Injured Lower Back Injured Lower Back

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Thread: Injured Lower Back

  1. #1
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    Default Injured Lower Back

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    Hey guys,

    Just wondering what you thought I should do in this situation. I am 6'3" with a bodyweight of 191 pounds.

    2 Wednesdays ago was the big snowstorm up here in Philadelphia. I went out that morning and shoveled for a little while. In the early afternoon I did my scheduled starting strength workout with no problems. It included 195x5x3 on squats and 235x5x1 on deadlifts. I felt great during the entire workout and in fact here were my post workout comments in my log "Because of the snow and all the shoveling, I almost bailed on this workout. Im really glad I didn't as I crushed it and felt strong the whole time. My form on the squat and the deadlifts felt better than ever and my lower body is gaining strength in a hurry. It is still very weak however, so I can't afford to miss any workouts." After this workout, I had to go out and shovel again (we got almost 30 inches.

    So you can see I had no issues at all with the workout. However, the next day I woke up and had some pain in my lower back that wasn't normal soreness. It wasn't horrible, but definitely noticeable. If I had to guess what caused it, Deadlifts would be my leading culprit, followed by shoveling, then squats. The only reason I say this is because I have had some pain from deadlifts in the past, even though that was always felt during a rep. This time all my reps felts strong, smooth, and felt like I had good form.

    I left for Miami for a vacation that day and didn't return until the following Tuesday. I did not work out during my time in Miami and did not eat well or get my proper protein and milk. The back pain also got a little worse while I was away. On the Wednesday after I returned, I was scheduled to do Squats, Presses, and Chins. I managed to get 200x5x3, but it was a real struggle. After warming up, the pain got disappeared, but my form felt shaky because I was guarding against using my back and doing the squats with too vertical a back angle. I had no pain on the presses or chins. The next day my back was worse though. Then on Friday it went got a little better, back to how it had been the whole week before. So again I went forward with my workout, getting the 205x5x3, but it was even more of a struggle and actually a little painful during the squat reps. I did the bench press afterward with no pain, but skipped power cleans due to the pain and fear.

    That takes us to this past weekend. The pain got worse and now seems to be more concentrated. It is just above my pants line about 3 inches to the left of my center-spine and its really hurting.

    Does anyone know what type of injury this sounds like?

    And what should my course of action be? MRI? Chiropractor?

    And what should I do about eating and working out? I definitely have to avoid squats, deads and cleans for a few days until I can at least get this diagnosed. But should I keep doing presses, bench, and chins/pulls if they don't bother the injury? And should I keep doing GOMAD and eating a ton if I am not doing the major muscle building exercises along with it?

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Mate, had a similar injury on my lower back, pissed me off so much because I hate to take months off training, and even after the chronic pain went away, if I did anything too harsh the injury would flare out and then go away after a week or so.

    I would say seek medical attention if you can afford it.

    We have free healthcare in the UK, but it's as good as shit, because it's under resourced. So they just tell you general adivice, like fix your posture, don't strain it too much with the injury and go for walks/swims, as it seems to do really well for the back.. Which is good advice and all you can do for the time being.

    Most back pain will go away over time, but in future take preventative action.

    Do magnificent mobility, the excercises will stretch your back like you didn't think was possible.. and is very relaxing as well. DO the stretches before the workouts (they're dynamic so very good pre workout).

    and also do foam rolling, or tennis ball rolling for the back.

    Check out the 3 links on lower back pain on this page

    http://www.aboutstrength.com/2010/01...back-problems/

    I injured the exactly same part as yours, about 2-3 inches to the left of the spine, above the belt line. In fact my spinal extensor [I think that's what it's called] is smaller (and weaker) than the right side.
    Last edited by LondonTiger; 02-22-2010 at 11:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: you question about training and diet..

    Beleive me, I realy hate missing workouts and will train through an injury if I could, and in my case I jumped back onto squats and deads the second my back got painless.

    When the pain subsides it doesn't necessirly mean the injury is fixed.. There's still lots of scar tissue and repair work to be done. I don;'t know the science.. But I re-injured my lower back many times from jumping back into training to soon. And believe me.. That SUCKS.

    Can't be good for the long term either scar tissue on scar tissue... cant be strong.

    You need to give sufficient time for proper healing.. how long.. I don't know.. For me it was at least a month after the pain was gone..

    Do swimming and lots of walking (about 1 hour a day), and do the magnificent mobility excercises (takes about 10 mins max to do).

    Also Rip posted something on forums on how to recover from injuries super fast.. it was http://strengthmill.net/forum/showthread.php?t=700 but the link no longer works, back injuries are common though, so do some searching
    Last edited by LondonTiger; 02-22-2010 at 07:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Briks42 View Post
    The pain got worse and now seems to be more concentrated. It is just above my pants line about 3 inches to the left of my center-spine and its really hurting.
    I'm no doc, but it doesn't sound like a spinal injury because it's 3" left from your spine. With spinal injuries, it seems you usually feel the pain at the spine where the injury occurred and sometimes in tissues below it (as the pain radiates through the nerves).

    Also, spinal injuries tend to produce a very sharp pain, and if it is caused by loaded flexion, often feels better when you put yourself in extension (e.g., prone cobra). If that doesn't sound like your situation, then try treating it as a muscular injury and follow the Starr rehab protocol.

  5. #5
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    I'd say give it a few weeks of rest, don't do anything that causes pain, warm up thoroughly. Iif it's still not right, get an MRI done, then go and see a good physio, one that knows lifting if possible.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the responses, guys. I kinda don't think it is spinal now either, since it is a good deal to the left of my spine. But if the pain is right at the top part of the left back bone of what I guess is my hip girdle???

    Do you think it is most likely muscular and something that should be rehabbed with the Starr technique, or is there anything else there (ligaments, etc.) that it could be?

    And in either case, is it worth going to a chiro or is a chiro only appropriate for spinal injuries?

  7. #7
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    I think it would be hard even for a doc to make that assessment over the internet, nevermind for non-medical professionals.

    Why not try the Starr rehab protocol (with very light weights in case it isn't muscular, and is indeed a ligament injury), and see if the pain responds the way the Starr protocol anticipates.

  8. #8
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    starting strength coach development program
    I once pulled my back doing some weightlifting activity (exactly what, I can't recall). It was tight and caused pain when I moved it, and after 5 days it still wasn't improving regardless of what I tried. Finally I took some Robax and, with some light weighted stretching (SLDL with like a 20 lb. bar), it completely resolved overnight. To echo the others it's impossible to diagnose you in a forum, but in my case I knew it was just a muscle thing and not a structural injury.

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