Injured my back almost a year ago, still feeling effects Injured my back almost a year ago, still feeling effects

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Thread: Injured my back almost a year ago, still feeling effects

  1. #1
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    Default Injured my back almost a year ago, still feeling effects

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    OK, so it was just under a year ago that, while pulling 465, I felt a 'shift' in my lower back, just to the left of my spine. No immediate pain, but the following days and weeks were quite uncomfortable, with a burning feeling in my right upper leg if I tried to walk any distance, along with some numbness below my knee. Sitting was fine and bending over at the waist alleviated the pain.

    I took some time off (about a month or so) from lifting after trying light RDLs and squats about 10 days after my injury. That session only increased my discomfort. Despite still being in some pain and having an very tight feeling in my right upper leg (anterior and medial quad, mostly), I got my squat back up to 345, at which point I tore my left adductor, probably due to asymmetry in in my squat movement. So I did the Starr protocol for a while, until I decided the extreme tightness in my right leg was going to cause another injury. I stopped lifting again for a bit, worked on stretching and had a few visits to the chiropractor. I think the stretching (DiFranco's Agile 11, mostly) did more good than the chiro.

    I was feeling pretty good several weeks ago so started an LP again, with squats, deadlifts, bench and press. I finally got back to 315 for my squat this week and 345 for the deadlift. Problem is, with the stiffness in my leg and weird non-localized pain in my right hip area and some pain, which was not really present before, where the original back injury occurred, I'm not feeling at all confident about pushing my lifts. They don't feel particularly heavy, but I can't get the thought out of my head that something's not quite right. I keep reading all these stories of "My back was hurting for decades, then I started squatting and the pain was gone". I'm not seeing that and I've been working for almost a year on this. The only diagnostics I've had (I didn't have decent health insurance at the time) are an X-ray at the chiro, which showed good spacing between the lumbar vertebrae, some manipulations also at the chiro, which didn't point to anything in particular and a brief talk with my GP at my yearly physical, which was also of no help. Had a session with an SSC in the middle of all this as well.

    Not sure what my question might be. Just looking for help in getting my mojo back. I was so close to a 500 lb deadlift, having done 485 for a single a couple of week prior to my injury, it's just killing me to be lifting in the low 300's again. When is imaging such an MRI warranted? Should I set up a visit with a good sports physician ? I've been doing some of the McKenzie stretches for a bit (extension ones only) but haven't seen any difference with those. I really, really, really don't want to hurt my back like that again but at this point I really don't know what to do to get my old self back. I'm 57 and I know healing takes time, but a year is feeling like a long time.

    Any and all input appreciated.

    -RKP

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    That would be -RJP, not -RKP

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    Height/weight at the injury/now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Height/weight at the injury/now?
    5'11, 207 at time of injury, 5'11' 212 now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJPinAZ View Post
    5'11, 207 at time of injury, 5'11' 212 now.
    Oh, and Coach, thanks for reading through that wall of text. I appreciate your time.

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    The reason I ask is because of the constant and incessant theme on these boards these days. Muscle supports spine. More muscle supporting the spine better means a bigger waistline, since 1.) more muscle occupies more space, and 2.) the conditions that grow muscle also grow a little fat. At 5'11", your back will feel better and you will be stronger at 235 than 210. You have a chronic back injury, and I see no point in an MRI since you won't be having surgery anyway. It has been my experience that your back will hurt, and that it will be less trouble at a higher bodyweight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The reason I ask is because of the constant and incessant theme on these boards these days. Muscle supports spine. More muscle supporting the spine better means a bigger waistline, since 1.) more muscle occupies more space, and 2.) the conditions that grow muscle also grow a little fat. At 5'11", your back will feel better and you will be stronger at 235 than 210. You have a chronic back injury, and I see no point in an MRI since you won't be having surgery anyway. It has been my experience that your back will hurt, and that it will be less trouble at a higher bodyweight.
    I understand where you are coming from on this, but the week before I hurt my back, I pulled 450x5 and squatted 340x3x3 pretty easily. I mean, how strong do I have to be for my back not to be a problem?

    I agree, no surgery is warranted in my current condition. And it's really not my back I'm curious or concerned about (although I admit I do think about it with every deadlift), it's the tightness/stiffness in my anterior/lateral quad and weird feeling at, I guess, the proximal attachment of my right adductors, right in the crease of my crotch. I tore my right adductor about two years ago but went through Starr and think that is pretty well healed up. But then I assume it is connected with the back because it appeared after the back injury and I certainly didn't do anything after that to hurt that area. It's the not knowing that bothers me and is making it hard for me to want to push myself right now.

    I guess I'm also kind of bummed because prior to that one deadlift, I had been injury-free (other than the torn adductor and the usual tweaks everyone gets) for the three and a half years I had been lifting, and now I have a chronic back injury and a weird feeling in my quad and hip area that just won't go away.

    Sorry, this is more of a rant and unloading on my part. I'll think about the gaining weight/getting stronger advice, but to get stronger, I have to push myself, and I'm having issues with that because of the injuries and I'm not sure how to overcome that.

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    Do you have a way to hang from the rack, that allows you to decompress your low back? I'd like to know what that does to the sensation in your quad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Do you have a way to hang from the rack, that allows you to decompress your low back? I'd like to know what that does to the sensation in your quad.
    I'll see what I can do about that and get back to you. Thanks.

    -RJP

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJPinAZ View Post
    I'll see what I can do about that and get back to you. Thanks.

    -RJP
    So is there a protocol to follow for hanging? I've done some hanging at various times during my recent workouts, between squat work sets and after deadlifts, for example. I try to relax as much as possible and wiggle the spine just a bit. After about 10-20 seconds, it gets pretty uncomfortable (grip-wise and hanging there actually makes it a bit hard to breathe) and I haven't really felt anything in my spine (the first time I tried I did feel something just below my left scapula, but that's been it). Should I try to hang on longer or try more efforts? I'm also doing that modified push-up stretch (hips stay on the ground) when I remember. Haven't really noticed any changes in my quad. Last workout included squats (325 x 5 x 3) and deadlifts (355 x 5).
    Thanks for any input.

    -RJP

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