T Nation

Training Around Low Back Injury


#1

I've been lifting seriously for about the past year. Up until the past couple months I followed 5/3/1 to the dot and made great progress. At the beginning of fall I decided to change my squat and go for a more narrow stance and go much deeper. I did this for a couple months not even considering mobility.

While attempting a new max I felt an extremely sharp pain in my lower left back. When racking the bar my back felt so stiff I could barely get out from under the bar. Talking to a doctor and my PT, I had strained or possibly slightly torn my lower left erector most likely from lack of mobility as I was experiencing "butt wink" in the hole.

The past few months I've been making mobility work more of a priority by using the book "Becoming a Supple Leopard". The pain overall has gotten better but it is far from healed. After the injury first appeared I stopped 5/3/1 and moved to Korte's 3x3 hoping the low weight high volume would feel better to my back. While I've been able to do the program I'm sure it's hindering my recovery especially since every couple weeks the pain seems to flare back up. My only goal is strength at this point especially in my squat so not squatting is a hard option to consider.

So my question is this: how should I be structuring my lifting around this injury? Should I just put everything on hold and strictly work on mobility and rehab? If so what should I do besides stretching and soft tissue work with a lacrosse ball? My biggest fear is obviously losing strength in my lifts but also muscle that I've put on. Are there things I can do to try and maintain while I'm healing?

Thanks in advance for any advice


#2

Hey man
With my personal experience with lifting I advise you to scrap the narrow stance. Narrow stance puts more stress on the lower back and quads. If your looking for more quad work do front squats, split squats, lunges and or high step ups.
Also do more glute and ab work.

With your workout find as many ways possible to make your erectors DO AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
This means no heavy weights and maybe more machines for the meantime considering the erectors are used for almost every free weight exercise, which you will find when you try to workout.
Give it time to heal then take my advice about quad work.
Blood flow equals healing, one thing I do to any injury is mega dose vitamins and contrast showers hot/cold 30 seconds for as many times as I can stand it (almost scalding hot then ice cold, repeat till you hate yourself)
This will help. If you do too much too fast you will re injury yourself.
Take it slow, good luck