T Nation

Lower Back Injury

My brother who is only 17 herniated is L5 disc in his lower back in March of this year. He hurt during a football workout where the coach brought in some strength trainers who had him box squat 450 pounds with no warmup or anything. He is not a big kid and the coach should not have made him do this but that’s besides the point. Now he just finished physical therapy and he was told not to do any squats, deadlifts, good mornings, etc. for at least another three months. I disagree with the therapist and I want to know what is the best way to rehabilate the lower back after an injury like this. I would really appreciate feedback. I don’t want my brother 10 years down the road to have back problems because he got shitty adivce early in the injury when he could have treated it properly. Thanks in advance.

why don’t you file a lawsuit against the coach and/or the strength trainers?

My parents are thinking about filing a lawsuit.

I herniated L5 8 years ago and tried everything to correct it-acupuncture when I was in China, Chiropracty, massage and even shots into the spine. Nothing alleviated the sciatica. Finally, after 4 years, the nerves in my left foot started to degenerate from the pressure on the sciatic nerve, so I had surgery or end up with a floppy foot. They performed a partial diskectomy, ie, they cut out just the portion of the disk that was protruding. I was up the same day and back on a horse in 3 weeks. All the pain was gone and has not reoccured. The key to not getting a herniated disk is usually flexibility, esp in the hamstrings. If you do a search on the web, you can find sites that give specific exercises for back problems. Because disks in younger folks are more pliant than in us old farts, they can sometimes repair themselves. As you age, the disks tend to harden. I think the first thing your brother should do is adopt a good flexibilty program. Chiropracters and physical therapists are good sources for designing an appropriate program. At his age, surgery should be the last route to take. I would also take appropriate legal action against the coach…he shouldn’t be allowed to continue to coach…he sounds dangerous.

sue him, what a stupid fucker.

I agree with Avoids Roids. Concentrate on flexibility and movement for now. Through studying for my ISSA cert, they recommend a great exercise for lower back. Crush up some ice into very fine bits and seal in a ziplock bag. Lay on the floor with the bag on your lower back. At the same time, pull the knees to the chest and stretch out the muscles while they’re on ice. I tried it after 10 sets of dead lifts. Feels great! Also, if he’s been to a physical therapist and you don’t like his/her recommendation, bring him to someone else for another evaluation/opinion. And dude, no strength coach should have someone do anything without a warm-up.

that really sucks man. I do know that Louie Simmons created the reverse hyper in order to rehab his back (i ^think^ he has blown a disk twice). I am probably gonna get one for my own dad, who has had several operations on his back, thats the only thing i can think of right now… go over to elitefts, and “ask dave” they have a rehab section for this…

I also had the L5/S1 herniated disc. The best therapy is definately walking. I wouldnt start the Deadlifts or squats until the back pain has gotten better.
Now if his back is feeling fine take the time to learn the proper form of deads and squats with the less weight. I don’t buy the 3 months really either. So in 3 months time he isn’t going to bend down to pick something up? I think a 3 month rest of going balls out is a good idea. Have him get the proper technics down to prevent further injury. 450 sounds like alot of weight to box squat for a 17 yr old. Unless the kid is a house i woulndt think many 17 yr olds can do a proper squat with 450.

thankfully no one has told you the docter is wrong. how would you feel if the docter is corrsct and you take advice from a web site and he winds up worse off. I know docs are wrong sometimes but if you have a problem w/that doc get other opinions. and PLEASE take him to court, there is a bigger issue of who his “next victim” will be. DON’T LET HIM HURT ANOTHER KID. peace

Although my brother is a really good athlete he would be better if he did actually bulk up a lot. As a junior on long lsland he was all division or all league in both football and basketball and started on the varsity baseball team. He did all of this at 6’0 150 lbs. Oh by the way, the strength trainer brought in and the head football coach wanted him to box squat 455 11 times, my brother only did it 5 and I’m sure with terrible form. I’ve told my parents to file a lawsuit against the strength trainer and the school. The physical therapist and chiropractor both said the same thing. The physical therapist and chiropractor also said this was the worst case they’ve ever seen in a kid this young. Every time I see this coach I want to break his face especially after he made the comment to me that my brother was faking his injury. Thanks again for all the help.

Crikey, I’m 5’11 170lbs and I can only box squat maybe 200 1RM (just started a month ago though) 450 is insane for someone that big.

yea, if this is true and he really went below parralel, box squatting 450 is really like 500 w/out the box.

Jacknife pushups and janda situps to take a little stress off the back and put it on the abs.