T Nation

Lower Back Issues

I’ve battled lower back issues for quite some time, and now it seems I keep getting “injured”. Each injury is rectified with a Chyro visit; however, recently, it seems to not be getting fixed with a chyro. I’ve gone to this guy for a couple years for physical therapy and massage therapy, so he isn’t your 20 dollar walk in guy.

Right now I feel pain the tailbone, and my right calf at the same time, but skips my thigh. This feels like a sharp pain / disc type pain.

Also, my left lower back muscle above my hip. This feels like a throbbing pain / tight muscle / pull pain.

The pain lowers my strength as I am out of alignment / the actual pain leads me to squat high.

It seems to only happen during deadlifting also, meaning, I injure myself deadlifting and nothing else. Right now, however, I’m doing a PROM program, starting at a 2" total pull, and going 2" deeper each week. So, right now, I’m doin 670 lbs for about a 8" pull (not 8" off the ground, 8" total pull, so the bar is on 16" of blocks, not a very far pull).

My form is spot on for these, or so I thought.

My question is, anyone have similar issues in the past? How did you fix it?

I’ve had the exact same issue and symptoms. I fixed it by backing off on deadlifts and prioritizing unilateral leg work. In my case, one leg was weaker and caused that side of my back to over compensate. My calves also would get extremely tight, causing knee pain. I keep a unilateral leg exercise in my weekly routine and haven’t had another lower back issue.

That’s exactly my issue. You have one leg weaker than the other, for me, I had a lower back issue for years, I fixed it from physical therapy, but the 10 years of neglect to fix it cause me to bend with my right leg kicked out every single time. I’ve trained my muscles / body to bend at an angle instead of straight down. I think when I approach the bar, i’m a little at an angle, causing injury. I also have tight calves, constantly, so much that I can’t grab any skin ever (unlike quad where you can grab skin, or belly where you can grab, well, fat). I don’t have knee pain though.

I do plan to back off of deads for a little bit. What is unilateral work and what do you do?

I don’t understand this statement. When I said my calves were tight, I was referring to the muscle. Tight skin has more to do with body fat levels.

Unilateral means individual leg training. I have done front squat position lunges, Bulgarian split squats and high platform step ups.

My calves are so tight they push out to my skin. When I get massaged / worked on / they are stretched out, then I can grab skin / move them around. Without working on them, they are just a big ball. Every session I have (used to, I don’t do them anymore, FLEX ran out) the lady would tell me to stretch my calves at least twice a day to help them out, then she would grind on them for 20 min.

I don’t think I have an in-balance in strength, just a muscle memory of avoiding a certain side as before, I could drop to the floor from pain if I stepped wrong, or bent over wrong. I’m wondering if I focus on bending movements, hyperextensions specifically, fi that would help. Straight leg dead lifts I feel myself popping my hip to the right, same with good mornings. Hyperextensions I’m forced in one position and can’t stray.

Check out Donnie Thompson stuff for your ankles.

“Super D’s Ankle Secrets,” and " Super D Flexion Your Ankles."

Use those moves to make sure your feet and ankles can go all 4 ways. Do this stuff daily, outside the gym.

Then Laura Phelps for your hips.

“Laura Phelps Demos Banded Belt Squat Walks.”

Do those before lower body days. And before upper body days.

These moves are better than other rehab moves. With different bands, the resistance is completely variable. You can start with mini bands. Then add tension as you get better.

Traditionally stuff like clam shells or hip airplanes are almost always too easy or too hard to do correctly.

awesome, thanks, i’ll check it out for sure.

I’ve been doing some spinal exercises, seems to be helping as instead of spiking pain, I am now generally sore / tight which to me signifies healing.

How is it coming along? Are learning anything or making some progress?

I essentially took a step back and evaluated everything in terms of what is important to me, my goals, etc.

My current goal was to set the Iowa records for deadlift and squat, raw, drug free, UPA. I was going to accomplish this in the July meet, barring anything major.

However, I needed to cut down to the 308 weight class to set these records, still not an issue.

However, eating at a deficit and training for powerlifting I found to be too difficult, I was doing weight that was very hard, and I caused repeat injuries.

I took a step back and evaluated what is more important to me - an Iowa record, or going down water slides with my girls (generally a weight limit on those things).

My decision was I’d rather live my immediate lift going down slides with my girls, and doing things I couldn’t do before with them. I’m not done powerlifting, but I am done until I get down to the 275 weight class or so.

Because of this, I changed my training. I removed anything that puts strain on my lower back, the bone in my left arm above my elbow (bone edema in the marrow, stress reaction on top, always hurts after squatting to the amount of unable to turn on a blinker), and left shoulder (broke both my collar bones twice in my life, never healed right).

I don’t bench anymore (shoulder pain gone), I don’t squat anymore (arm pain gone), and I don’t deadlift anymore (back pain gone).

I’m still training, just more bodybuilding type of stuff with a focus on losing weight. I’m currently at around 315, down about 20 lbs, body fat is around 22%, down from around 27. it’s ultimately a healthier lifestyle for me and my family.

Some may see this as a cop out, maybe it is, but to me, it’s just more important for me to say to my girls “Yes, daddy can do that” instead of “sorry, daddy’s too big to go on that ride”.

Oh, and also, doing any spinal exercise, stretches, foam rolling made my issues a thousand times worse. All it would do is mask the pain for the workout, only to make the next couple days impossible.

I ain’t mad at cha

I guess change is good for any of us.