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Managing Chronic Lower Back Pain

I have had chronic lower back pain for about two years. I essentially blew out my back squatting 450, my hips shifted in the hole and that was that. MRI showed only a minor disc bulge on the left side of L5-S1 but all my symptoms are on the right side. Long story short I thought I had rehabbed it successfully and was doing quite well until February. All my symptoms started up again and I was back in pain again. Its been three months of flare ups and very small progress and it looks as if I will now always be in pain to a degree along with my refereed symptoms. I am getting to the point where I am going to just get back into lifting and learn to deal with it because nothing is seeming to work.

I have self educated my self and read just about everything I can get my hands on regarding lower back. I do all of the basic spinal stability exercises, mobility, soft tissue work, ice, NSAID, Chiro, ART etc. I was wondering how other guys deal with this problem because I am getting sick and tired of not training, it has been a part of my life since I was 14 and its psychologically killing me. Next week I am going to a pain clinic and could possibly be getting a set of epidurals. For pain I have only been taking Percocet for the past two weeks but am afraid of its loosing its effectiveness and really do not want do go down that road.

I have the exact same problem. In December '09 I took 415 for a ride and destroyed my lower back. Same diagnosis from the Chiro.

I didn’t do any sort of therapy for the first year (probably should have). I started up Chiro a few months ago and did it for about a month. My mobility increased a bit, but the pain was still there.

Recently I started doing a few different yoga stretches on a daily basis (as per the article on this site “Yoga, Yes Yoga for Big Bastards”). It seems to make the pain almost entirely disappear at least for a limited window of time. I do them before and after training. Seems to be working a lot better than the Chiro.

All in all though, I’m quite sure this thing will be bugging me for the rest of my life. The yoga is making it much more manageable.

I read your post and see that you have been practicing lots of different rehab techniques… Thought I would chime in anyway on the subject. Who knows, you may find it works well for you too!

It looks like were in the same boat. The stretching can help especially mid day and before bed. I just started acupuncture which I hope will help with the cramping which is my main issue all the leg symptoms having leveled out. I am slowly getting back into loaded single leg work and most of ADL’s I can go about with only discomfort.

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That is a possibility I have not thought of yet. All the doctors and specialist that I have gone to have always say there is something wrong with my spine they just do not know what it is. Is there any way that I could test if I have a misaligned SI joint and if so how would I work on correcting this?