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Reoccurring Lower Back Problems

Hi
I’m 24 years old male, been lifting for nearly 10 years consistently, along with occasionally adding other sports, mainly Muay Thai.

I have been dealing with issues in my lower back for the past 3 years. It all started when I was still in college, had a new born baby, and worked 3 nights a week, while still hitting it hard 2x a week in the gym and not scaling back often enough given my lack of rest time.
I pulled a 200kg deadlift, which was OK, but then I decided to go for a second rep. My lower back rounded as I pulled and at lockout I likely done some damage but it didn’t show until next week when one morning I coughed and I felt a brutal shooting pain in the right side of my low back.

This slowly improved so much so that I could be bacj in training as long as I paid attention to my form. Then 5 months from there it started to get bad again and I finally seen a chiropractor who rubbed out the knot, which is allegedly a loose ligament ‘rolled up’ aggregating the joints and sciatic nerve. I had this injury coming back to bite me about every 7 to 12 months, either unexpectedly, or after losing pelvic stability when squatting, in which case I felt kind of a crack in the area followed by a sharp pain.

In all cases, chiropractor and rest usually fixed the issue in a week or 2 enough so that I could ease myself back into training.

The reason I decided to write this (not so short) post, is because lately it has been a bit more annoying than I’m used to, even tho gyms are closed, I’m training at home with no access to weights heavier than about 20-25kg, which is my full gym back plus a 15kg dumbbell in it for improvised stone carrys, but because of my back I rarely do them.
It’s getting to the point when it flares up after I have a run, sometimes after normal bodyweight workouts for lower body.
I tried yoga (usually makes it worse), some stretches I do morning and night, only takes 2 mins, helps me keep it in check most times, and I started a warm up routine 6-7 weeks ago to improve anterior pelvic tilt because I seem to have it, which also results in butt wink when I squat with a bar, and I’m sure it makes running more harmful as well.
Usually I feel a slight lump on the right side of my low back/pelvis a little bigger than on the left when it flares up, and I have trouble standing up straight.

Apologies for the long post, I wanted to give a picture as clear as possible of the issue, maybe some of you have seen or experienced similar before.

I really appreciate any help at all, thank you in advance.

you sure its anterior pelvic tilt not posterior tilt? . . .

Do you do much sitting and/or driving in a day?

I have posterior, and butt wink if i squat too deep, and my lower back gets aggrevated from driving (which i do for 4/5 hrs a day to get to and from work)

First I thought it’s posterior, and worked on that. But if I stand up the arch in my back is a bit excessive, (except when it’s flared up, then I can’t straighten it and my pelvis is tucket underneath me too much) my butt sticks out too much and you can see the angle of my pelvis. Those with anterior tilt tend to develop buttwink, I think it’s to do with hip angle, as well as obviously the hip socket depth

Have you researched the QL muscle function and pt for it?

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That’s one I didn’t hear about yet. I came across sciatic nerve, SI Joint, different pelvic tilts, but not that one.
From the quick research I done now, I beleive it is part of the problem. I am pretty sure when my back flares up, that is the muscle that spasms up to keep me together, because I can see the muscles in my back being flat where they used to bulge a little and all pulling to the lumbar/pelvic area on the right side.

If the QL is jacked up, it can be caused by tight hamstrings. Tight hams can make everything else act up. I suggest 2-3 sets of high rep leg curls before squats. Not really hard as work sets, but make them hot and flexible.
Also, lots of smarter people than me suggest squatting only to the point before butt wink occurs.

Now it kind of confuses me. I regularly stretch post workout, and some workouts I do 300 reps of banded leg curls, and since gyms been closed for a good 7 or so weeks, if not more, in my country, I had no chance to squat other than air Squats or 15kg DB goblet Squats, and just today it’s flared up again.
Some days even things simple as sit ups aggravate it.
I was doing Wenning warm-ups, I don’t know if you are familiar with them, basically 3 exercises in a circuit for either lower or upper body for 4 sets of 25. One of these for lower was leg curls, this was before I went to do heavy work, supplemental or assistance at all. And interestingly my back got quite good at that time when I used to do those. I might start that again to the best of my abilities in my house with the gear I have.
But I don’t know if QL is the only problem, given that after yesterday’s lower body workout it’s flared, which had wide air Squats as the main movement for max reps, didn’t produce essentially any axial loading as there was no weight on me in any way. Also, I usually aim to stop before buttwink occurs since my last visit to the chiro which was in August after properly cracking the same area with losing my pelvic stability on Squats.
Either way, I am gonna try doing Wenning warm-up again before lower days once my flared up back settles down, but if any of what I wrote gives you any other clues, I’m open to anything.

Have you only gone to a chiropractor and not a back specialist? Many years ago when I was injured, I went to two chiropractors who did some BS, told me some BS, and put me through a lot of pain for the greater good, before I went to a back specialist who did an MRI and told me I F’ed it up really good. She actually helped me, the chiropractors were out of their element.

The first time I ever I felt it being bad I left it for 5 months because it got better itself, then one day it went completely so much I couldn’t stand up even half way, just through leaning on my right knee with my arm. Then I went to the chiro, and they rubbed out whatever was stuck in like 10 mins, then after about 3 days of rest I could walk, and after about a week and a half 2 weeks off I could train almost perfectly. But then this happened every 7-12 months since, and since the first time it helped I went back to the chiro. The second visit fixed it for a full year. Then from there it went back to every 7 months or so, right now its only been 5 since my last visit and I feel close to a state I was in last time I went.

But long story short, never had it checked out by a specialist. I am seriously contemplating it, I just really wanted to try and fix it myself first because I want to avoid surgery or injections since I’m only in my mid 20s.

I posted this in another thread right after I responded to you;

For me, it was rehab. Specific exercises and traction(hooked up to a machine that pulls you apart). I think traction is what finally did it.

I had a slipped disc and bulged one pressing against the sciatic nerve.

I imagine hanging from a pullup bar with something hanging from waist or below will be like traction. But I’m hesitant to recommend anything because your back is important for the rest of your life. I didn’t need any surgery or injections. I did have a friend at the time who had two back surgeries that brought him no relief. I also heard stories at the time from people who said surgery is a hit or miss on fixing the problem. So, I agree with you on the surgeries. But it wouldn’t hurt to have an MRI performed and have a dr tell you exactly what is going on.

I too was in a position where I could not stand up straight and walked bent over.

Maybe it’d be worth getting checked with an MRI.
I did loaded stretching before, not for lower back traction but for lat stretching, but obviously traction was kind of a consequence of it. It didn’t really do any harm for sure.
I really do want to know what could be wrong because self-diagnose obviously has its downfalls, like a 3 year stretch of reoccurring problems.
Because I was told about the sciatic nerve and loose ligaments, when I researched the topic back then I kept coming across statements saying that ligament and nerve problems don’t really show on X-Rays or MRIs, but given that I could have similar issues as yourself, maybe an MRI along with a doctor’s opinion would do me some favours

So just an update, in case anyone has similar problems and could get closer to fixing it through this.
First thing was I got cracked out (for the millionth time) by the chiropractor. It put things back in place so I was able to walk fine in a few days. Instead of going back to training and wrecking it again, I booked an appointment with a movement specialist.

I’m the meantime, I got myself some BPC-157, taking it 250mcg 2x a day, once 4.30-5.15am, once 3.30-4.15pm. It is not going to fix the root of the problem but it will help the battered ligaments and joints heal in my lower back. And it’s been noticeably helping, I have a lot less pain, and while I have some discomfort with certain movements because of the underlying problem, I feel the damage itself improved a lot.

I seen the specialist for an assessment. I have problems with my feet/ankles, arches falling inward, tight/overprotective right hamstring, and right side of the pelvis being higher than left. Also some issues with hip rotation, hence why squatting tends to be a trigger for my pains.

I am not going to post the specialist’s recommendations in detail, afterall he makes a living from helping people like myself, but if you have reoccurring back pain, look at some of the points I mentioned above and maybe you will see some similarities.

I will post some updates on improvements of the injury and body function.

Chronic lower back pain and neuropathy for many decades.
Activities thru age 20’s and up. Gym, weights, running, Karate (ran several full size dojo’s also compeitition), golf (lots of compound twisting).
Eventual lower back discectomy to reduce severe nerve impingement and spinal cord compression from a ruptured disc. Still unstable. Fusion would have been better perhaps. Long recovery. Regained use of leg that was progressively weakening. Neutropathy pain, etc, still some after effects. No longer able to lift anything.

doctors: MD’s, Neurologists, spine surgeons, pain management sports MD’s (no chiropractors, only MD Specialists).
diagnostics: Xrays, MRI’s (a must to show soft tissue, nerve impingent, etc)
PT and rehab: Program by Sports and recovery MD’s.

Be careful. Suggest the best MD’s and diagnostics, MRI’s, etc, that you can get.

Thank you. Hopefully the issue isn’t so severe at this point.
If all goes well, I can fix the underlying issue with my posture and different parts of my lower half and avoid surgery, but if it doesn’t get fixed I am likely going to start with an MRI.
Also, I’m not sure if possible, but I hope you will get better yourself overtime.

Thanks for the encouragement.
Yes. Beginning with an MRI and a MD specialist can be a good starting point to know exactly where you are at and to make a comprehensive health and recovery plan going forward. Sometimes, a simple xray and chiro visit doesn’t show enough. I depends on what you have available to you as far as medical diagnostic resources, insurance, etc. Everyone had different experiences and opinions. Do what’s right for you.
Aloha
Kamuela
ps: a handicap license plate is not something that anyone wants to earn early in life.

The last post I put in before you posted in the thread describes the last diagnose I received. It seems there are no issues with my back itself, so I am willing to give a go to fixing underlying problems such as feet turned slightly onto the inner arches, or higher right hip than left, before turning to doctors.
Definitely not, I’m not planning on one of those myself.