Hi! I'm a 40 year old female with chronic back pain/sciatica history. My main form of activity was running for 15 years but have changed to lifting for a few years now but my back is severely hindering my progress. And also covid and gyms being closed for the past couple of years caused some gaps in training (with any significant amount of weight anyway). I've had an MRI a couple of years ago and it showed that I have an 8 mm degenerative spondylolithesis, severe facet osteoarthritis and a 7 x 3 mm synovial cyst resulting in moderate spinal stenosis. Also a couple of disc bulges, that have been around for years. I've had months and months of physical therapy (lots of core strengthening/spinal stabilization exercises) which resulted in me being pain free, BUT I wasn't lifting at that point due to covid closing all the gyms around here.

Since last february I've been training more consistently, first 2 x week and later 3 x week. I mainly focus on DL, bench, press and lately I've introduced squat as well. I also do some glute bridges, chin ups, push ups, bent over rows, lat pull dows and lighter variations of the main lifts. Since adding squats and switching to 3 x week schedule I've again started to experience electric shock-like pain down my butt and back of thighs. BUT it never happens while lifting. It happens in everyday situations when bending over and straightening my back. So in things like emptying the dishwasher or washing my face over the sink, etc. And it only happens in a very small and particular part of the movement, basically just before when my pelvis goes from posterior pelvic tilt to neutral. Flexion and extension past that particular point is pain-free. My back doesn't hurt, it's only the electric shock kinda sensation I get. It is the same kind of pain sensation I used to get before I got an MRI and physiotherapy, but back then it was way worse and went down to my toes.

So my question is, even tho I don't experience pain while lifting, do you think this can this still be due to lifting/increasing frequency/adding a movement like squats? My lifestyle hasn't changed otherwise. And another question; because I don't exactly know what has caused the pain to occur, how do I go about modifying my training? Should I dial down weight, frequency or modify the exercises? Or do I just need to try each variable and see how that affects the pain? Is the back pain rehab template a good idea for someone in this situation, even tho I don't actually have pain in my back?

All advice appreciated.