T Nation

Back Injuries Anyone?

I’m not posting this to complain about my back injury, or to seek advice on how to deal with it. I’m just curious who else has gone through one, what it was, and how it effected their “athletic” career after that.

Personally I had a bulge between L4-L5 with no focal protrusion. Biggest issue i’ve dealt with is little tweaks which scare the shit out of me and last a few days, but the most annoying is the feeling of eternal fragility.

It actually happened on a push day, I irritated doing deadlifts, then went to train out of town 2 weeks later, looking for the 110s for incline press, but they’re on the floor. After looking around for someone to lift one to my lap…I pull a dumbass move, squat between them, (which is fucking low). Get up half way I felt like I got shot on the back. Proceeded to lay down which was the worst move ever. Then drove 1.5hrs home. I couldn’t sit for literally 10 days. It was standing or lying down…that was 1.5 years ago and it still blows…

Found good chemical relief via lyrica though when its really bugging me…

Mine was a level below I had enough contact that medication wouldn’t provide the pain relief.

Currently rehabing from a micro-discectomy @ L5-S1.

Edit: only mine was’t from lifting weights, it was from lifting a patient from an awkward position and having to carry them.

Tried all the “hippy shit” finally had to come to terms with having to be cut on.

yep - DL got me too -

going heavy, bad form, partner pushing, too young to know what not to do, all of that.

for 10 years, went to chiropractor for adjustments and massage, soft tissue, backed off of training - dealt with the pain, intermittent - ate a shit-ton of advils.

then, my cousin met a trainer. he did an eval on me, and taught me some stretching and rehab exercises.

now - pain free, and DL again.

sometimes that hippy shit works.

Funny to see this thread pop up.

I was doing DLs about 4 days ago, working up to about 80% of my 1RM. Felt fine afterward. 2 days ago, I did legs - back squats, front squats, goblet squats, leg press, GHR (I like to do a lot of volume on leg day). Again, felt great afterward.

Last night, when I went to sit down on my couch, I suddenly got terrible pain in my lower back and collapsed onto the sofa. I could barely walk for two hours. This morning, I’m a bit better but am still hobbling around like a cripple.

I love DLs, but I’m going to have to drop them from my program. This isn’t the first time this has happened.

(and yes, my form is good)

[quote]Edgy wrote:
yep - DL got me too -

going heavy, bad form, partner pushing, too young to know what not to do, all of that.

for 10 years, went to chiropractor for adjustments and massage, soft tissue, backed off of training - dealt with the pain, intermittent - ate a shit-ton of advils.

then, my cousin met a trainer. he did an eval on me, and taught me some stretching and rehab exercises.

now - pain free, and DL again.

sometimes that hippy shit works.[/quote]

Agreed, I wouldn’t call it hippy shit though. There are some (read:VERY FEW) trainers out there that have the skills to assess causation rather than effect. Advil, low back stretching etc will only target symptoms. There is a whole global issue to consider before looking at local problems. When I would have clients I would slowly take them through an assesment and over time address the “biggest elephant” so to speak, as in the area with the biggest deficit and keep knocking away at it.

A lot of chiros too you’ll see as well. Will, if you ask them tell you that “Adjustments” don’t do shit but provide psychosomatic relief. Which sometimes can be a good thing. I’v been having success myself with treating passive ranges in my hip area. specifically int.rot and flexion in my right hip…

^^ I think the leg press could be the culprit.

I’ve had my back go bad seemingly out of the blue about 3 or 4 times in my lifting life and it took till the fourth time for me to finally figure out what very likely may have been what caused it and I think the leg press…maybe I let the sled come down too far, but I think the unnatural position of the back with heavy weights did it.

I’ve been seeing more and more that people doing DL’s with or without good form are getting hurt. I also read more and more that the DL just isn’t the end-all-be-all exercise we all think it is. I do them, but it’s light, 225 for 10, 4 sets. More metabolic and general health than trying to make gains…my lower back doesn’t hurt any more.

It’s just the nature of exercises like DL make people max out quite frequently. Do that with any exercise and shit is gonna happen. As for the leg press comment feel free to speculate on what may have caused your own problems but don’t suggest it to others. You have no idea what leg press he was using or what it looked like. Rather why not offer some help and explain why…for instance.

Leg Presses. Here is some suggestions

  • Go a bit wider than normal (2")
    -Put your feet lower on the plate
    -Reduce load
    -Apply an “anchor” under lumbar spine i.e. folded up towel.

Reasons

-Going wider is going to change the plane which hip flexion is occuring reduce the overall torque and moment created in the saggital plane.
-Feet lower on the plate is going to exchange ROM at the hip for ROM at the knee, that being said consider the fact there will be more force on the knees now. Once again reducing torque during Hip flexion.
-This is a no brainer, the aforementioned adjustments are going to lead to greater ft/lbs in the knee as opposed to the hip, which can handle less load (usually)
-This achor is going to make it much easier to control spinal alignment, Keep in mind as you run out of range in your hip lumbar flexion is going to occur. The towel will act as a cam (almost) making it much easier to maintain neutral lumbar flexion.

I have a dormant sacroiliac joint problem that prohibits me from doing deads. It will flare up if I even visualize myself doing them.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
I have a dormant sacroiliac joint problem that prohibits me from doing deads. It will flare up if I even visualize myself doing them.[/quote]

Whats the dormant SI issue? It sounds like a minotaur is about to explode out of your anus…

[quote]X-Factor wrote:

[quote]belligerent wrote:
I have a dormant sacroiliac joint problem that prohibits me from doing deads. It will flare up if I even visualize myself doing them.[/quote]

Whats the dormant SI issue? It sounds like a minotaur is about to explode out of your anus…[/quote]

srsly - sounds kinda sexy~

Spondylolisthesis L4-L5 (Told by an osteopath - no MRI so I dont know how reliable that is) but I have a palpable gap where my L4 should be, but that could be spina bifida occulta. Im completely asymptomatic these days, can do whatever I want without worry.
This is the reason why I am quite slow in adding weight to lifts, not becuase of spine - but because I know what injury is like cause I have had a couple that have really got in the way of things so I would much rather add weight to lifts slowly than fast cause I wanna be in the lifting/general fitness loop for as long as possible.

I herniated a disc between L5-S1 last August from pushing too heavy too soon on deads. However, I’ve had low back issues since high school, so the deads can’t be blamed completely. I had incredible sciatica pain, like fire running down my leg to my toes, whenever I moved in the slightest. Vicodins barely made a dent. Got two steroid injections, worked with a chiro, started physical therapy, found a masseuse, fixed my posture, and finally am nearly pain free. Still haven’t worked up the courage to try light deads yet, but hope to in the next few months.

I have three back injuries, one in each region. I was told I would never DL again. Took my time, made sure my form is good, and I can go heavy weekly. That specific injury is fine, but too much pulling leads to migraines.

That said, pulling a tire for more than a mile in deep snow (dumb idea) brought about the most pain I have ever been in, a day were rolling over in bed was terrible and two days of serious hombling.

I suffered a stress fracture on my L4-L5 from playing football; taking and giving a lot of hard hits throughout the course of a season. I ended up playing with it for about 6 weeks before I just collapsed at halftime during a game and didn’t get up. Went to the doctor about a week later and found out that I had a fracture. Needless to say, my season was done. Didn’t start working out again until about December when I was finally cleared by the doctor. I wore a back brace for about 3 months.

The doctor told me I would never squat or deadlift again. One of my dreams has been to squat over 1,000 one day and deadlift 800.

I’m back to squatting and deadlifting again and am stronger than I ever have been. Then, back in October, I broke my fibula right in half in another football game. Needless to say, I’m injury prone haha. But I’m back to training once again and have the pleasure of training with Ed Coan. So, life is pretty all right right now.

CS

When I did have low back pain what fixed it was rack pulls and good mornings. The first 2 weeks were brutal, I could barely get off the couch 5-6 hrs after lifting, then it all went away.
The pain was so bad I couldn’t perform missionary with my wife, I was like “you’re on top or it’s a no go”.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all…

bulged some discs in the low back, eventually became degenrative. Last spasm a lil over a year ago put me on ass for a week, been real careful ever since, no squats deads oly lifts or bent over anything. Neck spasms ive had since i can remember, not much i can do there except stretch and be careful of posture. Although i wish i could still powerlift im glad i can still do as much as i can

[quote]strangemeadow wrote:
When I did have low back pain what fixed it was rack pulls and good mornings. The first 2 weeks were brutal, I could barely get off the couch 5-6 hrs after lifting, then it all went away.
The pain was so bad I couldn’t perform missionary with my wife, I was like “you’re on top or it’s a no go”.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all…[/quote]

haha that was good, you could always claim its feeling a little iffy tonight

Spinal fusion at L5-S1. Was doing deads and potentially had a congenital defect, and I guess I broke the L5 vertebrae in half. I say potentially because they really cant tell but at least one doc was surprised at the damage I had done, and thought I may have already had a slight structural issue. That was 2 and a half years ago, post surgery and a pain killer problem that followed I was about 132 pounds (at 5’8 on a good day). I currently sit at 185, most of that has been gained in the last year (I was about 145 this time last year), and I note that because I have only been able to train with some intensity beginning in the last year. Back problems can be debilitating, wish everyone as much success in being pain free as I have had for the past 2 years.

Pulled my back a few years ago at work. Unloaded trucks for a year and lifted a box about 20 lbs and pulled something. A week or 2 later pulled it again at work lifting something and went to the doctors. They took me to a clinic that didn’t even X-Ray or MRI my back. They just had me bend over and reach down as far as I could. Then the doctor handed me a piece of paper with pictures of “stretches” I was to do everyday. Except the paper said exercises on it and it was obvious a lot of the movements weren’t stretches.

Fast forward to a month later and my back is feeling better and I’m ready to go back to full duty at work. I go in to see the doctor again to get cleared to go back to work. I get a new doctor that asks me what the old doctor had me doing and when I tell her she gets this fucked up look on her face like what the doctor told me to do was wrong or stupid. Tells me if my back gets hurt again I should come see them.

A few weeks back to unloading trucks my back is strained and hurting again. Tell my supervisor I’m afraid I’m going to hurt my back again if I keep unloading trucks. Meet with the managers and they tell me they won’t pay for me to go see a doctor again and I have to keep unloading the trucks or I’ll be disciplined. Ask if they will fire me because I refuse to unload the truck because my back hurts too much. They back down and say no because they know it’s illegal. A few weeks later I’m fired for “attendance”. Called in sick one day because my back was hurting a lot.

Still gives me trouble to this day. I moved a couple months ago. Didn’t pull or hurt it but my back was hurting for about a week after the move from being too strained.