T Nation

Low Back Thing?

For the past 2 years one side of my back has been extra tight with some pain. It also liked to pop on that side, which made it feel better. And when I did stuff like back extensions and bendovers I always felt it more on the tight side. I went to the doctor and he said one leg was longer so I wore a heel lift but that made things worse. I concluded that the problem was functional. So I worked on hip rotation, core work, hip/low back mobility and stretching, A.R.T., and deep tissue massage. This controlled the problem and I never missed a workout but the one side always got tight during each workout. Then one day I was doing squats and I didn?t feel anything traumatic but the one side tightened up big time. And the next day I couldn?t get out of bed, I had incredible pain on the one side and around my tailbone. But I healed very quickly and was back in the gym in 2 days with no pain.

Since then my back feels better than ever! I don?t have any tightness on the one side and my entire back feels better and more mobile. What do you think happened? And if you know, how do I keep my back feeling like it does now? I?m worried that eventually it might return to its old state.

Yeah, I kind of had something similar happen to me this spring. For several months I had a knot in the left side of my lower back/upper hip area. I attributed this to putting on some jacked up gear (at least boss briefs, sometimes a suit as well) and going for broke every week on squats. I hadn’t planned it that way, but training with a strong crew brings out the best/worst in me. I was getting stonger, I could still train, I when the session was over, I cold tell that there was something very wrong back there.

Anyhow- due to career demands, I changed my training around this spring to where I was training alone. Since I wasn’t working with spotters, I ended up deadlifting much more often and squating lighter weights using no gear or modest gear. During this time, my back fixed itself- no chiro, no ART, no fancy exercises or rehab techniques- just high volume, moderate intensity training. In my case, I think all the “easy” deadlifting (2’s and 3’s in the 70-80% range) helped a lot in stretching the ligiments in by low back and hip area.

I remember hearing somewhere that most pains that people identify as low-back related have less to do with the spine and discs and much more to do with the tight muscles/tendons/ligiments in the hip joint. It appears that that was the case for both of us.