T Nation

22 Yrs Old. Dealing with Lower Back Pain and Heavy Lifting


#1

Greetings to all. I am 22 years old, and have been dealing with this back pain for about 3 months off and on now. Before I explain, I will give a brief history of my lifting.
I am not a professional powerlifter, it’s merely a hobby of mine. I started going to the gym for the first time last year, February 2016. Until the end of June 2016, all my lifts were quite high compared to what I started. I will focus on the deadlift, where the problem occurs. At the end of June 2016, my conventional deadlift was 150 kg for 5x5. I did this only with chalk, nothing else. During the summer, because of exams, international workshops and other things, I had to skip lifting until October 2016. When I got back, of course I started with lower weight on everything, namely 100 kg deadlifting. I went up to 120 for about 2-3 weeks, when suddenly one week I get this sharp pain in my lower back. I spent 2 months, going to 3 doctors to check what I had, with no one giving me a helpful diagnosis. My spine disks were perfect, so nothing there. I found out by myself that hip flexor exercises helped ease my back pain by a wide margin. So I focused on stretching and strengthning my hip flexors. And I got back to heavy lifting again this month. I had a good 3 weeks, last week I deadlifted 130 kg(this time sumo, because it was easier on my back) without any problems, but this week I got the old pain again, although to a lesser degree.
My body is prone to injuries, but I don’t want to stop heavy lifting. I have spent countless hours on checking the form, the ques on the big three, all the necessary base knowledge on strength training.
Like I said, I’ve seen a lot of doctors without any success, so throw anything that comes to your mind on what might the problem be. Hip flexors, core, glutes, etc?

Thank you in advance, and sorry for the long post.


#2

The problem is, we can’t feel your pain, so we can’t give you specific advice. I know the pain I get is from feeling the spine is over compressed and so I do stretching exercises. Did you give up your hip flexor exercises?


#3

Im still doing my hip flexor stretches, during the day, before lifting, after sets. I forgot to add that sitting for a certain period of time makes my hip flexors so stiff, that for a couple of week my right thigh was numb (this was some months before I started lifting). Now I’ve learnt how to deal with the discomfort and I feel it’s getting better each day that I do my stretches. I know the problem isn’t the low back, but I want to know if it’s hip flexor strengthning exercises I should do, or core, or glutes. I do planks, and I’ve always learnt the proper breathing technique to activated the core during heavy lifts, so I don’t think core is the problem. I also hurt my back when I was using a belt ( a bodybuilding belt!) first time and also this time. Last year I wasn’t using a belt.


#4

What are your workouts like? More detailed the better


#5

I get stiff when I sit too long too, but in my case it’s just age.


#6

I have two workouts, A and B, done in AxBxA.
A: 5x5 Squats, 3x5-8 bench, 3x5-8 Bent over Rows(been doing cable rows with a pullup bar since I’ve had back problems), 2x Incline DB press, 2xArc Rows, 3xCircuit(unilateral calf raises, 60-75 seconds plank, triceps exercise)
B:5x5 Deadlifts, 3xChins, 3xDips, 3xUpright Rows, 3x Overhead Press(I did these military, now when I feel my back isn’t as stable, I just do Sitting DB press), 3xCircuit (Woodchoopers, Biceps exercise).

I’m thinking of ditching the heavy squats and deadlifts for a while, and focus on low back endurance, core strength, and hip mobility and strength. Instead of Deadlifts, I’m thinking of isometric hyperextensions and light RDL. What do you propose instead of squats ?


#7

Check out my post: How I Got Rid of Lower Back Pain
I hope it will be helpful.


#8

Stretch, and focus on stretching exercises trust me they work. Strengthens your back like a rock especially the lower back. Just focus on the quality of reps not how many, as long as you feel it then you are on the right track.

Don’t do any heavy compound movements for a while (depends how injuried you are) and focus on these type of exercises.