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Experiencing lower back pain

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Bizarro, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    I am experiencing pain on the left side around my lower back area. A few days ago I noticed it and it was no big deal, but yesterday after I was done with my front and back squats, it started to hurt, and it ended up being hard for me to walk without feeling it. I remember this from a few months ago, that it happened after squats. It would hurt a little bit and then not as much on and off, but about a month and a half ago it stopped hurting completely. But now the pain came back.

    So does anyone have any suggestions for me or know what might be going on? It is strange because I can do all things like deadlift variants and heavy rows but once I started did squats the other day it came back and hurt quite a bit and it felt very uncomfortable to move around in bed or a chair, etc.
     
  2. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Maybe you are rounding your back during squats, which is common if your hamstrings are not flexible enough.

    Deadlifts and rows don't need as much flexibility so it could be that it only manifests itself during squats. And that's exactly the sort of thing that would give you lower back pain.

    I'd have someone check your form to make sure you can eliminate that possibility.
     
  3. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    Yes, that could possibly be a possibility. I don't really think too much about arching my back when descending on squats, and I remember I used to have HORRIBLE back positioning form during front squats, but I cleaned that up alot.
     
  4. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    The problem is that it's not always easy to know if you are rounding your back at the bottom. I did this and was absolutely certain that my back was straight until someone looked at it and told me I was rounding my lower back.

    So have someone look at it, and if you are indeed rounding it, go easier on the weight, and practice the form. some good mornings and SLDL could also help you develop hamstring flexibility.
     
  5. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    Thanks, but I am not sure if it's a hamstring flexibility issue. Like I remember in PE when we had the sit and reach tests, I would always be able to get the most. That is a test of ham flexibility, right?
     
  6. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Yes and no.

    1) There are several hamstring muscles and not all of them are stretched the same way in different movements
    2) The "sit and reach test" depends on a million things like arm length, body type, and most people cheat by rounding their back anyway
    3) Flexibility in one position is not always a guarantee for flexibility in another position, especially if one is relaxed and static, and the other one involves a movement with a lot of weight on your back

    If you can stand, bend over at the hip, and hug your legs while keeping your stomach flat on your legs, then you are flexible at the hamstrings, and any rounding of the back would probably be a question of form.

    Another good test is lying on your back, keeping both legs straight, one knee on the floor, and pull the other leg to your chest, straight. You should go well beyond 90 degrees to consider yourself flexible. Like this: http://exrx.net/Stretches/Hamstrings/LyingTowel.html, but keeping both legs straight, and the lower leg flat on the floor.

    However, most people are not flexible, and hamstrings are very strong muscles which happen to be very tight for many people.
     
  7. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    Thanks for that. I tried the stretching exercise by keeping my other leg flat against the floor, and I was only able to get to 90 degrees. So I will probably start doing some good mornings and paying more attention to my lower back form on squats
     
  8. Zeirhk

    Zeirhk Green Belt

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    Damn I always thought I was flexible since I'm a skinny kid. I can't hug my legs with my back straight, and I can only go about 90 degrees on the towel stretch....it really hurts when I try to go more.
     
  9. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Well, hugging your legs with your stomach on them is VERY flexible. But I remember thinking I was flexible when I got my head on my knees many years ago in the seated hamstring stretch and I thought I was the dog's bollocks, whereas I simply managed to round my back enough.

    Most people can't go beyond 90 degrees on the towel stretch. It's a good way to ensure you don't cheat by rounding your lower back, because the hip position is fixed by the other leg.
     
  10. Ted-P

    Ted-P Brown Belt

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    It's natural to round your back abit when you're at the bottom.

    It's when you come up you gotta drive your head backwards right away and try to get your back straight right away with push your hips forward.

    Yea and how often do you heavy squat?

    You might wanna ease back on the exercises for alittle while.
     
  11. Ted-P

    Ted-P Brown Belt

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    And when descending, you do it in a controlled fashion.

    I used to get lazy sometimes and just let myself kind plunge downward at the end of the descending and it gave me pain in my back and legs.
     
  12. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Isn't changing your back from rounded to arched while squatting heavy a big no-no? One of the long-time posters wrote about that a while ago.
     
  13. aries

    aries Silver Belt

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    If you are good at the sit and reach then its not your hamstrings. More than likely its your hip flexors. This is the cause for most people as they are pretty well developed and tight in the average person since most people don't even know they exist let alone stretch them on a regular basis.

    I won't bother to explain the stretch as you can google it yourself. But you will see results quickly after a few weeks stretching them. I had a similar problem when I started doing ass to the grass squats and this fixed it good. Good Luck.
     
  14. Ted-P

    Ted-P Brown Belt

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    Unless you a freak, I don't think it's possible not to round your back at the bottom.

    If you are talking about ass to the grass squat.........................
     
  15. MTnewbie

    MTnewbie Yellow Belt

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    I was just about to say that; its probably your hipflexors that are tight.

    Practice until you can do this: http://www.limbermen.com/Dennis_c/arnold-boden-spagat.jpg

    thatll make sure your hams and hips are more then flexible enough.

    Other then that Id recomend you to go see a good chiropractisioner, preferable someone with strenght training background.
     
  16. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    Ok, so I will try stretching the hip flexors and see if that will help. If the pain in my back does not go away (today it is quite a bit better than yesterday, which is what would happen before when I started getting the pain, I will go see someone about it..


    Thanks for the tips. I've known that you are supposed to drive your head back and push with the hips, and try and arch your back and sit back into it, but when I get to the moment I squat, I forget about all that. I will remember them next time though and work on my form.

    And since lifting again for 2 and half months after not going for a month, I have been squatting heavy maybe 4 weeks straight and then I would do some lighter squats with shorter rest periods
     
  17. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    And about the descents, I am still having a little bit of trouble, and even though I descend down slow, it does not feel natural and it is a little bit hard for me to control the weight and positioning of my body when I descend.
     
  18. Noskill

    Noskill Created Monkey

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    How is your ab work going?
    In my personal experience, lower back pain always meant not enough abwork.
     
  19. Bizarro

    Bizarro Blue Belt

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    I have not done any serious ab work much lately, but started to about 2 weeks ago with stuff like russian twists and weighted ab situps.
     

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