T Nation

Hurt Back, Hip, Next Step?

Hi guys.

Now I know you might be thinking ‘oh no not another back injury thread’ but I’m pretty frustrated at the moment and wondering if ya’ll have some advice as to what I should do next.

So here’s the situation.

I hurt my back about 9 weeks ago. There was no specific incident when it happened, though I remember around the time I deadlifted fairly heavy without a decent warmup (stupid I know) and helped my gym’s owner with some mats which were pretty heavy and cumbersome.

It started off as a sharp pain right at the base of my spine. I stopped squatting/deadlifting but continued training upper body as usual and did legs on machines. For the first few weeks I was icing and resting my back as much as possible.

Maybe 3-4 weeks after the injury I went to a chiropractor who diagnosed it as a ‘post-traumatic lumbar sacral fixation,’ she told me that I had some muscle imbalances in my lower back and glutes/hams and that my tailbone was slightly out of line. I went back for a few sessions of manipulation but I didn’t feel any benefit from it (expensive too) and I didn’t feel any benefit.

So fast forward a few weeks and I start to feel comfortable to do some stretching. I stretch everyday doing hams, glutes, hip flexors, abs, lower back, anything I can think of for that area. I’m also foam rolling and icing regularly.

As it starts to feel better I began some fairly light squatting again and though there’s some pain on the walkout and standing up, squatting is fairly painless. This was a couple of weeks ago now and the pain isn’t as bad as it was at the start but it’s not improving anymore.

It’s hurting in the centre of my spine at the base and spreading over to the left side. It’s by no means severe pain and I don’t have any reduced mobility but it’s enough to nag whenever I bend over and severely hindering my progress in the gym. With my every movement now there is a slow deliberation because I’m afraid of tweaking my back and I’m getting worried now over the length of the injury.

A bit of background, I’m 22 years old, been lifting around 4 and a half years. I train for powerlifting. Competed once in June this year and was going to compete again last weekend but this injury put paid to that idea.

I know my injury may not seem that important - I can still train - but I guess I’m looking for anyone who’s been through this and can give me some tips as to what I should do. Ride it out and carry on stretching/doing mobility work? Should I go to see another professional? I can imagine what a GP would say, maybe a physio?

Any advice appreciated, thanks for reading.

Jon

Hey Jon, your injury is important, and I can tell you right now you’re going to be fine. My gf is 115 and squats 225 deep with a herniated disc and she fixed herself to the point where she has no pain. She was also stubborn enough to deal with the pain until she got to the other side, so I ask for you to get stubborn as well, but you’re doing great so far too. I personally hurt my low back so bad I wasn’t sure if I was getting out of bed on my own for about 6 months.

Here’s what I’ve got.

You’ve got a very common story with back injuries, everything’s fine right up until you get wreacked. Your chiro was on the money about muscle imbalances in the glutes/hams… low back, I’m not sure… She just didn’t take it any further and ask herself “why?” you had those imbalances, and why they were inhibited. I’d just recommend another chiro for starters, my buddy’s gone into see mine on crutches and walked out. She also might have just been full of shit, and recycyled what typically happens in low back injuries. Sorry you wasted your money man.

The stretching you were doing was good, and the reason why you’re only kinda wrecked. one tip, never ever stretch your low back, it’s supposed to be tight, and the pain there isn’t the cause, it’s the effect from overly tight hips and most likely having overall posture problems. You also don’t really want your hamstrings to be loose right now, you want to tighten them up within reason, too tight and your pelvis will round when you squat, we need to strengthen the hell out of them though.

I’m going to give you all my advice, and how I know for certain that it will fic you, but what I really need to totally fix you up is pictures of you in tight underwear, no boxers, from the front, side and back. As well as videos of your squat form from a good angle, slightly behind you, and if you have it your deadlift form, but you won’t be pulling for a couple months anyways… as well as your training log if you have one.

And away we go.

First, you’ve been on the platform, so I know you aren’t retarded, use my advice as a guideline but make the changes you feel are necessary. Just don’t go in another direction. Also, I’m going to give you a training template, but feel free to modify it, and I’d be more than happy to check it over.

This video will help you out almost immediately as a very similar version did for me. Immediately begin to perform this at the least daily, and definitely before training even on upper body days, but the more times the better.

I would also do this upper body warm up, especially the lat rolling and shoulder capsule stretch… actually the whole thing is good. If you’re about to bench though, don’t do the pec stretch… that’s gonna kill your stretch reflex and could lead to a tear, I’d def do the pec stretch on lower body days though. I shouldn’t be letting you bench at all, but you’re a lifter, and that’s not gonna happen is it?

I want you to do both of these daily. They will give a lot of relief, and on there own would almost be enough to fix you up. We’re going to take it further though, and just fix your posture in general. I’m going to give my reccomendations, then let you put your program together, I’m going to base this off a 5 day split though.

First, stop all deadlifts, good mornings and bentover barbell rows. You’ll be back to them in 2-3 months, and I promise you’ll be in PR territory right away on pulls.

I’d like you to squat 3x a week, m-w-f. I’d personally recommend 2 back squats and 1 front squat. I can help you with loading, or you can do it yourself. when you can deadlift, I’d highly advise you to begin the sheiko programs, they’re very well balanced and can make a lifter. Anyways, these squats shouldn’t hurt your back as long as you listen to yourself, and will really help to build your posture moreso than any other lift. I fixed my own posture by squatting everday for 5 weeks, starting at 10 singles with 405 daily adding 10lbs, then the following week I would max everyday, and I wasn’t allowed to stretch or foam roll. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever done, but the best thing I have ever done, and at the end my posture was what it’s supposed to be.

After you squat, it’s big time hamstring time. You know how douche bags train there arms? that’s how you train your hamstrings now. I highly advise the first thing you do to be 5 sets of 20 hyperextensions. I wouldn’t even use weight, but if it gets real easy put a 10 behind your head. After that, just be a fucking savage and pump the shit out of those things. strengthening the shit out of your hamstrings is going to really correct your tilt.

So we’re loosening the hips on the warm up, then smashing hams. Then do whatever abs you feel like, but make sure you curl your abdomen on sit ups and their variations as opposed to pulling yourself up with your hip flexors, 2-3 sets is enough, don’t go savage. actually, superset the hyper with 100 face pulls. for the first month, face pulls should be done daily, this will help pull your shoulders back and correct the shoulders rolled forward posture you probably have.

Upper body days, you shouldnt bench, but just bench, you’ll be fine. Use Prilepins table, and just do the minimum you need to do to maintain or get better. Afterwards, or between sets do chin ups or pull downs, I don’t care which, either get 30 reps on the chins, then increase or 5x10 on the pulldowns. After that, just go savage again and train your back like it stole something, if all you did was chins and a shit ton of upper back work you’d be perfect.

Don’t worry about your triceps, maybe do a few sets of side laterals for the delts, nothing for the front head right now. If you want to train biceps whatever, I just can’t do it anymore, I feel too ghey, but I also wish my arms were bigger.

That’s really about it man, that will fix you, not a doubt in my mind. Post all that other stuff I asked for, if you don’t have a log, post a template, but get your vids, and pm me when you post with a link to this page and I’ll have a look.

Cheers man

Hey man what can I say, thanks for the long and detailed post. I’ll definitely be trying it out.

thanks for giving me the info i needed to write the post.

Let me know how it goes.