T Nation

Lower Back Crisis


Well, no prior injuries in HS sports. So this injury thing is pretty new to me and to be honest, the only reason I’m posting is because I am a little bit scared. The situation is this: I have always liked lifting. Played football, track, just recently graduated. Straight out of graduation I went to work and because my job requires quite a bit of manual labor, most times I work long hours, (work days may last anywhere from 6 hrs. to 16, with 12 hrs. probably being the norm, so fatigue also plays a role in whether or not I even feel like lifting) getting all the weightroom action I want is sometimes a decision between sleep/food, and lifting. My numbers go down.

I’m young, want to lift heavy stuff off the floor, and no doubt this set me in a perfect position for some sort of injury (this combined also, with losing lots of the flexibility i had in sports, my hips/glutes/hams seem to stay tight anyway unless I am stretching them unrelentlessly, which I neglect to do). A couple weeks ago I am DLing. Warmups go fine. I hold my breath & pull in under my first working set with 365 lbs. doing conventional deadlifts, on my first rep the bar does not even leave the floor and instantly I feel a sharp, hot pain all up my lower back right after I start my pull. I stand up, this is how I imagine a pulled muscle in the back must feel like, the hot pain soon dies down after about 5 mins of breathing and standing still, it is replaced by extremely sharp and instantaneous pangs that light up in my back with almost every step as I walk out of the weightroom.

The next morning I am a pathetic mess, I can hardly stand without holding on to some solid object. I may make it 3-steps almost pain free and then BOOM, one of my legs will go limp mid-step and pain will blare in my back. I hobble around the house all morning, finally make it out to do the nessessary chores in the afternoon, riding in a bumby truck is painful, with every bump in the road my back flares. Days go by, the jolts I experience with walking subside somewhat. A few days later I see what I am capable of in the Weightroom, the answer is almost no lifting whatsoever. I take days off, every third day or so I try again.

After all my workouts, the next morning my back seems to have reverted back to the pain levels it was at a couple days ago. Needless to say, I havn’t even thought about going back to the weightroom for at least another two weeks. The most I can manage now is lifting a full gas can off the ground, two gas cans is impossible. And even after these weeks “taking it easy” most of the pain is gone, exept for a pain in the dimple of my right ass cheek. I can’t even jog. When I feel no pain, it is almost like the muscles in my lower back don’t exist. I bend down to pick something up off the floor and I simply feel like I can not move it. If it weighs over 50 lbs. I have to brace myself with my hand, placing it against my knee, whilst I lift said object off the floor with one hand.

So I guess the reason I tell you all this is in the hopes that:

A) You can help tell me what is wrong, I will gladly give as much info as needed in the hopes that someone will help me figure out what is ailing me.

B) How long before full recovery, given that I stay out from under heavy objects, only do as much at work as I possibly can to avoid a setback in my recovery.

C) That nobody flames me to hard for being a douche/newbie/knucklehead for bad posting/lifting habits, ect.

Please take my meager titty offering. I give it in the hopes of helpful information.

I would also like to state that through all the research I have done, the best conclusion I can come up with is torn tissue in the lower back, wich no doubt is probably exactly what happened, the biggest thing that I worry about is the pain in my glute, the fear is “does any of this mean nervous damage?” or “IF it is damage pretaining to the nervous system, will it be extremely long lasting or permanent??!” Scary thoughts for a young guy who has always dreampt of being swole.

You need to go to a doctor ASAP and get an MRI.

Without examining you, my input will have limitations. Most of the times these are severe strains/sprains and you will have a full recovery. It may take ~6 weeks but be patient. If you have shooting pain/burning that radiates to your feet, then you likely have a herniated disk, which the natural course is a complete recovery.

If you have bowel/bladder incontinence or progressive weakness (i.e. if your leg repeatedly gives out on you, Not secondary to pain, but rather inability to move it) this is an emergency, and you should go to an ER, as this would suggest spinal cord injury and you would likely need emergent decompression.

I remember the first time time I hurt my back deadlifting, my back spasmed so bad that I could not stand straight. My back curved to one side.

Keep doing pain free activity. Bedrest is not the answer.

It sounds like you are still in a large degree of discomfort, I would go see a physician to get an examination. You may or may not need an MRI. If one MRI’s 100 assymptomatic people 50 of them will have pathology such as disc bulges or herniated discs. This tells us that in order to act on an MRI, there must be a strong clinical correlation.

Beef

Alright thanks a lot. I have stayed out of the weight room, but most of this week I havn’t been able to get out of manual labor. So my back has been bothering me a little more lately than normal but nothing too bad, most of the time now I feel pretty normal, or at least like I may be returning to normal but I still cant pick anything heavy up. I mean, I can, as long as I’m lifting it from about waist height. If i lift something off a table, truck bed, ect.

I can pick up anything I want, but if it calls for me bending over, forget about it. Something else is happening now, just for a brief time today a small area on my right lower leg got this funny sensation in it. It didnt last long, I got out of the truck, and experienced the pain in my glute (which has pretty much become the norm now) followed by a very faint tingling sensation behind my rt. knee. I think as soon as I get a chance I’m just gonna go ahead and schedule an appt.

I’m pretty sure it will heal up on its’ own but at this rate I don’t think it will heal up very fast because of all the moving I have to do at work. But about a week ago I couldn’t even go through a full day without having at least a handful of blasts of pain in my back, they seem to be going away.

See a PT, you may well have a disc issue. Find out first, before trying to train again!