, Seattle, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxmorpheusxv View Post
    I didn't do a search first here so apologies/ ignore if posted elsewhere, but does anyone have experience hanging upside down? My gym has a machine which effectively inverts you upside down, and while I've no injury atm im curious as to it's benefits.
    Personally, it gives me a headache in like a minute and a half, and that outweighs unloading my back.
    I know people who love inversion tables, but I'm not one of them.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2011
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    Raleigh, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxmorpheusxv View Post
    I didn't do a search first here so apologies/ ignore if posted elsewhere, but does anyone have experience hanging upside down? My gym has a machine which effectively inverts you upside down, and while I've no injury atm im curious as to it's benefits.
    I have a history of some back problems, having had a herniated disc at l5-s1 w/ sciatica a couple of years ago. The method coach Rippetoe describes is way better...and you can control the intensity by setting it up so your feet are touching something where you can use your legs a bit if the stretch is too much / painful. I've tried the old school gravity boots and while it does feel good to my low back, it kills my knees and overall is just too much.

    You also have to be somewhat athletic or else have a rope to help you safely get into and out of the completely inverted position. Not a good idea at all for anyone with an active back injury.

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