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Thread: Lower Back Pain

  1. #1
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    Default Lower Back Pain

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    I (thought) that I tweaked my back during my workset of deadlifts on Thursday, 3/11 (310 lbs). I had four reps in and the last one had been a struggle. I went for the fifth rep I just felt an extreme pain in my lower back.

    Well, fast forward to this morning, 3/15. I've been hurting since that time, with limited mobility. I attempted to squat on Saturday, 3/13, but felt the pain in my lower back when I had a mere 150 on my shoulders. Needless to say it still is tender and hurts like a bitch.

    To make matters worse (and frustrating as hell), I sneezed on the way into work today. The instant that occurred, it felt like someone stabbed me in my lower back. I almost had to pull off the road as the pain was so great. Anyways...it isn't much better.

    I am not going to risk compounding the injury by squatting or deadlifting until it feels "healed."

    As for advice...should I just rest up, take some Aleve, and try light weight after the pain begins to subside...

    OR

    make an appointment with a physical therapist to check my back (as well as my right IT band)?

    I've hurt my back on prior occasions with improper squat form at heavy weights (pre starting strength, using the max-ot program), but never on the deadlift.

    I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I fucking hate injuries as the lag in working out ruins your strength gains and requires remedial work. The last thing I need is for my wife to say "I told you so." Thus, I'm venting here, where I know others can relate.

    Any response is appreciated, including calling me a pussy, telling me to man up, or just saying "shut the fuck up."

    Hey, at least March Madness is here...
    Last edited by beastmaster103; 03-15-2010 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    If the pain is very sharp, an x-ray might be the first thing you want to do.
    Otherwise:
    Ice it.
    Also try a technique called Stretch Lying. It may sound weird but I use it all of the time.
    Lay down on your back with a pillow under your knees. Arrange to have a pillow just meet your shoulders as you stretch into lying position. Anchor your butt to the floor or mattress and use your elbows and arms to stretch yourself out into lying down. Imagine stretching every vertebrae as that part of your back hits the floor. If that pack of ice is under there where it hurts, all the better. Adjust all of this until you are very comfortable.
    You might want to get one of those clay filled "ice" packs that you put in your freezer. I don't think you can over ice using those, even if you fall asleep like this.
    Natural anti-inflammatories include tart-cherries and ginger root (try a tea), I've heard devils claw works as well.
    This is much less radical than traction and might work even better.
    As far as the weights go, there are probably better folks to give you advice, but it seems that you should rest, followed by a back off period. If you don't feel at least slightly better, say workout to workout, then you are doing too much.
    Last edited by ColoWayno; 03-15-2010 at 09:50 AM.

  3. #3
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    Stretch Lying - sounds interesting. Do you have a video link (or know where to find one) that illustrates this technique?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster103 View Post
    Stretch Lying - sounds interesting. Do you have a video link (or know where to find one) that illustrates this technique?
    http://www.egwellness.com/

    I learned from the book "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back". Somewhere on the inter-webz I found a good bit of the book online... Other techniques will also help you take stress off of the back and use your back muscles more effectively doing whatever you do during the 23 hours a day you are not lifting.

    I'll confirm one claim the book makes, that you can add height using these techniques. I'm now a full 5' 11", a quarter inch taller than I was.

    I'm not paid by anyone for this advertising!

  5. #5
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    This sounds identical to what happened to me. The sneezing pain is very familiar as well. I was getting the pain on the left side just above my ass. I tried doing light deadlifts to quicken the recovery but i felt a very sharp pain and pretty sure I should delayed recovery

    I tried everything to get back to lifting but the only thing that I could find that worked for me was time. Totally understand your frustration, it took me about 7 days before I was able to lift again - had to deload a bit too.

    Things that may help in the future:
    - Stretching the hamstrings
    - Stretching often when your back to normal
    - Fish oil
    - Strengthing your abs and using them more in your lifts (take the load off your back).
    - Using a belt for squats and deads.

    I am not a medical expert or a very experienced lifter just thought id give my thoughts.

  6. #6
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    Mike:

    I've deloaded my squat and DL by 30% of my 5RM. The back pain has lessened a bit, but it is still there. I'm also trying to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist, but my health care plan requires my PCP to give a "prescription" to a therapist. Essentially, my health care is making me see a prelim doctor to tell me what I already know - my back hurts - before it will approve a visit to a PT.

    Anyways, thanks for the advice. It's nice to know that I'm not alone on this frustration.

  7. #7
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    If it hurts when you sneeze, that is sometime indicative of disc involvement in the injury. Not necessarily a herniated disc, but a pissed off and/or swollen one. Do you have any pain radiating down your leg? If so, that also signals disc issues.

    As for rehab, look up Louie Simmons and how he treated his herniated discs. He did a lot of reverse hyperextensions as part of his road back to functioning and he recently squatted some huge weights at 62 years old.

    Strongly consider going to a doctor. I realize they may not understand lifting weights, but they can probably quickly diagnose if you have a disc herniation. If your disc isn't herniated, that's awesome. You then have the option to undertake a more aggressive campaign to get better.

  8. #8
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    BM, I tweaked my back doing deadlifts on Saturday morning, by Saturday night I was a puddle, I could barely get on and off the toilet and it took everything I had to wipe my ass... I went to see my chiro Monday and he adjusted my SI joint, it didn't seem to help in-fact I felt worse today, I hobbled back to see him today, he adjusted me again and it was like magic, I was able to walk completely upright again and pain is about 10% of what it was, he told me to do long stride walking and ice it and no heavy squats. I will go see him again tommorrow and hopefully I can lift again this week...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razor View Post
    BM, I tweaked my back doing deadlifts on Saturday morning, by Saturday night I was a puddle, I could barely get on and off the toilet and it took everything I had to wipe my ass... I went to see my chiro Monday and he adjusted my SI joint, it didn't seem to help in-fact I felt worse today, I hobbled back to see him today, he adjusted me again and it was like magic, I was able to walk completely upright again and pain is about 10% of what it was, he told me to do long stride walking and ice it and no heavy squats. I will go see him again tommorrow and hopefully I can lift again this week...
    +1. A good chiropractor can help a lot with back pain. I know when I injured my back, getting adjusted provided some highly appreciated short-term relief.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    I guess I'd like to clarify the "hurt while I sneeze" comment. I've sneezed recently before and after that moment, without any pain. It was that one time that caused the extreme discomfort.

    I'm not trying to make light of anything that was said, but I just wanted to clarify my situation. It was a one-time deal for the "sneeze pain."

    I am expecting a call from my PCP today and may/may not be able to schedule the PT for lower back work and IT band release. It all depends on what Doc says.

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