Here's the deal:
1) The pain began about a year ago.
2) I was doing bent barbell rows, legs slightly bent, back as close to horizontal as I could, which might have been 10-15% incline? Guessing. I worked up to my max working weight of 135, doing sets of 5, ramping up from an empty bar. On my first rep of my second set at 135, I pulled to the chest fine, but then lowered it too fast. At the bottom of the pull, I immediately felt the worst pain possible and it felt like something tore. I dropped the weight, sat down for 10 minutes, put the weights away and went home in a panic. Rested that day, went to medical the next.
3) The pain is directly centered on my lower lumbar spine.
4) It does not radiate up or down my legs, it stays very local. Once aggravated, it is constantly throbbing, with very sharp, seizing pain upon flexion.
5) Normally, there is no pain, just a very subtle awareness that I have a lower back. May sound weird, but I never used to be conscious of my back, it just worked and I felt it when it was tired or sore. Now I notice it just existing.
6) Carrying people in the fireman's carry was the last thing that hurt it. Before that it was squats. Surprisingly, deadlifts have never hurt.
7) Waiting a few days, laid up and resting. Ice didn't do much, heat was a little better. I haven't been very diligent about the few rehab exercises the Navy Corpsman suggested.
8) I can't tie my shoes without thinking about hurting my back again. Every time I put my pack on, I fear the outcome. Sadly, I'm too scared of barbell rows to try them anymore. I love dumbbell rows, and usually support myself with my opposite arm during the exercise.
9) I don't want it to jeopardize my career in the Marines, and I don't want it to affect my quality of life. I enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle and want to maintain that for many years to come.
10) Before the initial injury last year, I never had any pain in my back and basically considered it invincible like an idiot.
11) The pain isn't getting worse, it's only been around 3 times in the last year that it started hurting again. But that's 3 times too many for me.
Any suggestions would be amazing. Thanks in advance for any assistance in this matter. Semper Fidelis.
Sergeant AceRock, USMC