T Nation

Back Pain - Help Please!

Hi everyone,

I?m experiencing some aching in the lower back which first began about 3-4 months ago when I was doing 2-arm dumbell rows (ie barbell rows but with a DB in each hand). While I was lowering I felt a strange sensation in my lower back slightly off to one side that felt like a pinched nerve. To be honest, I don?t think my form was too strict as I was doing the reps with a rather fast tempo.

Anyway, I immediately stopped my workout and went home and iced it and the next day woke up not being able to walk properly (stooped over) for about 30mins in the morning. The discomfort eased and by lunchtime that day, I was walking properly again with only a slight aching if I bent over and tried to stretch or really arched by back hard.

I gave myself a week off and returned to lifting (was doing the Westside for skinny bastards program) and actually improved (5 rep record in squat and DL) a little after easing into it. However, after a heavy lift such as good mornings, squats or DL?s my lower back would tighten up (not painfully mind you) just as if I really needed to just lie down for a couple of mins. After 2-3 mins lying down, I would be right to continue my workout. The thing is, I never really needed to do this up until I strained by back doing those DB rows (see above). And since that time also, when doing barbell rows, I always feel like my lower back is giving out before I fatigue my lats and traps. (I do the rows old-school style: bent over until parallel or almost parallel).

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing BB rows and again, felt the same ?pinched nerve? like sensation. But this time I didn?t wake up all stooped over and not able to walk ? just had a tight lower back for a couple of days.

I saw a physio about it and she prescribed a bunch of swiss ball work, lunges and static holds for the lower back and glutes. Apparently she said I have weak lower back stabilisers and a glute imbalance.

Last night, I was doing hanging leg raises (raising the leg all the way up til it touches the bar) and during the eccentric portion of one rep on my last set, felt the same sensation that I felt when I strained by back when doing BB and DB rows as stated above.

So here I am writing today, with a slightly stiff lower back wondering what is really going on with my back. The common theme seems to be that the pain subsides after a couple of days, but after any spinal loading exercises, the aching seems to kick in the next day. I really miss being able to squat and DL heavy, but I can do upper body exercises no problems.

Sorry for the long post, but does anyone have any further advice as to why I continue to strain my lower back? Is it just a case of overuse? Based on the symptoms above, do you guys think my physio is correct? ? are there such things as lower back stabilisers? I thought the spinal erectors were the stabilisers however I don?t feel the pain there.


Locate the best Chiropractor in your area that works with athletes ( many do)
PM me if you want a referral

Keith W