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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:24 am 
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Hi fellas, it's been a while. Sorry but this is gonna be a long post.

I got back into training about 2 months ago, having purchased a solid olympic bar squat/bench setup.
I decided I'd start on the 5x5 workout because I've read so much about it, and it eases your body back into working out.

Anyhoo, 5th week in, everything was going fine, but at some point after one of the deadlift days (I had 70kg on the bar) I felt a pain in my left lower back, radiating down my left leg. It disappeared and I stretched my hips quite a bit and gave it a few days off, but jumped back in (probably too soon).

I was down in the garage starting where I left off and got through the warm up squat sets easily, then I got through the first work set easily (55kg on the bar - I find it easy to lift, but obviously my lower back doesn't) and on the second set on the way up I just felt this agonising ping in my lower back and was barely able to re-rack the bar. Anyway I had to wait in the garage until my girlfriend got home from work. Then my brother had to come over to help me up the stairs. I was completely out of action for about 3 days with bad pain through my left lower back, hips, and down my left leg.

My GP said I'd most likely torn a muscle (the fv(k?) because there was so much guarding going on down the left side of my spine, and I'd herniated a disc. He said to take it easy, take analgesics, painkillers, etc. Give it a few months before you do any load bearing exercises with your spine again, and be very careful with your form.

Anyway it's been about 3 weeks and it's fine now. I was told in most cases the herniation sort of "slips" back into place between the vertebrae on it's own, which I guess has happened.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend's father, who is also a GP, and did the first Degree in Sports Science that became available in the UK in the 70's, is pretty old school in his thinking. He said (DON'T BITE MY HEAD OFF, I'M JUST REPEATING WHAT HE SAID) the human body isn't really supposed to lift huge amounts of weight and I shouldn't be aiming to do so anyhow. It's bad for the our joints and the ligaments can't adapt as well as the muscles. He said stick to higher reps - 20-25 of a lower weight. One analogy he used which I did appreciate was that of our friend paleoman. He said "when the tribesmen went out hunting, one man didn't carry the kill home by himself. They all helped drag it back together, or cut it up and brought pieces back. It's similar to what I'm suggesting. More reps of a lower weight".

So I'm 28 now, but from the ages of 3-16 was on prednisone (quarterzone) on dosages ranging from 5-80mg a day for a kidney disorder. Apparently prednisone can weaken your ligaments and give you early onset osteoporosis :headbang:
I'm thinking maybe I should listen to my girlfriend's dad. I don't know how I'll ever have the confidence to squat again though after that pain.

Has anybody here had a similar experience and can tell me how they eased back into it? Can you guys suggest stretches or exercises to strengthen the lower back to prevent something like this happening again?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:44 am 
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Location: Buckhannon, WV
I wouldn't go back to training without the go ahead from the DR or chiropractor if it was a serious back issue.

When I hurt my back, I stopped all exercises completely until I had no sign of pain whatsoever, although I probably should have kept doing something for upper body/legs. Once I felt confident, I dropped the weight quite significantly to work on form corrections and worked my way back up. I attribute hurting my back that time to bad form.

As far as lifting heavy weight. What you and I do is not considered heavy or 'huge'. Once you get into the 1000-1500+ total weight (lb) lifted for Squat/Deadlift/Bench Press, then you can start saying heavy weight is being lifted. I am not familiar with early onset osteoporosis though, so take this view of heavy weights with that in mind.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:22 am 
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Thanks moss. Could you walk when you hurt your back? Did you do something similar to what I described?

Yeah I understand what I'm lifting isn't huge or even particularly heavy. I was always aiming at powerlifting, stronglifts type stuff, but I didn't make it past week 5 this time around. :thumbright:

I obviously have a problem with form. I think I might have been going too low whilst doing low bar squats and rounded my lower back. I read this earlier - http://www.biomechfit.com/2013/03/05/squat-neutral-spine - seems about right.

I might get some sort of box to squat onto so I can get used to the height at which I should stop when I'm doing low bar squats. What are those things called that stack on top of each other? Anyone? Anyone?
Rhomboid boxes or something?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:36 am
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ballophun wrote:
Anyhoo, 5th week in, everything was going fine, but at some point after one of the deadlift days (I had 70kg on the bar) I felt a pain in my left lower back, radiating down my left leg. It disappeared and I stretched my hips quite a bit and gave it a few days off, but jumped back in (probably too soon).

I was down in the garage starting where I left off and got through the warm up squat sets easily, then I got through the first work set easily (55kg on the bar - I find it easy to lift, but obviously my lower back doesn't) and on the second set on the way up I just felt this agonising ping in my lower back and was barely able to re-rack the bar. Anyway I had to wait in the garage until my girlfriend got home from work. Then my brother had to come over to help me up the stairs. I was completely out of action for about 3 days with bad pain through my left lower back, hips, and down my left leg.


Sciatic Nerve

Years ago, I had a similar pain. It was my sciatic nerve.

It ran from my leg down to my foot.

I got it from twisting with a heavy deadlift at a meet.

So, it could be a sciatic nerve problem, perhaps something else.


Quote:
My GP said I'd most likely torn a muscle (the fv(k?) because there was so much guarding going on down the left side of my spine, and I'd herniated a disc. He said to take it easy, take analgesics, painkillers, etc. Give it a few months before you do any load bearing exercises with your spine again, and be very careful with your form.


It could be what the GP said.

GENERAL Practitioner

However, a "GP" is a guy who a "Jack of all trades and maser of none".

In other word, he's guessing.


Quote:
Meanwhile, my girlfriend's father, who is also a GP, and did the first Degree in Sports Science that became available in the UK in the 70's, is pretty old school in his thinking. He said (DON'T BITE MY HEAD OFF, I'M JUST REPEATING WHAT HE SAID) the human body isn't really supposed to lift huge amounts of weight and I shouldn't be aiming to do so anyhow. It's bad for the our joints and the ligaments can't adapt as well as the muscles. He said stick to higher reps - 20-25 of a lower weight. One analogy he used which I did appreciate was that of our friend paleoman. He said "when the tribesmen went out hunting, one man didn't carry the kill home by himself. They all helped drag it back together, or cut it up and brought pieces back. It's similar to what I'm suggesting. More reps of a lower weight".


Another GP?

When in doubt go back to the rule above.

A GP is a "Jack of all trades and master of none.

So, you got two guy who are at the bottom of the knowledge pool on lifting entertaining the idea they actually know something.

1970's Degree In Sports Science

It appears that he's still living in the dark ages of sport science. His knowledge based on what he learned close 40 years ago.

The Human Body isn't suppose to...

There are degrees of what the human body is an is NOT capable of doing.

The problem is that not one really knows until they cross the line. The problem being that you don't know where the line is until you cross it.

..."Joints and the ligaments can't adapt as well as the muscles."

That partially true.

The real truth is the do adapt over time.

20 -25 Reps

That works great for strength ENDURANCE but not much else.

However, that rep range does nothing to increase strength/power/speed and is not the most effective for hypertrophy.

Sprint Training

Performing 20 - 25 reps is like having a 100 meter sprinter train by running 1600 meters.

Rewriting The Tribesman Analogy

This the more correct version of his analogy.

NO one muscle group caries the kill (load/weight) home by himself. All of the muscle groups helped drag it back together.

Each muscle group cuts it up the load/weight and brings back the pieces.

More Reps Less Weight

Again, the works for Strength ENDURANCE training but does NOTHING for increasing Limit Strength.

The Foundation of Power and Speed

Limit Strength is the FOUNDATION of Power and Speed.

Limit Strength is like putting a bigger engine in your car.

The bigger the engine, more power and speed you can produce...up to a point.


Quote:
So I'm 28 now, but from the ages of 3-16 was on prednisone (quarterzone) on dosages ranging from 5-80mg a day for a kidney disorder. Apparently prednisone can weaken your ligaments and give you early onset osteoporosis :headbang:


Jungledoc

This is more in his area, not mine. He can provide you with a more informative answer.


Quote:
I'm thinking maybe I should listen to my girlfriend's dad. I don't know how I'll ever have the confidence to squat again though after that pain.


High Rep

Some high rep train could help with your recovery.

Girl's Friend Dad

This guy needs to go back to school. He's been living in the dark for close to 40 years.

No Confidence

I understand that as most do who have had injuries.

However, quitting never gets you anywhere.

It took me 6 months to come back from my sciatic nerve problem.

It took me about a year to come back from a partially torn pec

It took about a year to come back from a hernia operation

Quote:
Has anybody here had a similar experience and can tell me how they eased back into it? Can you guys suggest stretches or exercises to strengthen the lower back to prevent something like this happening again?


Starting Back

1) Start with a very low load.

2) Perform movement that strengthen your whole core as well as your lower back.

There are plenty of exercise examples on this site.

Kenny Croxdale

_________________
Thanks TimD.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Thanks Kenny.

Yeah I think I'll do some core strengthening exercises in place of squats for a while. I'm just gonna start the squat with the empty olympic bar again in a few months and go from there.


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