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Preventative Back Maintenance

I know this topic has been done to death, but I’m hoping some of you bright guys will have insight for me. I make sure I keep my back tight for deadlifts and squats, but I inevitably have some lower back pain the next day. I make sure to keep the volume lower (heavy weights, reduced number of sets) so that I don’t hurt anything. However, I often have pains that run from my lower back down into my leg… almost like sciatica, but it isn’t consistent.

Basically, I’m looking for anything (that doesn’t involve going to a doctor) that can help me strengthen the posterior chain without comprimising my regular lifting.

BTW: I do make sure to stretch my hip flexors just about every day, which tends to help with some of the lower back issues.

You said you do not want to go to a doctor, does that include a chiropractor? If not, I would get adjusted reg. Also, some myofascial release on the Glutes, (even w/a foam roller or stick, or even sitting on a tennis ball) stretch the rotators of the hip, hammies, quads,and calves and warm-up and COOL DOWN (don’t just leave the gym and drive sitting in your car for a length of time after a 3RM on deadlifts!) properly and that should help.

Cheers,

Tags

Nephron,
I’d say that you are a little past preventative maintenance if you are consistantly experienceing referred pain (ie running down your leg).

In addition to the foam roller (which is great) and cool down recs, I’d add the following:

  1. Check out the No More Neanderthal series. I think #3 looks at postural problems. See if a picture of you matches the one with excess lordosis. That can often result in the kind of pain you mention.

  2. How much core work do you do? I’ve found relationships in my low back health between how strong my core is and how my low back feels.

  3. The NNM series gives some great tips for glute activation. Weak glutes compound the hip flexor and /or lordosis issues. I can’t recommend this program strongly enough.

  4. Get a good, honest assesment of your weakpoints and emphasize them. NNM is a generic program that targets common weight trainer condidtions, but you can/should customize.

5)To #4 above, the low back tends to be the place that all sorts of structural, postural areas show up as pain/injury. However, the root of the problem is often elsewhere.

  1. You might want to email Eric C or Mike R. for specific suggestions.

Internet diagosis is tough. I can only give you generalzed recommendations based upon what you’ve said. Good luck.
old dogg

The foam roller has been a real help in reducing my back pain as well. Using it on my glutes, hips, and lower back has greatly reduced my low back pain following deads and squats.

Good luck. Low back pain sucks!

chcek out this link:

http://www.drbackman.com/piriformis-muscle-stretch.htm

In some people the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis causing nerve discomfort.

Also, what is your stretch routine?
This may seem counterintuitive, but stretching your hams and not your quads may exacerbate the problem. If you are quad dominate (which most are), stretching the hams will make them weaker, thus making them work harder.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
Also, what is your stretch routine?
This may seem counterintuitive, but stretching your hams and not your quads may exacerbate the problem. If you are quad dominate (which most are), stretching the hams will make them weaker, thus making them work harder.[/quote]

I actually don’t really have a stretch routine. I stretch my hip flexors before squats and deadlifts, and that’s about it.