T Nation

Back Pain / Muscle Imbalances

Hello.

I have been having this back pain for awhile now. My whole left side of my back feels like it is really tight. I have actually been inactive, and not training for almost a year now. I was not training for about 6-8 months due to some lower leg pain I was having in my right leg.

I stopped training to let, my leg rest at first as I was training with the olympic lifts, but then when I saw the pain was still there, I tried doing different exercies to see if that would help it. The pain was still there though.

So after that I went to a doctor to see what was wrong with it. Got a X- Ray, and MRI done. Couldn’t find nothing on the X-Ray, but got a diagnoses on the MRI.

I was then referred to a orthopedic that specializes in lower leg sports injuries. He felt around where I was having the pain at, and said that I have an hernia there. He said that it was a pretty unique situation, but the only way I was going to get rid of it was to have surgery done.

So I got that done, and I was off for about a month, and a half more. Now I can get back to training. The thing is though now, the whole left side of my back just feels tight, and it is a little painful to.

I was hopping around alot on my left leg when I had the surgery, and I also have been on my computer alot while I have been off training. So 9 months of slouching over, and resting my head on my left hand (its a habit). That could put alot of stress on the left side of my body.

I tried getting back to training, but it seems like I need to get this problem worked out before I get back to olympic lifting, as I tried squating down now, and I can feel, and even see myself squatting, and leaning more to the left side.

I can also feel the difference in the left side of my back comapered to the right side. My left side even feels like it is more tighter. Even when I arch my back I can only feel the left side of my back arch, but I can’t feel my right side arch at all.

When I try, and take a deep breath in, I can feel, and also hear some cracking, and popping in the upper left side of my back. I also have this constant pain in the upper left side of my back. The pain feels like it is under the shoulder blade. My hips feel out of alignment also. My left hip feels like it is raised higher then my right.

So I was wanting to know if you guy’s might know what is going on, and how to correct this problem? I was thinking about going to someone who does A.R.T. as I think the left side of my back might just be really strained, or could it be muscle imbalances?

Thanks.

i have similar symptoms only in my upper right side of my back. When I take a deep breath, i get a lot of cracking. I went to a sports medicine doctor who confirmed that I have a muscle imbalance and scoliosis in my upper back. It also causes quite a bit of pain in my hips. I was given various excersizes and stretches to do, and was refered to a chiropracter who would not feed me a bunch of bs. I will always have scoliosis but the pain has signifacently gotten better.

at any rate, its something you might look into. good luck.

Sorry for the late response.

I really don’t feel like going back into a doctor office, as I just recently had some surgery done lol. I would like to know what kind of exercises, and stretches did you have you to do?

I am telling you man. I want to get back to training, but when I try, and do squats all I can basically feel is my left side, and that is all lol. I guess from hoping, and leaning on my left leg all the time when I had surgery, I could have developed some muscle imbalances.

[quote]koffea wrote:
i have similar symptoms only in my upper right side of my back. When I take a deep breath, i get a lot of cracking. I went to a sports medicine doctor who confirmed that I have a muscle imbalance and scoliosis in my upper back. It also causes quite a bit of pain in my hips. I was given various excersizes and stretches to do, and was refered to a chiropracter who would not feed me a bunch of bs. I will always have scoliosis but the pain has signifacently gotten better.

at any rate, its something you might look into. good luck.[/quote]

yeah, prety much the same thing for me, too. i’m doing physical therapy right now, and the PT had me stop all exercise so we can fix the imbalances.

i’m doing pevlic tilts, scap squeezes, and lots of stability ball rotations.

good luck!

I’ve had a few issues and unilateral work (strength, flexibility, mobility) really has helped. Take it slow - maybe you’re younger than me and your recovery will be fast, but rushing things will hurt you in the long run.

Professional massage (myofascial), IT band stretches and myofascial release work (self-massage or roller), hamstring and thoracic stretches, etc. seemed to help me the most.

I posted some stretches in the Squat Rx videos I made too, but an online search of IT band stretches, roller work, etc. should give you quite a bit to look at.

I have also had a very similar problem. My mid back was having spasms so bad that my doctor also thought that I had scoliosis. As it turns out, some muscles were over firing and some were under firing. It seemed to be worse the day after pullups or olympic style lifting.

I remedied the problem by doing exercises that cause all of the back muscles that run along the spine to fire all at once or in the proper sequence. Really slow good mornings with a broomstick, slow hyperextensions while laying on the floor, lots of foam rolling, and plenty of stretching. I also lay face down and while keeping my hips square, I rotate my upper body to each side. This also helps to align my spine.