T Nation

Bruised Vertebrae?


I have an injury that has remained persistent for several weeks now even when taking time off weight lfiting to allow it to 'heal'.
I will describe it as best as possible as i am looking for someone to recognize what it is or someone who has also had this.
When doing shoulder presses a while back i was using dumbells and doing each arm at a different time. Now i'm fairly new to weight training so imagine that i am not conditioned in every part of my body: anyhow, i was squeezing out a last few reps on my left side but as i was pressing the weight up my back was arching greatly (to stabilize it above my head). It was arched to such a degree that the bony fins that protrude from the vertabrae seemed to be touching each other with a significant crushing force. Now since then my vertabrae would feel bruised to the touch. It was just one vertabrae in particular (the top and bottom of it) but the two neighbouring ones seemed slightly sore where they met with this particular one.
BTW this is in the lumbar region of my back.
Now the pain reduced if i rubbed the area or if i strecthed very lightly. It just instantly vanishes. Then a few minutes later i will be able to feel the bruised feeling again when i prod it. Now after this injury occured it might have been made worse by doing some 1RM squats but i can't be sure.

I took almost 2 weeks of all weights (twas hard :p) but the pain persists.
It doesn't even seem to get worse when lifting weights. Even directly using the surrounding muscles (i.e. deadlift) Not that i have done these moves with any decent weight. As of yet i ahven't noticed it getting worse but the annoying thing is it doesn't seem to be getting better, ONE BIT.
sometimes itdoesn't hurt when i get up in the morning (due to the spine elongating etc.) but then again sometimes it feels worse in the morning. light stretching rids me of it for a few minutes but heavy stretching seems to make it worse for a few minutes.
I ahve no idea if it is muscle, tendon, ligament or bone damage.
One more thing to add would be that it feels slightly more protruding than it used to (might be in my mind though) and sometimes when i prod it hard it feels like some part of it click/shift into/out of place.

Any help would be much appreciated as this is really p@#!$!!ing me off.

Thanks in advance.


I think this is a good lesson on how important form is.

You always want to minimise spinal flexion as much as possible. It sounds like you were extremely hyperextended.

I would 1)go to your doctor and get his advice. 2)get a massage to see if they can circulate some blood around the area. 3)Hire a personal trainer. You need some instruction on how to lift weights, especially if you're doing movements like squats and deadlifts. You don't need to keep them forever, just long enough so you learn the correct movements.


Oh, and why are you doing 1RM work if you're new to weightlifting.

Trust me, that's a very, very bad idea. If you're that new to it (less than 4 months) I wouldn't suggest going under 5 reps. Good to hear you're into the big lifts though! They are the best. But getting correct instruction on how to do them is very important. You can push your limits later, when you're prepared your body for the pounding it will take.


I pretty much worked out for myself that the problem was down to poor form but thanks for pointing that out.....

I think a physio would be more appropriate than a doctor in this situation and the massages would have to be done on a regular basis to provide any benefit unless they were a back adjustment massage.
The poor form wasn't down to having a lack of knowledge on form merely the muscular imbalance to maintain that form, so i don't think i'm going to sink as low as asking some un-qualified personal instructor (the ones at my gym anyway) and besides, i perform most of my workouts at home.

As for your second message: By new i meant not experienced, i have been doing it on and off for 3 years but now i am older i am going to do it properly.
Your point on not going under the 5RM is useful as it solidifies something that i was pondering myself.
As to why i was doing 1RM: honestly just to see how strong i was and mark my improvement. Now i have felt the ill effects of doing this on a weekly basis i will stop doing anything under 5RM or maybe 3RM's in a few months.

Thanks for the replies.