Please forgive my mistakes. I was only 19yo, and had nobody to show me correct form. Nor did I have access to this great site: T-Nation. I shall begin my loback history.
April 2004: strained Left rhomboid?? (docs never knew) while deadlifting 405lb PR
July 2004: Deadlift for the first time after rhomboid injury 315lb bad form, shoulders in front of bar - left loback (QL??) pain
July-Nov 2005: stopped doing deads. Squatted occasionally. I constantly experimented with ways of working around my injury. Leg press, hack squat - they all hindered my loback recovery process b/c they all caused the loback to pop. Whenever my Left loback pops, I know I will be in pain the next morning.
Dec 2005: First time deadlift - worked up to 345lb 1RM - small pop. So I stopped deads for a few weeks.
Feb 2005: Read numerous deadlift articles on this site (including yours). I realized my mistake, I used to deadlift and squat with a very arched back & major anterior pelvic tilt. This placed alot of pressure on the L5,Sacral vertabrae area. I began deading with a slight pelvic tilt (flat back) and my loback held up. I have powerful glutes. Hams are normal, but weak compared to quads (I have genetically strong legs, when compared to my upper body). With a posterior pelvic tilt, I could not recruit my hamstrings as much, but I'd rather not kill my back again. So I began deading light at 225lb.
April 6, 2005: dead 295lb 5x4reps
April 7, 2005: loback sore. I was hyped to try out the snatch, which I've never done before. So I warmed up with the bar, then 95lb. When I exploded my hips, I felt a sharp pain blast across my sacroiliac area. I was in pain for a few minutes. Stopped deads for the next few months.
June 7, 2005: back feels better, so I do rack pulls. 225lb 6x4reps
June 10, 2005: a girl stepped on my back to massage me and the next morning, loback pain. It's been downhill from there.
August 2005: the pain seems to be in sacrospinalis tendon where it inserts into the anterior side of the hipbone on the iliac crest. The left side seems more injured. My friend lent me a pair of gravity boots. If I hang for 5 mins, the back will loosen up, no pain, no tightness. Sometimes it loosens, sometimes it doesn't. There is no pain in my legs so no nerve pinching. I don't think its a spine issue. Maybe a torn ligament or tendon in the sacroiliac region.
I apologize if this is long. I'm in mental agony and depression from not being able to train. I recently read about Westside, and was so eager to try it. But shoulder & loback injuries prevent me from doing Max Effort lifts. Do you have any advice or rehab exercises? Thank you so much for your time.
PS: some more tips that might help
-I used to lug a duffel bag (10-15lb) hanging on my right shoulder. Maybe that's what pre-exhausted the left QL and made it more prone to injury during heavy squats and deads.
-My leg workouts used to be squats, leg press, and finally deadlifts. Got that from Arnold's encyclopedia.
-When I used to dead in 2004, I never retracted my scapula at the top, maybe that's what led to my rhomboid injury in April 2004.
-The left leg is about 3/16" lower than my right. Thus, I always catch myself favoring the right leg.