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Back: Muscle Knot or Disc Problem?

How do you tell (without having an expensive scan) if you have knotted up muscles or an issue with a bulging disc?

From what I remember, the knotting started 4 months ago when I reached out to the side when doing an unweighted bodyweight pistol squat and felt a little twist in my back. Again, not a sharp pain by any means, and I thought nothing of it.

My symptoms are that the top left hip/lower back feels knotted up. The side and lower abs also feel knotted up. It’s not a pain - it’s a knotting sensation - but I guess a bulging disc also doesn’t cause pain but a knotting sensation too?

Spinal extension, twisting, flexion…etc… are all fine, painless, and there is no loss of motion. It is only when I return to the upright position after extending/twisting/flexing, that I’m aware again of the knotting sensation. Sitting down I can’t feel the knot. No sciatica.

So, does it sound like muscle knotting or bulging disc issues, and do I sort it out?

Man, now the feeling is in the other back/butt/side/front as well!!

Am I just herniating all my disks one by one from doing unweighted pistol squats?

I really don’t know what’s happening to me. It’s now not just my lower back, but my sides (both sides), my lower abs and my glutes feel like they’re in a constant spasm.

Basically my whole core is in a constant spasm. Painless, but it feels numb.

Go to a doctor … seriously.

Surely there is no need to go to a doctor if I’m not in pain and my mobility is not restricted in any way?

Just this numb feeling around my back, sides and abs like a ring of numbness around my lower torso.

That sounds like a popped disc?

You don’t need a DR man, you’re fine, you’ve just got a tight hip, I get that all the time, it’s extremely common and easily fixable.

Do this daily for a few weeks.

It should give immediate relief.

If it’s not helping, feel free to PM me.

Unexplained numbness can be a symptom of serious issues. It’s almost worse that you DON’T have other pain, as pain can help identify the injured structure.

Please completely ignore Larry.

loved the video with the warmup. going to try them myself. thanks

[quote]Dr J wrote:
Unexplained numbness can be a symptom of serious issues. It’s almost worse that you DON’T have other pain, as pain can help identify the injured structure.

Please completely ignore Larry.[/quote]

Hey man, I agree, the first thing I said should have been to get checked by a Dr. I checked with my gf and she says hers is numb all the time, and her disc is herniated, and I can remember numbness in mine, but it wasn’t herniated.

my gf squats and deadlifts with her injury, but she keeps very mobile. Stuart Mcgill has seen in his research people actually have herniated discs and at times don’t even notice provided there hips and shoulders are ideal.

And it’s not worse that he doesn’t have another pain, that’s silly. The effect of his pain is the knotting in the low back, the cause is tight hips, end of discussion. When my back was wrecked I had scoliosis until I loosened myself up.

Thanks for all responses…

I’m doing that warm-up routine every day now.

I’ve also noticed that the tightness feeling is a lot worse straight after a shower. Not sure if the heat causes the muscles to spasm a bit or something?

If you have a slipped disc, is showering known to bring on the symptoms?

[quote]alternate wrote:
Thanks for all responses…

I’m doing that warm-up routine every day now.

I’ve also noticed that the tightness feeling is a lot worse straight after a shower. Not sure if the heat causes the muscles to spasm a bit or something?

If you have a slipped disc, is showering known to bring on the symptoms?[/quote]

I’m not sure man, I feel like it should make you feel better

Generally speaking, heat does the opposite; it relieves muscle spasm. It CAN however, increase inflammation. Inflammation is likely one component of whatever you have.

It may be temperature extremes whatever I have does not like. In the shower it feels fine, but after getting out, it gets irritated.

This injury is really weird. During the period of time I injured it I was doing absolutely no exercises that put any pressure on the spine at all - both lower body exercises (squats, deadlifts) and upper body exercises (military press).

I researched whether it was ok to do bodyweight pistol squats with a rounded back and the general consensus was some degree of rounding is fine since you’re not externally loaded. And to make it even better, I did the pistols off a high box to limit the rounding of the back at the bottom of the movement even more.

Feels like I’ve still popped out at least a couple of discs though - is it actually common for people to mess up their discs doing bodyweight pistol squats?

At the moment I can’t tell if it’s a popped disc or some sort of skin irritation on my back causing a tightness.

have you done any of the things I’ve recommended?

Yeah, I’ve been doing that warm-up sequence every day - workout day or not.

Sorry to tell you it hasn’t helped, but I guess it’s early days

I’d keep doing that warm up daily, and follow the advice you got about your glutes on the other thread, that was an excellent post