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Thread: Anyone ever had a lower back strain? page

  1. #1
    Glenn's Avatar
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    Anyone ever had a lower back strain?

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    Things have been going great for me the past few months, I've been steadily increasing the weight on the bar every week. On September 24th on my second deadlift set, I let my form suffer for the sake of getting the weight up on the last 2 reps (very bad idea, I know). After the set I felt just a slight ache in my lower back, no big deal I thought.

    Next morning my lower back was very stiff and did have a sharp ache anytime I bent at a certain angle (deadlift, row angle etc.). Pain wasn't very bad so I just thought I'd let it heal itself up. The next morning it felt great, slight ache but nothing major. I decided to do my workout for that day which included squats and barbell rows. Got through the squats fine, just a very minor ache after the last set and did one set of rows and stopped my workout after that because I could tell I was really aggravating it.

    So since September 27th my lifting has been limited to weighted chin ups, dips and the bench press. I've not done anything that puts pressure on my lower back or anything that requires me to bend at that angle. I've done light stretching every other day or so and since Sunday October 14th I've been using heat wraps and taking some extra strength aleve. This injury just does not seem to be getting any better and I'm really starting to get worried. I currently don't have any insurance so going to the doctor would have to be a last resort.

    The pain is not bad at all, but it's enough to stop me from doing squats, deadlifts, rows etc. I walk around, can lift things up, sleep etc without any pain at all. Just wondering if anyone else who has gone through a similar injury could let me know how long this thing can take to heal. I'm honestly surprised it's taken this long considering it felt like a very minor thing. I'm now worried that I'm dealing with a chronic injury now.
    Age: 24
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  2. #2
    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    It can last from a single day (or even part of a day) to several weeks. If your not moving in the right direction (getting better) after a few days of rest and ice/heat and a little gentle movement and stretching I'd go to a chiropractor. May need a little help along and would definitely reduce the likelihood of this becoming a chronic issue.

    Ultimately it depends on what structures are injured. Muscle (strain) will heal the quickest....ligament (sprain) takes a bit longer, usually weeks...same as a sprained ankle that you can walk and even jog on, but you wouldn't go making cuts with.....disks can take months if its a bulge or hernia.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 10-17-2012 at 04:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    You may have Sciatica, which is commonly called a "pinched nerve". Look up books by John Sarno, one is called "Mind over Back Pain". It takes time to heal, but you may be able to use this book to speed up down time.

  4. #4
    Scott F's Avatar
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    Way back in the late 70s when I 19-20 years old and got into bodybuilding. I was an easy gainer so I liked the results. Then I found Franco Columbu's "Winning Bodybuilding" book. He recommended split routines of 4-6 days per week. I had been doing the standard 3 days per week. I went to the split 6 day, 3x per body part each week. My gains quite after a while so I worked out harder. I started getting a tweak in my lower back. It didn't help that my job was that of an oilfield pumper and roustabout. Pumper drive rough lease roads, which btw broke down the pickup seat. My lower back took a chronic beating. I found myself having to lay on the pickup seat in pain. I finally went to a chiropractor and I had to quite lifting for at least a year.

    I could never do heavy dead lifting or heavy squatting from that point. But the best gains I ever made was cutting my workouts back to only once a week per body part with lower back and legs on the same day. I was 47 and I finally got to a 365 bench press. I didn't do max dead lifts or squats. It looks to me like you are trying to do too much heavy stuff in a week's time.

    If it were me I'd lay off all weight training for a couple of weeks. You won't loose any muscle and will likely even gain. You might even come back to the gym and discover you are stronger on a lot of lifts. In any case don't keep trying to work through that injury. It ain't worth it. Like Neck said, the type of injury you have will determine how long it takes to heal. Ligaments don't get much blood supply so they take longer then muscle. Cartilage doesn't have a direct blood supply so they take even longer to heal Cartilage.

    Dito on the ice. You want to ice inflammation.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  5. #5
    Scott F's Avatar
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    Oh btw there were times after that injury where I would be laid up in bed from simply bending over to pick something up or stepping in a hole. That last time I got a sharp spasm put me to the ground by simply putting my son's toy rocket on the ground. I haven't had an attack like that in years and I can manage it by keeping my lower back fit...but I always know the injure is there. I can feel the tightness just sitting here. Don't push through it. It ain't worth it.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  6. #6
    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    Oh btw there were times after that injury where I would be laid up in bed from simply bending over to pick something up or stepping in a hole. That last time I got a sharp spasm put me to the ground by simply putting my son's toy rocket on the ground. I haven't had an attack like that in years and I can manage it by keeping my lower back fit...but I always know the injure is there. I can feel the tightness just sitting here. Don't push through it. It ain't worth it.
    Totally agree. Heck I'm just coming round after same sort of injury (squats) and its been a month. It's been about 10 years since I've been put down like this (only a few times in my life). I'm about to 100% in my day to day activities, but I'm not pushing to get under a heavy bar. Heck I just started doing some air squats again yesterday. And might do some light weight stuff this weekend, but I've been through this before.....trying to come back too soon just ends in more pain and more down time.

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    Glenn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. It seems like each day it's just a little bit better, I just wish it would hurry up, I hate not being able to lift. If it keeps up I'll look into the book about the back pain. The reason I think it was just a strain is because the pain is so minor, I figured something worse would hurt worse.

    As far as my lifting goes I think I keep it pretty simple. A: squat 3x5, bench 3x5, row 3x5, weighted dips and chin ups 2x8. B: Deadlift 2x5, push press 3x5, weighted chin ups and dips 2x8. AxBxAxxBxAxB etc. I probably do just need to lay off for a week and just keep up the meds ice/heat and light stretching, would probably do a lot of good.
    Age: 24
    Height: 6'2
    Primal start date: April 1st 2011
    Start Weight: 300.4 lbs
    Current Weight: 226 lbs (1/16/2012)
    Goal weight: 205 lbs
    Total lost so far: 74.4 lbs

  8. #8
    Scott F's Avatar
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    When I was about your age I thought is just a strain so I didn't let it heal. The next thing I knew was that I was laying on my pickup set with a pain that would take my breath.

    I have a son in college. He and his roommates played high school football and lifted weights under a coaches supervision. IMO football coaches aren't the best source for learning weight training. In think most coaches overwork their athletes. Anyway, they bought membership to a gym. They go and lift every day because as he says, he wants to get his money's worth. I asked him what's your goal? Do you want results from your training or do you simply want to break yourself down getting your money's worth.

    Because of cortisol production (catabolism during any type of workout) you have to give the body enough rest to heal and recuperate. What I'm sensing is that you don't want to take any time off because you think it'll set you back. In my experience you can lay off a month and it won't set you back. If that's what you are doing I highly recommend you get a bioforce app. The app is only $10 but you need the plug-in for the Iphone and a heart rate monitor to go with it. Amazon sells them for around $50. You won't get the book unless you buy the product from Joel Jamison. Personally, I think is necessary if you really want to learn how to track and plan you strength performance treads and block in your training routine. However, it's a lot more expensive. This video will explain it BioForce HRV | but the basic graft is that it will tell you whether you can go hard that day (green), cut back on the workout (orange), or take the day off (red). The running average (blue) tracks how your fitness is progressing over time. Bioforce is a personalized version of the Omegawave - Training Program. It purpose to prevent overtraining
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  9. #9
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    As others have said, don't push it.

    I spent years seeing multiple chiropractors. I do NOT trust them. Your mileage may vary.

    Ice, ice, ice.

    Rest, rest, rest.

    Eventually, find a certified athletic trainer who does soft tissue release. Honestly, I used to think physiotherapy was amazing. Until it stopped working for me. My athletic trainer is AWESOME, CHEAPER, and is WAAAAAAAAY better than ANY physiotherapist I've ever had.

    Dude, I've battled back pain loads. The only thing that helps is Crossfit. No joke.

    Now, if I could only get my lazy, cheap ass back into it. UGH...
    A Post-Primal PrimalPat

    Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.

  10. #10
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    I spent years thinking I just had a muscle issue in my back - turns out after a CAT Scan that it was 3 "slipped" discs in my back. I imagine however that in the US it probably isn't terribly cheap to go to the doctor and get a CAT Scan of your lower back (here it was free on Medicare) - but if nothing gets better after a while it may be worthwhile. I had years of X-Rays and they showed nothing, it was the CAT Scan that found the disc issues.

    For starters rest until the inflammation heals. To help your lower back you need to build up a solid core of muscles around the back, once I built up the muscles around my midsection it has virtually taken all the pressure off my back.

    My surgeon told me with 3 herniaded discs that I wouldn't be able to run, nor walk for long periods - but 10 years later I have great joy in proving him wrong.

    Back pain is nothing to mess with - treat it seriously and take the necessary time off to rest and recover otherwise you risk turning something minor into something major.

    Cheers,

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