T Nation

Squatting after a back injury

I have injured my lower back, my hips were out of place and my sacrum was twisted which cause some nerves to be stretched and possibly slight damage to a disk, but my chiropractor doesnt think i have a disk problem. He says i should avoid squats when i get back to training. Has any one had a back injury and safely resumed squatting. If so what did you do to strengthen your lower back back to normal or even better than before?

As I’ve mentioned in Tampa-Terry’s thread on squatting problems, I have a chronic SI joint sprain. Don’t know how that relates to your injury, though. When I first injured it, I was on heavy pain/relaxer meds (2 Vicoden and a Soma every 4 hours 'round the clock), had PT 3-4 times a week (traction, massage, moist heat, infrared) and was flat on my back the rest of the day for a month straight. It took about 4 months to “fully” recover - and all that means is that I could move without pain and meds.

You’ve probably been shown the basic Swiss ball exercises for for stetching and strenghtening your back in the rehab phase. Do them. You feel like an idiot, but do them anyway. As far as what to do in the gym, I started out with hypers, Smith squats and RDLs. They remain a staple now (except I free squat instead of Smithing it). If I slack on these, or on abs, then I feel that familiar twinge come back. And as far as getting back to full strength and beyond, barring a more serious injury, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to. While I don’t stack five plates on each sideof the bar or hoist Herculean objects over my head, I do increase my poundages, reps or sets each week and can’t fathom any reason why that trend would fail.

The Westside gang swears by the reverse hyper to keep the lower back healthy. Although most gyms don’t have a dedicated machine, you can usually use a roman chair (hold onto the footrest with your hands and place your stomach on the hiprest) to approximate the movement. Can’t see that it would hurt to do a couple of sets like that (along with some regular hypers) and see how things work out.