T Nation

Making Sure Not to Herniated a Disc

I went heavier than I ever have with deadlifts today, and toward the end of a set I felt a terrible weakness in my lower erectors and a dangerous sagging feeling.

A few minutes later I noticed that my lower erectors (lliocostalis lumborum, multifidus and maybe quadratus lumborum?) were in pain whenever I bent down or placed unilateral loading on my body. I stopped deadlifts since I couldn’t stabilize my core without pain.

There is no pain with: palpation, minor unloaded spinal flexion, spinal rotation

There is pain with: loaded spinal flexion and rotation, and significant stretching of the muscles

The pain does not radiate down my leg.

If anything, this feels like extremely accelerated and slightly more painful DOMS.

Is this just a case of overdoing it? I don’t think I herniated a disc, but I just want to hear from people who know more about hernias than I do to be sure. Are there any tests for hernias besides MRI and the radiation down the leg?

If you are not feeling pain down your legs, and if you still have sensation in your legs (no pinched or severed nerves), then its probably not a disc injury. No one over the Internet can tell you for sure. You seem to have a good anatomical understanding of your body.

As for a test, there are none that can be done just by feeling around. I HAD a herniation a few months ago and my chiropractor did/could not find it by looking around (I had drop foot).

Second, don’t aggravate it by loading your spine or excessively rotating it. Stick to light lumbar spinal stretches only if they do not cause your discomfort. Make sure you are NOT loading your spine at all while doing this (lie on the ground, don’t let your erectors support your body).

Go see a ‘good’ physio and get the all clear.

Thanks. Hopefully I can find a PT or a sports doctor soon, but it’s good to hear that it doesn’t sound like a hernia. I’ll keep an eye out for other neurological weirdness like dropfoot.

I’m going on vacation for a couple weeks and I’ll be doing isometrics and bodyweight exercises, that should be pretty easy on my back.

If it’s a hernia, you should be able to feel it using pressure from your fingers whilst at the same time coughing to push the diaphragm and press on the abdomen.