Lower Back Strain

Thanks magick. Would you guys be interested in looking over the progression schemes I’ve drawn up? If not its cool I just don’t want to type it all up for no reason haha.

Also weird question… So I took 10 weeks off cause of the strain. Will I lose more strength by taking 2 months instead of 1 to get back to my original weight? I mean cause it will be more time lifting sub maximal loads that aren’t for ME. I’m curious about this

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Also weird question… So I took 10 weeks off cause of the strain. Will I lose more strength by taking 2 months instead of 1 to get back to my original weight? I mean cause it will be more time lifting sub maximal loads that aren’t for ME. I’m curious about this [/quote]

Short answer: No you won’t loose more strength by taking time to get back there. That was what I implied by being stronger than you were once you reach the same training max as before.

When I first injured my back, 6+ years ago now, I used a conjugate approach and definitely was in a hurry to get back all the lost strength, then caused a flair up of the injury because I pushed too quick. It easily took me two years to find my own “sweet spot” for deadlift volume and once I found it that’s when my deadlift shot back up.
The point is that to build deadlift strength doesn’t mean taking a max every week, and a slow build back up will leave you better for it and hopefully with a better understanding of your deadlift.
This is also a good time period to hammer your form, as I feel like mine improved the most after my injury.

THanks midgray. I am beyond frustrated right now. Yesterday I was cleared by PT to start deadlifting very light. I did a set of 5 with just the bar, a set of 5 with 95 lbs, and a set with 115 lbs, all elevated on blocks so normal pulling height. THen I finished my workout which included back extensions and rowing and left. Felt great. Today I felt great too, until I did my normal foam rolling and stretching, halfway through my stretching I felt a pain in my lower back, this time the left erector. It almost feels like I sprained it but I cant tell. I will see how it feels in the morning. If I sprained the other one I’m honestly at a fucking loss for what is going on…

Woke up and the soreness/minor pain was still there. I stretched and foam rolled (lacrosse ball for glutes is like torture) and the pain and soreness all but let up… For now. I’m just at a loss as to where to go from here. I thought I was good to go and I didn’t even push the weights or try anything stupid. Should I just try what I did last week again next week? This has turned into a way more difficult and confusing situation than it should be, story of my life health wise haha.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
THanks midgray. I am beyond frustrated right now. Yesterday I was cleared by PT to start deadlifting very light. I did a set of 5 with just the bar, a set of 5 with 95 lbs, and a set with 115 lbs, all elevated on blocks so normal pulling height. THen I finished my workout which included back extensions and rowing and left. Felt great. Today I felt great too, until I did my normal foam rolling and stretching, halfway through my stretching I felt a pain in my lower back, this time the left erector. It almost feels like I sprained it but I cant tell. I will see how it feels in the morning. If I sprained the other one I’m honestly at a fucking loss for what is going on…[/quote]

It can be a wicked frustrating process and definitely will try your patience.

Start even lighter then. Maybe to the point of just doing some RDLs with the bar to warm up. Also consider that back extensions and rowing aren’t all that easy on the low back. I can’t remember the exact weight I used for rows when I got back but I’m pretty sure I started around 50-60 pound dumbbell rows for at least the first month.

It sounds like your number one goal should be to find something that doesn’t hurt. The best advice I can give in that regard is start one lift at a time.
Maybe week one only do dumbbell rows (light!) and some pulldowns/ups and slowely progress from there.
What does your current split look like with 5/3/1?

I should have clarified that the rowing was on the the rowing machine, that was my bad. Here’s my split

Monday
BEnch press 5/3/1
Incline Bench Press 5/3/1 assistance
Chin Ups 3x8
DB Flyes 1x10
Cable Row 3x10
Lat Pulldown 2x10
Dips 3x12
Cable Curl 3x10

Tuesday
Bodyweight sqats (tabata timing)
Leg extension 3x10
Back extension 3x10
Leg Curl 3x10
Plank/ Side Plank
Rowing Machine

Thursday
incline bench press 3x5
CGBP 5/3/1 assistance
Chin Up 3x8
Push ups 2x20
Cable Row 3x10
Lat pulldown 1x10
Pushdown 3x10
Barbell Curl 3x10

Obviously this isn’t the exact programming I intend to use this is with working around my injury. Thanks for taking the time to look this over

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I should have clarified that the rowing was on the the rowing machine, that was my bad. Here’s my split

Monday
BEnch press 5/3/1
Incline Bench Press 5/3/1 assistance
Chin Ups 3x8
DB Flyes 1x10
Cable Row 3x10
Lat Pulldown 2x10
Dips 3x12
Cable Curl 3x10

Tuesday
Bodyweight sqats (tabata timing)
Leg extension 3x10
Back extension 3x10
Leg Curl 3x10
Plank/ Side Plank
Rowing Machine

Thursday
incline bench press 3x5
CGBP 5/3/1 assistance
Chin Up 3x8
Push ups 2x20
Cable Row 3x10
Lat pulldown 1x10
Pushdown 3x10
Barbell Curl 3x10

Obviously this isn’t the exact programming I intend to use this is with working around my injury. Thanks for taking the time to look this over[/quote]

Honestly I would take an even more conservative approach with really low volume and work back up. Remember that even upper bodywork adds stress to the back. If it were me what I’d do is something like
Monday
5/3/1 Bench
Bodyweight pullups 4x10 with reps in the tank
rope pushdown 3x15
Band facepulls 2x20
Abdominal stability crap…planks etc

Wed.
Warmup with just the bar doing a few sets of RDLs
Reverse lunges 3x10-12
Bodyweight stepups
Leg curls 3x15
more abdominal stability

Friday
5/3/1 OHP or you were using incline which would actually be easier on the back, either way I would only do the minimum reps
One arm cable row 3x12
Lateral raise 3x12
Dumbbell curl 3x12
More stability work and probably some lunge variation too

This is kind of off the top of my head what I’d do, but the point is start low volume with low stress exercises that will allow you to work back to full steam. This is what I’d do for atleast a month before progressing, but again I prefer a more conservative approach and that is what worked for me personally.
Other options might be to do fullbody 3x a week and just do one single leg exercise per workout which honeslty might be better than what I just wrote.

Thanks midgray. I should be almost good to go by now, its been like 10 weeks and I’m going insanse. Aside from some localized soreness and tightness after back extensions I feel good. Which kinda leads me to my next question? What exactly is that tightness and what does it mean? Am I still injured or is it something I can start working through? Thanks

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Thanks midgray. I should be almost good to go by now, its been like 10 weeks and I’m going insanse. Aside from some localized soreness and tightness after back extensions I feel good. Which kinda leads me to my next question? What exactly is that tightness and what does it mean? Am I still injured or is it something I can start working through? Thanks [/quote]

That’s a tough one and really more of a judgement call for you. Do you mean tightness like a low back pump or more like a pulled muscle might feel tight?
Either way I would just take it slow and not push the extensions if they don’t feel good, it may be as simple as keeping a few more reps in the tank for a few weeks.

I think its more like a pulled muscle would feel tight. Like I said no pain just tight… Now that you mention the lower back pump, I used to get really tight in my lower back after deadlifting long before the injury. I used to think it was just my back was fried from that last set, now I’m wondering if that was a lower back pump and I didn’t realize it.

Still tight and erector feels sore… this is taking forever. I took a day off completely from the gym so I have 3 days rest, using liniment and doing nothing to agitate it. Hopefully it heals

Hate to dig this one up again but I’m still in the exact same position. I’ve attacked it from a mobility standpoint, and a stability standpoint more recently. I have gone to a PT and 2 chiropractors and I honestly am at a loss. Any ideas?

I am kind of in the same position as you. I took almost 8 weeks completely off deadlifting and squatting.

I did mostly single leg stuff for my lower body, but I did try some other exercises like belt squats and hip thrusts, which ended up aggravating my back.

I feel MOSTLY better but I have that same tightness you were talking about. My initial plan was to do light deadlifts and squats this week and gradually build back up. I started out and everything felt real good, once I got up to my work set of 385x5 it was a grinder. I am not sure if I was just weak from the time off or what, but that is a weight I could do for 15 or more reps at my peak.

I dont have the same throbbing soreness today that I would have in the past months if I tried deadlifting, so that is a plus. I might take a few weeks more though.

My advice is do glute bridges, bird dogs, abs, and mobility every day.

glutes and core, glutes and core, glutes and core and glutes and core.

do it in the mornings, do it in the evenings, do it as a warm up, do it as a cool down.

Switch to front squats and RDLs and pay very strict attention to how low you can go with each movement before your back rounds. My guess is not very low.

did I mention train your glutes and core?

Also, drop the back extensions. All they’re doing is causing your lower back to get even tighter.

you may never deadlift from the floor again. Such is life. Rack pull if you must but be careful.

@ rich I’ve tried working up slowly in deads, squats and presses the past few weeks. Like really slow but have realizd this may not be the best idea.,

@rds- fuck man never dead lifting from the floor again sounds like a death sentence. I’m only a little under 2 years into training and my Deadlift only got up to 405. I really want to get into powerlifting as well. I will do the glutes and ab thing but fuck man. I hate you right now. Haha I’m kidding but damn I didn’t want to hear that

You should probably go talk to an actual doctor as opposed to chiropractors, not taking a shot at chiros but they have a limited repertoire in most cases. Find someone in your area that works with actual athletes and active populations and not just elderly folks with hip and knee replacements.

The tightness in the erector has lessened but now there seems to be a pain in my hip/glute same side but toward the side/rear of hip. Idk hat to do. I’ve tried stability, mobility, stretching, foam rolling, even horse liniment. Dynamic stretching/the liniment seem to do the best at helping but are only temporary. The doctors around me honestly suck. My PT is terrible, nice guy but terrible, the chiros. Haven’t seemed to help, and I’ve got no other options. I wish I lived in an area that was more progressive in the field

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
The tightness in the erector has lessened but now there seems to be a pain in my hip/glute same side but toward the side/rear of hip. Idk hat to do. I’ve tried stability, mobility, stretching, foam rolling, even horse liniment. Dynamic stretching/the liniment seem to do the best at helping but are only temporary. The doctors around me honestly suck. My PT is terrible, nice guy but terrible, the chiros. Haven’t seemed to help, and I’ve got no other options. I wish I lived in an area that was more progressive in the field[/quote]

I saw my Doctor, and had tons of CT’s, and X-rays, physio, and Chiropractors, getting no results. I started working out again when I felt strong enough and confident enough. I haven’t tried Deadlifts yet, but then my priorities have changed a little - don’t wanna hurt myself, but I finished my 8th set of ten on Squats at 380lbs a couple nights ago, and had some room to spare. I’ve put on twenty lbs, and have another 10lbs to go before I’m back up to my pre-injury weight.
I think the biggest thing that I’ve changed in my routine was the warm-up. My Gym has Yoga classes, and I signed up for them. When I hit the Gym, I’ll go to Yoga for my warm-up - 1 hour of great stretching… haven’t come close to hurting myself, and I hope to keep it that way.
I hope that you will be pain-free, and start getting your Deadlift back.
You might wanna think about Aspirin, or Ibuprofen, as an extra measure before you start working out. The anti-inflammatory helps during the workouts.
(PS If Aspirin doesn’t cut it for you, ask your Doctor about prescribing Naproxen - that’s what I take now, AND don’t accept his/her advice saying Aleve is just as good and basically the same thing - IT’S NOT!!!)

is “strain” a euphemism for exploded your disc?
this next comment may be stupid to you guys, but i dont think you should arguing with a doctor about what aleve is made of