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Athritis from lifting?


I just got back from the doctor, after viewing an xray of my lower back and hearing my symptoms she concluded I have the start of athritis, and sciatica probably from a disc which il be confirming later this week with an MRI. She attributed the athritis to heavy lifting, I used the search function and didnt turn up many results, and was wondering if anyone else has had experiences with athritis at an early age from heavy weights, what are some exercises I can do to mantain my leg mass and traps without putting load onto my lower back?

Just a little backround, Im 27 and have been lifting for a little over 3 years. Im hovering just around 215 lbs at 6'. my lifts are 315 bench, 425 squat, and 405 dead (which of course I am no longer doing)


Lifting does not cause arthritis. Poor lifting technique and programing can potentially cause arthritis.

As far as your specific condition and questions regarding continued training, I'd recommend finding a good strength coach or movement specialist who can do a FMS, determine any mobility/stability issues, instruct on proper technique with lifts, and prescribe a well rounded program.

What type of physician did you see out of curiosity?


I agree whole-heartedly with LevelHeaded, and will add that I don't think you caused arthritis in only 3 years of training, even IF your form sucked terribly. Don't just give up certain exercises (deadlift is a cornerstone of strength in my opinion) but DO get coached on proper form and programming.


I went to an ortho, she did an x-ray and said I was showing signs of arthritis, which is really what is bothersome to me, and there is a disc she noticed was about half the thickness of the rest, going for an MRI tomorrow thankfully so in a few days il know for sure. The thing is I donâ??t really have any pain around the spine, or loss of mobility or function.

I just have this pain that runs down my left erector, and down into the glute right along the path of the nerve, it tends to get worse when I squat. Even deadlifting didnâ??t bother me much, I did I-bodybuilder for the last month and it wasnâ??t until the second week of back doing the rackpulls that I really was getting pain again, and although it may not be perfect my form on deadlifting and squatting is pretty good.

For the time being Iâ??m putting the program on hold, and going to move to seated variations of many movements, and replace deads with hyperextensions for now.


I would have to suggest that doing an exercise like hyperextensions might not be good until the MRI. If you have a disc injury the erectors will just contract leading to more compressive forces on your lower back.


I am not a doctor.

But, it is my contention that arthritis is 90% genetic in nature.

I have had three knee surgeries, and now at age 40 have osteoarthritis in both knees. I used to play soccer and compete in judo, in additon to having a 495lb squat at a body weight of 215.

The doctors told me the same thing, that it was the sports I was playing and wear and tear that did it, but I have buds that did the same things, are the same age, and are fine. So, for my money, it is just bad genetic luck.

Even still, after feeling sorry for myself for about three years, I decided to get back to work. So, with a little help from glucosamine, fish oil, ibuprofen and a regular regimen of icing my knees every day, I'm back to squatting (405) and playing soccer twice a week. I am sore as hell afterwards, but I figure if the alternative is sitting around, I'll deal with the pain.

Long way of me saying to accept the condition if you truly have arthritis, find a way to work around it and manage it, and keep lifting if that's what you really want to do. The alternative that these doctors recommend - taking up swimming or golf or walking - is for guys in their 60's, not young guys.