T Nation

Back Pain During Squats


a few months back i was squatting and got stuck at the hole and had to dump the weight as i was training alone(shit gyms al around without racks so train at home...got my cage now) and hurt a facet joint in my throacic spine. evertime i do low bar squats or i extend my thoracic spine and have both arms behind me(movements such as pull ups,barbell rows...) i end up getting that joint inflamed again....whats yr opinion guys? just forget these exercises for a couple of months? or is there something that can help??


i would try a different squat bar that changes the length of your spine, such as a cambered bar or a safety squat bar. you dont have to have your hands back that way. also, try switching grips on rows and pull downs


it would be awsome to find a single gym or seller so i can buy/find those sort of bars....but good advice nonetheless


How did you come to the diagnosis of a facet issue? Did you see a physician, chiro, or PT/ATC? Have you gotten formal movement assessment? Any therapy?

I'd look into getting some therapy to work on mobilizing the joint. Also, I would work on dynamic active thoracic mobility as well.


Yes,a physio told me....but his advice was to avoid low bar squats al together but....you all will understand that it's not possible for someone who loves a sport..


Did you receive any treatment from the physio? Were xrays taken to confirm a facet issue and rule out any other spinal pathologies?

I can understand avoiding the low bar squats for a specific time period while getting treatment to correct the issue and allowing the area to heal, but not just stopping low bar squats forever due to a facet irritation. It's like telling a person with patellar tendonitis to stop squatting - they don't need to stop squatting forever; just until they can fix the issue and allow the area to heal a bit.

If there was a more significant injury (stenosis, fracture, etc) there may be reasoning behind stopping a specific exercise but not with a facet irritation.


i was told that it was slightly out of place...not really bad case....yes i agree that stopping for some time is neccesary but like u said it doesnt make sense saying i should stop forever...


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a safety squat bar will sit higher and more forward so that would be a good solution then, it has saved my shoulders. I totally understand about never wanting to give up squatting, that aint happening! Whats the old quote? "You can have my squat bar when you pry it from my cold, dead hands?"


great quote zishe.