T Nation

Lower Back (Multifidus?)

I tried to send this to StormTheBeach, but PMs don’t work apparently. So, if you see this STB, let me know.

Anyway, the situation:

I have a feeling this was connected, so I need to include it:
I was doing tabata kettlebell swings on Thursday (with 80 lbs. Way too much). I got through one round and my back hated me. For the next couple of days, my right-side extensors from my mid-back down to my lower back were sore as hell, and so was my right glute max.

Saturday, I was doing ME bench work, and I just could not get into my arch. I thought nothing of it other than being pissed, we all have bad days.

Well, Sunday was ME lower day and I decided to do reverse band free squat. From 135 onward, my lower back was hurting a lot at the bottom of each rep. As far as I could tell, it was when my lower back went into flexion (I buttwink). Well, I worked up to 525, and my form held up and it was relatively easy, but it hurt like hell on my left side. I wanted to do a high rep set with 315, but only did one when I realized I fucked something up.

Now, two days later, it hurts just as much. I’ve been stretching and rolling around on a tennis and baseball.

It hurts the most when I do these:
-Squatting down at buttwink (Obviously)
-Standing straight and pulling my pelvis into anterior rotation/lower back into extension.
-Balance on left leg, pull right thigh into flexion past 90 degrees. Not other way around.
-Same as last one, but below 90 and reaching down with arms (lower back flexion)
-Leaning forward while sitting (mostly in lower back flexion, not extension)
-Ab work/sitting up
-Staggered hamstring stretch, with left leg straight, right leg slightly bent. Not other way around.

Also walking, driving, and standing up from a chair. Again, it’s on the left side. I was sore on the right from the KB swings.

It feels more deep than superficial, but I could be wrong. Maybe the multifidus?

I really don’t know, but I have my first meet on Feb. 23, so I’m pretty pissed. Anyone have opinions on this or how to fix it?

EDIT: Also, I was trying to do some speed bench today and I couldn’t come close to arching my back. I tried to pull up into it, but it hurt worse than anything else I’ve done.

Sounds like muscle injury to one of your spinal stabilizers (not too important which one, rehab wouldn’t be drastically different). Muscles have a good blood supply so they tend to heal quickly. You will likely feel better in a month although I doubt you will be trained and ready for the meet by then. Stay active but don’t stress your low back out excessively, especially doing ballistic-type exercises such as kettlebell swings.

This is the best I can give you based on the info you provided.

Best case scenario:

You go see a specialist and get a script for physical therapy. Take it easy with the heavy stuff until it’s healed. Probably get back into heavy stuff a couple weeks into the PT. Probably get back to 100% in 3-4 months.

What will probably happen:

You will fuck around with it for another few months until you decide that daily life activities shouldn’t require you to brace your abs like a max effort squat THEN do a treatment plan like I mentioned above.

Seriously. Get it looked at and taken care of if you really think there is a problem.

^ best advice.

Since there are many muscles that have the same action, it would be very difficult to isolate the multifidi. Take the advice of STB and see a specialist.

Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I’ll give it another week, since it’s only been 5 days or so since it happened. I’ll talk to a specialist about it after that. I’m definitely not patient enough to continue hurting for months.

I guess I’ll just resign myself to not competing for another year or so. I’d rather get 100% better than go to the meet and completely fuck it up.

Thanks again.

I believe Alabama is a direct access PT state, so you can just go straight to a PT and skip the “specialist.” By “specialist,” I’m assuming everyone means Ortho Surgeon and typically with that you’ll get some pain meds, a radiograph (x-ray), and sent to PT anyways. So it may save you some money just to go see a good PT first, try to find one that specializes in sports or orthopedics (there are board certifications for PT).

But make sure you either see a PT or an Ortho Surgeon, don’t ever see a PCP first (and spread that to your family). PTs and even third year PT students score higher than all other physicians and residents in musculoskeletal medicine, except for ortho surgeons. So just some advice for the future

I’ll keep those things in mind. I’m actually trying to get into PT school right now, so I’m more inclined to trust/go to them anyway. Is that what the DPT stands for in your username?

I didn’t realize the direct access thing. That’s pretty cool.

Thanks for the advice, man.