T Nation

Knot in Lower Back

Hey guys,

I’ve been back squatting for about a month on the Stronglift 5x5 program, 3x a week. Recently, I’ve been experiencing lower back pain from doing something wrong (I think I’ve been leaning forward when pushing back up).

Since about a week ago I’ve noticed a strange knot in my lower back about an inch and a half off to the left side of my spine. I’ve gone down 10% in weight, decreased my squats to 2x a week and tried to get more sleep but the knot is still there.

Anyone have a diagnosis or suggestions? I’m not too keen on taking time off from squatting since it’s the cornerstone of the 5x5 program, but I will if it’s necessary. Thanks.

Get a deep-tissue massage! Worth the money and it does wonders.

First, rule out any real medical issues. Then, worry about your form. If those two things are working as they should be, you may just not be cut out for back squats and should try doing them in front of your torso.

I know there was a whole long thread about this a month or so ago, and my own experience is that I personally feel less back strain squatting in this manner. Still, everyone is different, so I figured I’d throw that suggestion your way.

S

[quote]Dave5000 wrote:
Get a deep-tissue massage! Worth the money and it does wonders.[/quote]

I’d love that, believe me. But I’m a poor college student doing an internship right now. I’ve been getting into soft tissue work with a tennis ball, but I’ve heard that it’s not good to roll on your lower back.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
First, rule out any real medical issues. Then, worry about your form. If those two things are working as they should be, you may just not be cut out for back squats and should try doing them in front of your torso.

I know there was a whole long thread about this a month or so ago, and my own experience is that I personally feel less back strain squatting in this manner. Still, everyone is different, so I figured I’d throw that suggestion your way.

S
[/quote]

Stu, what exactly do you mean by real medical issues? Do you mean like herniated disc type issues? I considered that, but I thought those were supposed to be right in line with the vertebrae, not off to the side. That’s why I ruled it out. You have a link to this thread you saw awhile ago?

I’ll try the front squats next time and see if I feel a difference. Thanks.

If i can hazard a guess, the position is where pilonidal cyst.
Heres some “clif” notes on it:

The thread I mentioned had to do with implementing front squats instead of back squats. What I can say is that if there is indeed a disc issue, what happens is the disc can impinge the nerve, which will result in pain radiating from the area (in any number of directions). THen we can also have something called ‘refered pain’ which can occur nowhere directly near your disc. Again, I merely want you to rule out any REAL problems before we start finding new ways to pile weight on your spine -lol.

S

take a yoga class…i personally don’t think bb’s and lifters are as flexible as they should be. I’m not saying you’re problem was caused by tightness, but flexibility never hurts your cause.

Try rolling your hips with the tennis ball. My lower back hurts a lot and rolling my hips always helps. They get really tight from doing deadlifts.

[quote]BxExNx wrote:
Try rolling your hips with the tennis ball. My lower back hurts a lot and rolling my hips always helps. They get really tight from doing deadlifts.[/quote]

Don’t mean to bring my thread out of the grave, but I rolled my hips with the tennis ball, took another day off, and have been easing back into my work weight in squats with no problem. My lower back just gets a good pump; no pain. Even went up 10 lbs in deadlift. Thanks for the advice everyone.

Where exactly on your hips do you roll? Is it more on the hip flexor area or the side?

[quote]MetalGear86 wrote:
Dave5000 wrote:
Get a deep-tissue massage! Worth the money and it does wonders.

I’d love that, believe me. But I’m a poor college student doing an internship right now. I’ve been getting into soft tissue work with a tennis ball, but I’ve heard that it’s not good to roll on your lower back.
[/quote]

It’s fine to use on the muscles next to your spine though. You just don’t want to foam roll your low back the same way you do your upper back, or even at all. You can use it on the muscles adjacent to the spine though. Get a lacrosse ball, it works better and do it while sitting in a chair.

Get this book too:

[quote]OlympicLifter wrote:
Where exactly on your hips do you roll? Is it more on the hip flexor area or the side?[/quote]

I too get great results from rolling hips with a tennis ball. And I have several disc herniations.

I basically roll everywhere on the hips and glutes looking for areas that hurt when rolled. The sides of the hips needed a lot of work, as well as the piriformis and glute medius. I have not done much with the hip flexors.