T Nation

Orthopaedic Pros Conservative?

Here is where I’m at and need to answer. I know that for the most part is has to come from me but with the huge amount of people here I know someone has answered this for themselves already. I love to lift and the goals of getting stronger and looking better are and have always been very motivating for me.

About 4 years ago I had excruciating pain in my back. My dr noticed my hip was cocked and higher on one side so he sent me to an othopedic surgeon. This guys was a total piece of shit. He told me it was normal wear and tear and to grin and bear it even though 6 weeks ago I was in the best shape and now it hurt to sit or stand.

So eventually I ended up at a CSCS certified chiro who took x-rays from the tailbone to the neck that showed I had mild scoliosis, less than 15 degrees. He moved my hip back into alignment and of course worked my back. The hip holds pretty well. He explained that the curve puts stress on the discs because it presses up against them.

I’ve been able to train this way with minor discomfort since than. Lately I made an appt with a non-surgical orthopaedic dr who took xrays and confirmed that my curve was under 15 degrees so the chiro was right. I than asked if lifting would cause the curve to worsen and he said no. Than he told me that I shouldn’t squat more than 100lbs and to just increase the reps because the spine wasn’t designed for this loading and eventually you’ll have disc problems.

Now I’m able to train full body 3x week pretty intensely if I get ART or deep tissue once a month and maybe chiro every other month. Now that I’m coming up to 31 I’m wondering if there’s any truth to what he said or if they are conservative by nature. I have a 6 week old lil girl and a very sexy gf so I’d like to be a strong and fully mobile to enjoy both of them.

Honestly I’d like to keep trying to get stronger so maybe I don’t want to hear it. Does our spine stiffen as we age to the point where after 30-35 we are just asking for it or not? I know a lot of guys on this site have disc problems and I’d be curious at what age it happened and if they were back squatting and dl’ing regular at that time? I do believe I have perfect form for all my lifts. Looking for feedback?

[quote]Shaggs wrote:
Here is where I’m at and need to answer. I know that for the most part is has to come from me but with the huge amount of people here I know someone has answered this for themselves already. I love to lift and the goals of getting stronger and looking better are and have always been very motivating for me.

About 4 years ago I had excruciating pain in my back. My dr noticed my hip was cocked and higher on one side so he sent me to an othopedic surgeon. This guys was a total piece of shit. He told me it was normal wear and tear and to grin and bear it even though 6 weeks ago I was in the best shape and now it hurt to sit or stand.

So eventually I ended up at a CSCS certified chiro who took x-rays from the tailbone to the neck that showed I had mild scoliosis, less than 15 degrees. He moved my hip back into alignment and of course worked my back. The hip holds pretty well. He explained that the curve puts stress on the discs because it presses up against them.

I’ve been able to train this way with minor discomfort since than. Lately I made an appt with a non-surgical orthopaedic dr who took xrays and confirmed that my curve was under 15 degrees so the chiro was right. I than asked if lifting would cause the curve to worsen and he said no. Than he told me that I shouldn’t squat more than 100lbs and to just increase the reps because the spine wasn’t designed for this loading and eventually you’ll have disc problems.

Now I’m able to train full body 3x week pretty intensely if I get ART or deep tissue once a month and maybe chiro every other month. Now that I’m coming up to 31 I’m wondering if there’s any truth to what he said or if they are conservative by nature. I have a 6 week old lil girl and a very sexy gf so I’d like to be a strong and fully mobile to enjoy both of them.

Honestly I’d like to keep trying to get stronger so maybe I don’t want to hear it. Does our spine stiffen as we age to the point where after 30-35 we are just asking for it or not? I know a lot of guys on this site have disc problems and I’d be curious at what age it happened and if they were back squatting and dl’ing regular at that time? I do believe I have perfect form for all my lifts. Looking for feedback?[/quote]

They are very conservative by nature, and it makes sense to me. BTW, I’m a chiropractor who is level 3 ART credentialed. But here’s the story, the orthopedic guy uses tools that are drugs and surgery.

The drugs help you deal with short term inflammation or pain. Long term pain that’s non surgical responds best to therapy and chiropractic work. So does non surgical short term pain.

Okay, if a doctor has only the option of drugs or surgery, he can’t do anything else except tell you to take it easy. a chiropractor can do adjustments, ART, and physical therapy modalities.

Now this chiropractor squats does deadlifts, heavy board presses, and so on. I’ve strained my back 20+ times and have always come back from it to lift heavy again.

They have a percentage point of conservatism for every scumbag lawyer there is in the neighborhood to sue them. In most cases, this amounts to roughly 100 within 5 or 6 blocks, so most orthopods are roughly 100% more conservative than neccessary.

Find a sports specialist with a good reputation. It’s worth the drive.

Docs of alltypes have to account for the fact that no one listens to us. If we say don’t do it for a week, people do it in a day. 100 pounds means 250 pounds and so on. Many docs know this and give somewhat overly conservative advice because people tend to not listen to your advice.

All the excellent back specialists I have seen seem to agree that back squatting (regardless of how good your form is) is tough on the spine. The shearing forces on the lower back are just too much for someone with a pre-existing injury. Do you need to back squat? I would suggest not. If you like to lift heavy, and who doesn’t, ask your doc about deadlifting. A deadlift with good form is a much safer option than a back squat.

As an aside, check out McGill’s “Ultimate back fitness and performance”. This is without a doubt the best back book I have ever read (I spent 5 months stuck in bed so I have read a few).

He has to cover his ass and understandibly will give you very conservative responses. To him, he would rather see you able to function in daily life, rather than risk irreversible injury pursuing a hobby.

For athletic injuries, it is important to also see a physician who is an athlete, who may have a better understanding of your condidition.

hope that helps,
beef

Cool, thanks for all the advice. I’ve heard people give good remarks on the back book before so I’ll have to get it. Thanks again.