Back Injury

I’m looking for ideas for a problem that I’ve had developing over time. My back has been a bad issue with myself for going on 3 years. Now keep in mind I’m only 23 so this is very disheartening.

My story goes something like this. Progressively my back has gotten more painful to the point where I can’t sleep or sit very long without tons of pain. My chiropractor took X-rays and determined that I have no curvature in my lumbar which is putting ALL pressure on my L-5, leading to my disk below my L-5 lumbar being pushed out of place and be compressed to the point where you would think I was 45 years old by looking at my X-ray.

I understand I can no longer go with the intesity I’m used to for my lower body, but I’m hooked on competition. I have done a strongman contest and 2 powerlifting meets within the past year while putting up with the pain.

My best lifts are :
Dead - 585
Squat - 410
Bench - 320

I bet you can imagine what lift contributed to my pain!!! Anyways I’m looking for rehab/prehab to keep myself going in the right direction or at least not backwards before I blow a disk.

I am working with my chiropractor to re-introduce curvature into my spine, but protecting a disk is another story.

The moves I’ve identified as keeping me going while removing compression off of my spine are:
Back raises, lunges, belt squats, leg curls, sled drags…

The strength is still there, and climbing, but so is the pain, and soon I 'm going to blow a disk if I don’t change what I’m doing.


I will throw out a few ideas to think about. First, you are way way stronger then I will ever be, so what lifting heavy weights like that does to the back I can’t say. But my one observation is that I don’t think that 23 year olds in general really grasp the importance of perfect form when lifting. So check that. Also, at 23 the importance of decent flexibility is hard to grasp. I only say this because I know how my mind has changed from when I was 23.

Good luck.

i’m just on my way out to go to a class and then i work until late tonight, but i will post in this thread sometime soon.

i am 24 and was in a VERY VERY similar situation as yourself around the same age, albeit my situation was worse. at the climax of my injury, i couldn’t get up for about a week. i had extreme pain when doing any trunk flexion beyong standing upright. it was horrible and scary. i was virtually paralized. what i can say is that you MUST take action NOW to prevent further degenration. it’s only going to get worse and worse until you make things better. and i can guarantee you’ve been feeling your mobility deteriorate for awhile… but only now when it gets scary do you decide to do something about it. i was there, bro.

anyways i’ll post here sometime soon and tell you what i did to regain mobility and start training again. and yes, my pain was also L5. hopefully i can share some helfpul knowledge.


i’ll try and share what i can…

a few years back, i think i was 21, i had a severe back injury. at this time though, i had already been experiencing a gradual decrease in my mobility since the age of 17. gradually, over time, i was losing flexibility in my hamstrings, groin, lower back, and glutes.

i was losing flexibility everywhere, actually, but these were the most severely affected regions. this was largely due to poor discipline on my part. i never stretched, despite tons of weight training.

when i was 17 i really hurt my lower back, badly. i pulled 405 for a single with horrible technique. i felt pain shooting up and down my back and legs and prety much blacked out after i grounded the weight. my vision literally disappeared and i felt winded. i still retained my sense of balance, and stumbled backwards and took a seat on a window sill to regain my bearings.

i forced up thr weight with bad technique because at that time i was too inexperienced to understand that you can’t max out all the time. i had pulled 405 before with perfect technique and could simply not accept NOT being able to lift a weight that i knew i had done many times before. well, that was a lesson learned.

fast forward 4-ish years. i’m experiencing chronic back pain. many movements are uncomfortable. i haven’t done a full range deadlift in about 2 years. conventional squats are starting to become painful due to minor back flexion <and when i squat i flex my back minimally, i am very upright when i squat, even at the bottom of my descent when my hips drop below my knees>.

simple things are becoming uncomfortable, from putting on my socks to tying my shoelaces to twisting around in my car to put on seat belt. slowly, but surely, my mobility is deteriorating. and in typical guy fashion i don’t ask for help until i hit rock bottom.

so now i’m about 21 years old, and i’m doing a warm-up set of front squats with 135 pounds, and i start feeling this weird pinch in lower back. next thing i know, the pain is very strong and i’m having trouble walking. i go lay down on a fitness mat for about 15 minutes. the pain isn’t going away.

i get up and drive home and take a nap. when i wake up a few hours later i can barely get out of bed. now i’m kinda scared. i shrug it off and go to sleep at the end of the day. i wake up the next morning and i literally cannot get out of bed.

i couldn’t fucking move. i ate on the floor. thank god my family was around to take care of me. i couldn’t flex my back AT ALL. i could barely turn over.

i’m starting to get tired writing this shit, but it was fucked up. i couldn’t move for about a week. i was given some precription muscle ralaxants and painkillers. i think naproxin was the name of one. i did some physio and gradually recovered.

don’t let it get to the point that i let it get to. rehab yourself ASAP because you know you have a problem that isn’t going away without direct efforts on your behalf.

lastly, regarding details, i do have a fusion of bone between my sacrum and L5, on the right side. this limits my mobility, but i could’ve worked around it if i would’ve been smart and worked on my hamstring, groin, glute, and lower back flexibility all along.

also, my disc at L5/S1 is extremely compressed. but i’m doing ok now, i just need to take some of my own advice and start spending time with some mobility training as a sort of insurance policy for the future.

good luck.

oh ya, i’m 24 now and doing ok, but if i could go back in time, i would’ve rehabbed myself before it got to that low point for me when i was 21. i mean, i couldn’t get off the floor. do you know how scary that was? not to mention i had all the warning signs in the world… for YEARS. and i ignored them.

i could’ve saved myself a lot of headaches if i simply would’ve fixed myself properly before becoming temporarily paralyzed.

good luck.