T Nation

Low Back Pain, No Squats

About 2 months ago, I was squatting but it got too tight and painful and I called it quits. I have not squatted since. I have been doing powerlifting now for two years and have not had this problem. For awhile, I was having a dull pain along with a sharp pain in my left hip/groin area. However, it is my back that is causing problems. Also, when I bend forward, it is really stiff and painful. Bending side to side and backwards is no problem. I tried squatting again yesterday with just 25’s on each side, my back tightened up alot.

I have been going to physical therapy for over a month now and my low back does not feel any better. I have done strengthening of the hip, core, glutes, and back. I have also done stretches but that seems to make my back worse. It feels good when I do them, but gets worse afterwards. I really don’t know what to do. Nothing seems to work. Any ideas?

What are your goals with the physical therapy? Did they prescribe home exercise and are you actually doing it?

Benign mechanical low back pain is often going to be a stability or mobility issue:

Lack of mobility (in no specific order of importance): Hips, shoulders, T-spine, ankles
Lack of stability: L-spine, scapula

So sort of a rule of thumb: Don’t stretch an area that lacks stability. Move the areas that lack mobility.

At physical therapy, my goal is get my back better. I have no mobility bending forward without pain and stiffness. When squatting, I get to just above parallel and it gets too stiff and painful. Also, my left hip/groin and down my leg get numb and tingling at night time. At physical therapy, we have done low back extension type exercises. Nothing seems to be working. Also, I’ve noticed that when i warm up on the elliptical, my left leg gets tired a lot quicker than my right. I would love to get an MRI, but I have no health insurance.