T Nation

Back Pain After Month Off


Hey whats up? About a month ago i was squating (par.) close to my max for 5 reps, 275. After I was done I felt a small shooting pain in my lower right back, might have rounded it in the hole. THe day after I could walk, but it hurt when running or picking up heavy things. Soo took a month off

Went back today back didnt' hurt untill I got to 225, which i used to do just fine. Bent over rows (my max is 5 reps for 195lb) it doesn't hurt at 135. Hyperextension feel good, relieve some of the pain. After the worout (now) I feel fine, just a little pain, but during felt a shooting pain.

College therapist said try workin out again with good form, tighten up everthing, like i didn't know already. Any one have a simlar prob. and knows what it may or what i can do. I'm gonna see my college doctor next monday. I didin't see the doc before cause my insurcane is rid., so w/o the doctor.......any help

Oh and I used a roller for a few days after the injury for the pain, thanks


I did something similar about in March with a deadlift. A week later I did it again moving a light barbell. Then I aggravated it again moving a rock in the yard. I had an army medic look at it and she told me about the same as you were told.

You need to lower the weight, pay strict attention to form regardless of the weight and bring the weight back up gradually. Now my strength is back but it took a while. PRs in deads and squats just recently. It probably took me longer as I'm 50. A younger person may heal faster but it still takes time.


I'd also add that when you feel a twinge/shooting pain, stop. That isn't the same as a cramp that you can just shrug off.

Just to prepare you, I doubt that your college doctor is going to be able to diagnose a specific problem. They will probably tell you rest and prescribe an anti-inflammatory and maybe a muscle relaxant initially.

You'll probably find that your local physical therapist will be able to tell you at least as much as they will be seeing more people with similar injuries. You'll almost certainly need to see a specialist if the problem persists to get a better sense of what is going on.

That said, there are a couple things to try. First, go see a physical therapist and get them to show you some exercises to correct any muscular imbalances, and work on strengthening all those little support muscles that help prevent lower back injuries.

You can probably do some of this on your own by looking for pre-hab, balancing, renegade training, but I'd recommend at least one session with at good PT to help you make sure that you're doing the stretches and exercises correctly, and tailor a program to your deficiencies and needs.

I have mixed feelings about chiropractors, but that is another option.

See if there is a good strength coach in your area, and see if they will observe your form and help correct any problems. While you may know what good form is, having someone watch you to see that you are doing it is another thing. Sometimes we do something we aren't even aware of.

I have a tendency to ever so slightly drop my left shoulder during recovery on back squats. As much as I concentrated on having good form, I was not aware I was doing this until it was pointed out to me. If you don't have anyone local, look for someone nationally to see if they will review a video of your lifts.

I'd definitely echo stuward's advice to drop the weight and concentrate on form. It may be that your form is fine, but some of the smaller support muscles are not up with your bigger muscles. This will give some time to let those catch up. Don't view it as a set back, as in the end you will end up further ahead than trying to bulldog your way through at higher weights.

Additionally, that strength coach will likely recommend some additional exercises to make sure everything is strong enough to support lifting heavier weights (these may overlap with what a PT advises, but there will be a few lifts I suspect they will encourage that the PT wont).

I'm almost certain that you'll hear Glute Ham Raises if you don't already do them. You may get told to do some variations on sidebends, iron crosses, seated or standing twists with bands or cables, etc. If you have a Reverse Hyper machine in your gym, take advantage of it. As most people don't, you'll have to settle for some of the pre-hab/re-hab exercises you find here and that a PT &/or strength coach would recommend.

Now the good news. Most of us have had at least one injury like yours. Those that are still doing this came away stronger and smarter than they were before. It is an opportunity to address any hidden weaknesses, learn how to deal with injuries better, and how to better prevent them in the future.

If your smart, this will turn out to be one of those important learning opportunities that begins the process of turning you into a grizzled veterans we all hope to become once we realize we can't stay young forever (I feel like I'm more grizzled than veteran, but I'm working on it despite a number of injuries and set backs over the years of training).

Good luck!


thanks alot for the response, i know that the doc. will say everythin that i already know. I won't be able to see a specialist for a while. I follow a tbt M +T, Th +F program, 2 day split 2x a week, ill just do high rep low weigh movements for rows DLs and squats, mayber use the leg ext. instead for a while. THanks.