Any back gurus, need your help. For a while now I’ve been getting back pain in the lower thoracic/upper lumbar region when doing crunches. I can’t work my abs to the point where they’re getting remotely fatigued as the pain gets bad enough that I have to stop. Any opinions on what the hell is going on here? Any advice on how to get rid of this problem would be really appreciated. Thanks all.
This is what I’ve learned from the physical therapists I’ve talked to. The pain is probably from your intervertebral disks (cushions between vertebrae). When too much pressure is put on the front of these disks (by bending forward and rounding the back) the “gel” inside these disks is all pushed to the back of the disk, putting pressure on the walls of the disk. Over time, a crack can develop in the disk wall, and, in a serious case, the gel could push all the way through (ruptured disk) (might happen from trying to lift a heavy box improperly). I would guess that the rounding of your back when doing crunches is putting pressure on your thoracic/lumbar disks. Maybe if you balance it out by pushing the gel back toward the front between sets. Try this: lie on your stomach and point your toes out. Do a push-up, except dont let your legs come off the ground and completely relax your lower back muscles. Your back should arch to the max. The farther forward you put your hands, the higher on the spine the bend will be concentrated. Do ten reps of this several times a day. However, the most important thing is keeping good posture all day long - don’t slouch! It’s a hard habit to break, but after you get used to it, you’ll notice a big difference. Now, I’m no expert, this might not even be your problem, but this is what most lower back pain comes from, and an effective way to treat it. It’s helped me. Good luck!
thanks for the advice Patman. I will certainly try that out. How did you work your abs when you had this problem?
If you have no problems in your spine/discs, you should probably work your lower back more. Hyperextensions and deadlifts help strangthen the area. Hood luck. Also, people w/ lower back problems tend to be able to do crunches on a swiss ball bc of the extra support it provides.
Actually, I didn’t work my abs during that time, but that was before I knew about what caused it and how to treat it. Sorry I can’t help you there, but just try the press-ups and see if it gets better.
Have you read any of the Westside articles on this? read the iterveiw with Louie here at t mag. you got to do reverse hypers, to prevent it happening and to resotre it once you injure it.