T Nation

Front Squat Causing a 'Burning' Sensation

Recently I have been experiencing a burning sensation to the left of my spinal column, between c1 and c2. I know it’s a nerve related issue, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why its occurring. I have tried altering my head position/angle etc and various ways of holding the bar, but still experience this pain. The pain subsides after the weight is racked, but fear if I work through the pain I could end up doing some serious damage.

Has anyone else had this, or know why this problem persists? Also, what should I do to stop this happening, because I have seen great gains in muscle size/shape with front squats and don’t want to be forced into not using them.

Many thanks.

How do you know it is a nerve related issue? It could be a facet irritation or a tendon inflammation that attaches to the base of the skull and/or C1/C2. Any radiating pain down into your arm or into your head/face?

Indeed, perhaps saying that I know it is nerve related isn’t accurate. The pain doesn’t travel, it remains specific to the afore mentioned area until the weight is racked. The fact that the pain immediately dissipates led me to think it was nerve related, as tendon issues I have experienced always left some sort of ‘residual’ pain after racking weight etc.

I just had the exact same issue doing front squats , was wondering if you are still having the same problem or if it has gone away?

Pretty likely to be a muscular imbalance of some sort; when you are holding the weight, more stress is being carried by one side. It could be some fibers of the trapezius, or it could be the deeper muscles such as splenius capitis or, deeper still, rectus capitis posterior. Out of curiosity, do you get headaches very often, especially after lifting?

I ask because it seems unusual that you would develop a muscle imbalance like this out of the blue, and I wonder about misalignment in your upper cervical spine. Start with the simplest thing; have a massage therapist or perhaps a chiropractor check for and treat any trigger points in the above mentioned muscles.