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Low Back Pain

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  • Low Back Pain

    Currently dealing with some very frustrating low back pain from squats and deadlifts and trying to stay positive about the situation. Hoping to see if anyone has any suggestions or advice for me.

    I have been training seriously for about a year now. Recently attended a SS Seminar (last month), so I am fairly confident that there are no obvious technical flaws in my lifts, but obviously I am doing something wrong still. The pain is mostly concentrated off to the left side of my low back in the area of the SI joint, although I am very hesistant to blame that joint as my cause of pain. This injury has happened twice before, about 4 months ago and 6 months ago respectively.

    Last Friday I squatted 3x5x275 and felt a little low back discomfort, and it made me hesitate because I have had a history of this injury popping up at higher intensities (1rm Squat around 320). So, in response to the slight amount of discomfort I decided to end the session there and deadlift the following day. Next day everything felt fine and I pulled 315 for 3 sets of 5. This is higher intensity for me, but not something I haven't done before. Throughout the training session I felt fine. It wasn't until later that night after prolonged sitting on a barstool with a lot of lumbar flexion that the pain began. For the next 2 days any motion at all was uncomfortable. Certain motions more painful than others.

    It is now Thursday and the pain has improved. I trained with only upper body lifts on Monday and then was able to squat 3x5x225 high bar on Wednesday 4 days after the injury. After a lot of warm up sets I was able to move relatively pain free and high bar allowed me to train with less pain.

    Staying active, moving and walking about seems to make the pain dissipate. Sitting is moderately painful and putting on socks in the morning is extremely painful.

    Moving forward with my training I need to make some adjustments to my training so that this injury does not keep coming back. It is extremely frustrating in that it tends to pop up whenever I begin to push the intensity and hit PRs. I pay extra attention to staying midfoot and maintaining lumbar extension throughout in both the squat and deadlift. My best guess is I just don't respond well to high intensity? Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Even though you got your form evaluated at a seminar, I would still see if a coach could look at it via video.

    When the injury has happened, is it a sudden thing or has it been something that’s gradually crept up on you? Also, what program/template are you using? I do t know what to tell you about it hurting worse when your spine is in flexion. I would just avoid that position as much as you can.

    I would continue to train through it as best you can, take longer warm ups if you need to like you did. Pain and local inflammation are part of the game it seems.


    • #3
      Keep moving, it'll get better over time. I've used the below link for reference a few times in the past.


      • #4
        I’ve had the exact thing you’re talking about. It came down to form issues (squat, too low, losing lumbar extension) in the presence of overly high intensity (over shooting RPE). Get some form checks up on the boards, and make sure you’re not overshooting RPE.


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice guys. I have hit 3x5x225 on Squat and 3x8x205 SSB Squat with limited pain. It's 10 days since the injury and I am almost pain free. I have been very careful with the deadlift, started pulling yesterday worked up to 5x135 with pain only when the bar hits the floor and i lose tightness. I am going to just be more careful with higher intensity periods going forward.


          • #6
            So, it might be stupid since I am a novice in strength training but maybe you want to check if the pain does not come from a weak or strained Gluteus Medius. Sometimes back pain comes from this and nothing is wrong with the spine. I don't know for the form, can't help you with that. I think this is also more likely if you are doing a lot of sitting in your everyday life.

            Google "gluteus medius back pain" and you should find easily a way to test it in like 2 minutes.