Low back pain after lifting

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Jungledoc
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Low back pain after lifting

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:21 am

My back hurts. Started while squatting a week ago. Squatting is fairly new to me; I learned form from a friend at first (but he's not around any more) and then from descriptions and videos on various websites (including this one). I've been looking the the SquatRx videos this weekend.

I had a bit of similar pain for a week or so last year when I started doing overhead presses. It was less of a problem when I tightened my abs and rotated my pelvis back. In fact, I started doing them seated with DBs and had no more trouble. I had a slight flare again when changing to BB and standing, but again I concentrated on tight abs, and did OK, and I'm still doing them.

I started doing squats about 6 weeks ago. Started light, worked up by 5 lb/wk, doing 3 sets of 5 reps (I lift Monday, Wednesday and Saturday). A couple of weeks ago I started feeling like I wasn't recovering adequately from the squats, so started squatting every other session. However, I still made my 5/5/5+ each session so I kept going up. Last week I was feeling uncomfortable after my 2nd set of squats, but like a fool, I proceded to do the third set. I barely made the set. By evening I was stiff, and nearly couldn't get out of bed in the morning.

I've started stretching my hip flexors this week. I'm planning to start doing some bridges and overhead squats (without weights) and no regular squats until the pain is gone, then start back with very light weight until I'm sure my form is good.

Any suggestions, comments or ideas?


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Post by Ironman » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:31 pm

It sounds like a weak erector spinae, and/or an overuse injury of it. Are you doing a lot of other exercises involving the lower back? That can cause an overuse injury if you are doing too much. I think the most likely thing is your lower back is just a weak link. In that case use light weight on the squats and work the legs more with the leg press. Then try some hyperextensions to strengthen your back.

Another possibility is weak abs and/or hip flexors. In which case your back is left to take more of the load than it should. Weighted decline situps are good if you can do them. However if your hip flexors are very weak, you may need to do crunches instead. In that case you strengthen the huip flexors with leg lifts and other "lower ab" exercises.

Squats and deadlifts are helpful, the caveat is that you have to use very light weight. Because while the weight seems light for your legs, your erectors/abs/internal hip flexors are maxing out. After you bring up the lagging muscles you will be able to go heavy.

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Post by TimD » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:05 pm

I agree w/ Ironman. It's happened to me especially as I get older. What I do is take a few days off and do a week or two of back pre-re-hab work. One that I;'ve discovered recently is "Javorek's Special Barbell complex I". It targets the whole posterior chain as well as the upper back, and you can't use too much weight on this. It's on youtube, do a search on it
Tim

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Post by KPj » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:47 am

Ironman wrote:It sounds like a weak erector spinae, and/or an overuse injury of it.
A agree with this, too. Loosen up the hips and strengthen the lower back via squats and dead lifts with good back position. If you can't perform them with good back position then restrict ROM until you can.

But don't overlook the fact that it can be a flat out weak lower back. I've seen a lot of mirror muscle fanatics complain of this as well when they start dead lifting and / or squatting... I was one of them :-)

One thing I can recommend is Pull Throughs. I think it's an amazing exercise.

http://tonygentilcore.blogspot.com/2007 ... rcise.html


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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:13 am

Thanks, guys. I'll work on it. I lifted this evening (no squats) and feel pretty good.


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Post by stuward » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:50 am

I'm sure that this is a big problem for lots of people. If your legs get stronger faster than your back, and this is normal if you have been doing machine workouts, squats will start to hurt your back. I like to do a deadlift variation after squats, like RDLs, Good mornings or pull throughs in order to give extra priority to my lower back. Then I take a longer break from heavy lower back work and squatting. Lower back and legs take a similar amount of time to recover. If you do upper body or overhead work between squat workouts, care needs to be taken that you don't upset your lower back recovery. Some work is good though. I like to do cleans or snatches during my recovery period as it gives a lighter workout for both lower back and legs.

Stu

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Post by Ironman » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:26 pm

Ain't that the truth. I had a couple overuse injuries with my lower back. If you are going heavy with a higher volume program, you really have to take it easy on the lower back. I discovered it can really take a fair amount of time for the lower back to recover. I tend to prefer some kind of rowing where I am supported rather than bent over when I do that sort of a program. If I keep the lower back work to just my primary lower body lifts everything recovers just fine.


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