T Nation

low-back quasi pain

Hi everyone; it seems it’s time for another lurker to come out. I have been reading t-mag for nearly 2 years now and have made gains I never thought possible. The training advice is awesome and the diet info is dead on. I am a senior Exercise Student at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) and have used tons of info on this site to help research my debates with professors. Just thought I’d say thanks for all the help!

Anyway, I do have a low back issue to deal with. About a year ago I hurt my back by squatting with bad form; all seems to have healed, though, except that when I was deadlifting yesterday there was a tightness in the same spot and in the groin area.

I took it in stride and finished the lifting session and today I am pretty sore in those two areas. The pain is not unbearable and may just be soreness, but I was wondering if anyone else has this issue with deads and if I should be concerned or if it is just my weak low back that needs to strengthening. Thanks a million!

Hi there Baes. Did you get a diagnosis for your pain a year ago? Was it disc-related, muscle strain, or ligament-related? Because your approach to the injury should vary depending on what is actually injured.

Most back injuries (80%) are muscle-related. In this case, a muscle fiber, or sometimes several fibers, ruptures. These heal rapidly. Just do the standard anti-inflammatory things (RICE), don’t rest it too long, and stretch. I would definitely get ART to help the healing process here, too.

Discs and ligaments are another story.

Also, rarely is it the case that low-back pain is caused by weak low-back muscles, or even weak core muscles. Most likely there is an imbalance
in the endurance of spinal stablizers.

 The pain I experienced a year ago was disc related L5 to be exact; however, the pain I got in my back this time was different, almost felt like something was strained (that's my guess) and tightened up.  I have persued a RICE method of healing up to this point.

 I know that I am supposed to let the pain settle down, rest, and begin stretching soon, but my goal is to avoid this again; I have been quite gun-shy about doing heavy deads and squats again, but I have a really strong desire to do them so I'm just making sure I don't repeat my mistake.

Baes,

Several years ago I had pain in approximately the same location. I keep mine at bay by stretching my hamstrings before I squat or DL. From my research and what the Doc told me alot of low back pain is caused by tight hamstrings. Stretch your hamstrings really good and you will probably feel a some relief right away.

Mitch Green

Baes, since the feeling you’re experiencing now is different, and consistent with the feeling of muscle strain, perhaps it’s just muscular and no additional harm to the disc. But, it’s also possible that there’s both: some damage to the disc, accompanied by protective muscle spasm. Muscle spasm often accompanies acute injury to a disc. And muscle spasm certainly involves a feeling of tightness. So I think you are totally right to be “gunshy” when disc injury is involved.

I should also add that I have a current low-back injury, (still seeking a diagnosis, another appointment tomorrow), and deadlifts apparently are not possible for me right now. A recent attempt to deadlift left me with the most severe pain I’ve had so far.

Thanks for all the help and opinions guys. Unfortunately it seems that its time to enter that damn waiting phase. Time for a lot of stretching and taking it day to day.

Keep a lumbar lordosis thoughout the entire lift and dont use weight belts. Another key point is to breathe diaphramatically and then activate the ta. This will cause the diaphragm to lift up. The diaphragm attaches to l2 and l3. These two discs lifting off l4 and l5 will decrease the pressure on l5 by approximately 25%. Far too many people deadlift way past their safe rom and loose their lumbar curvature.