T Nation

Prominent Sacral Vertebra

My first sacral vertebra (guess it’s that one) is prominent/can be “felt”/is out of line by a few milimetres (<1/5 of an inch). I don’t know how it was 7 years ago (before I ever touched a weight)…

I don’t have any pain on DLs (1RM: double body-weight - 300 lbs; although sometimes it does hurt a little) nor on back flexion-extension exercises (isolated) (using 80 lbs), in fact, I don’t have any back pain.

(except when/if I manage to combine flexion with rotation - once in a blue moon - that hurts)

Also, I didn’t suffer any mechanical trauma these last few years, at least nothing notable.

Based on what I said (practically no back pain), what’s the chance that I have spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebrae)?
And no, I don’t insist on getting an X-ray. It’d be a pelvic X-ray and it’d irradiate my balls.

Many thanks, Eisen

Flexion and rotation is a common movement that causes and aggravates disc injuries. That is a possibility. Also, if the vertebrae was no in correct alignment 7 years ago, and still is today, then you have some serious chronic issue going on. Could be a facet issue that is aggravated by the flexion and rotation combination.

I know you don’t want anybody to say it, but the only way to rule out a spondy is by getting an xray or some other imagining.

Also, are you sure you mean “sacral vertebrae” or are you referring to lumbar vertebrae?

If you have no back pain, then don’t worry. You chose the wrong parents, sorry. It is possible to have congenital spondylolisthesis. In all honesty, continue with what you’ve been doing if it doesn’t aggravate anything. No reason for imaging unless you lose control of bowel/bladder or sudden loss of motor activity in your lower extremities. All imaging does is show anatomy, not pain. If you’re over 40 you have degenerative disc disease. You also have a 50% chance of a disc herniation via MRI.

95% it’s sacral.

@LevelHeaded: thanks, but, my back was in a much worse condition (or my form was much worse, or both) 7 years ago. It would hurt on DLs, squats and flexion. Now I can DL, squat, and do weighted flexion (with up to 90 lbs) with no pain whatsoever, neither in training, neither after (I do get a little tingly sometimes, but it seems to be getting better as I progress, not worse)

Also, I dunno if it’s not in alignment or “simply” prominent, and, most importantly, I’m getting near a grandiose double BW DL, and my back doesn’t hurt neither when testing my 1RM, neither when doing 12 reps @ 75%, 8@85% or 10 SLDLs @75% (75% = 1.5 BW) (mentioning these because they’re different animals).

(sometimes, I do get a little pain, but if it is, it’s the first few reps of one set, and, overall, in the last two years, my back got from bad to good to better…and now it’s going between good and better, but I know that heavy DLs mean you may get some pain once in a while…)

@olifter: Well, I read an article by Mell Siff, I think, it was something like “What is normal?”, and about the spine. So s-lysthesis (if you have it) is not a sentence to not deadlifting heavy?

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You mean that you can only say that I’m whether fine/a hypochondriac or that I’m stupid? Please, if it sounds like I’m fine and a hypochondriac, do tell me. Mean it.
And say anything, be harsh, whatever. I’d still appreciate the opinion.
And many thanks for chiming in.

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Thank you very much BBB. Yeah, if things keep getting better or stay the same I should be happy.
Live long, and prosper, and may your joints and muscles keep their health unto old age. :slight_smile:

Finally got an X-ray, since spondylolisthesis would’be been easily visible.

Results: I haven’t got s-listhesis!!! WOOHOOO!!!

I still have my old scoliosis, and I have a “pinched”/compressed discal space between L3 and L4 (I guess it simply means a compressed disc between L3 and L4).

Most probably, this is why I keep having an ever-so-slight feeling of “off” in my left leg (can’t quite describe… I just feel my left leg a bit different, comparing to my right leg).

OTOH, about 6 years ago, it actually got pretty numb for a few hours (and I created a thread whining that I’m afraid my leg might paralyze…), and I had really ugly pain when deadlifting, squatting or doing rounded back lifts.
Now, I can DL 150 w/o pain or numbness, and I can do more than 12 hypers with 50 kg and spinal flexion and it feels GREAT (the hypers). So, at least, the lifting didn’t aggravate anything, it actually reduced the symptoms.

So, if you want to convince your SO/doc/parent/sponsor/whatever that lifting is good fer your back, and you need one more story (apart from Dave Tate and the hundreds of guys who DL >400 AFTER having had a disc herniation…or more than one), here it is.

Wishing you strong and healthy spines,
High T,