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#430254 - 10/01/10 01:07 PM On/Off Back Pain
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hi everyone

I've been having on/off problems with my lower back since last January. I've got a doctor's appointment next thursday for that issue as it's getting worst, however i'm a bit worried as to what this might be and the consequences it will have on my training and the sports I practice. Trying my best to describe what i'm experiencing :

- Lower back pain on the right when bending forward, pain is sharp and limits my range of motion greatly.
- Sometimes I get pain in the same region as well as deep burning sensation in the painful area. Sitting or lying down relieves it as well as ice.
- Random calf stiffness on my left leg
- "Shaking sensation" in my lower back when I go from lying down to a sitting position in bed.
- If I lean backward when standing, I hear a pop in my back (where it hurts) and it relieves the pain for a few minutes.
- I feel that "back popping" very often in the morning or late at night.

I had those issues on an on/off basis since January, so when I had it, I stopped training for a few days or train with it when it was tolerable, but i'm noticing that it keeps coming back worst everytime, and I keep loosing strength on all my lifts. I tried the RICE method as well but the effects were only temporary, with pain coming back within a few days.

For training I do mostly heavy squats/deadlift/bench press/clean and press/barbell rows (5X5) as well as heavy bag/speedbag/skip rope training for my cardio/martial arts.

2 weeks ago, i've decided to stop my weight lifting/martial arts training as the pain is becoming disabling, thinking that maybe my abs weren't strong enough, I started to do some crunches/sit ups/side bends, same exercices I was told to do and helped heal a minor scoliosis in 2003. On the day I do them, I feel a bit better, but after a day or 2, the pain comes back just as great if not worst.

The only exercise I can do with close to no back pain is skipping rope.

Any ideas on what this could be? Next thursday still feels like a long time to wait for the doctor, i'm very worried, I can't do my training or play sports the way I used to, i've lost as much as 50% of my strength in some lifts since January.

Thanks
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#430255 - 10/01/10 01:34 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JKDGuy_1985]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
If a pain switches 'on and off' then the smart money is on a ruptured or bulging disk applying pressure to a nerve, and thus creating the pain. When that pain radiates down one leg/buttock, there is every chance that the nerve in question is the sciatic nerve, though referred pain is possible from any nerves, 'sciatica' is the most common and probable condition.

The trouble is, as you have found, simply trying to ignore it and trying to tough it out merely makes things worse.

The idea of undertaking 5x5 deads and squats with a lumbar disk problem makes me queasy just thinking about it, and I am amazed you have only recently eased off on the lifts. A+ for willpower, but a Z- for caring for your body with that one.

This is not even close to being a diagnosis however - there are many MANY more possibilities that it could be, and there is nothing you can do but rest completely till you get a confirmed professional diagnosis.

From there, whatever the cause, you will be on the rehabilitation road. We all walk that path, sometimes several times in our lives, and it can be boring and frustrating, but the more you put into it, and the more you learn from your injury in regards to how to keep safe in your future training, the better you will heal and the quicker you will get back to doing what you love.

Most importantly, you have learned that ignoring an injury doesnt heal it, so in the future you wont let yourself get this bad again wink
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#430256 - 10/01/10 01:49 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Cord]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Agreed. Can't mask or work through actual PAIN; pain is the indicator there is a problem that needs to be dealt with and to limit or cease those movements/lifts.

We've all done it, thought we were manning up and all we needed to do was work through it. Sadly that just leads to more problems and can worsen things. Better to deal with it now and take a shorter lay off then if you don't take care of it and things get worse and have to take a longer lay off if able to do it again in the future.

After you will need to pay heed more and you may need to modify your workout. I have had to do this for several lifts due to injuries/surgeries.

I feel for you for sure though; hope things get better for you.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#430258 - 10/01/10 02:22 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Dereck]
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Thanks Cord/Dereck for your quick reply, I really appreciate. I know this is no final diagnosis, that's why i'm seeing the doctor next thursday.

I know I probably should of stopped when I first experienced pain but since it wasn't that bad originally and was on/off I figured I might as well continue, stopping my workouts is actually just as much pain mentally as it is physically hehe, but i'll guess i'm not the first guy to do this.

I'll give the doctor's diagnostic when I have the results.
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Thats what she said...

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#430259 - 10/01/10 02:31 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JKDGuy_1985]
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Cord... just thinking, if perhaps your diagnosis is right about the ruptured/bulging disk, how long of a recovery can I be looking at? I know this is very approximate, just want a rough idea.

Also, am I doing the right thing in stopping pretty much all my physical activity's? Obviously weight training is pretty much out of the question right now, but is there something I can do that won't put more pressure on my injury?
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Thats what she said...

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#430266 - 10/01/10 06:51 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JKDGuy_1985]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Originally Posted By: JKDGuy_1985
Cord... just thinking, if perhaps your diagnosis is right about the ruptured/bulging disk, how long of a recovery can I be looking at? I know this is very approximate, just want a rough idea.


Hypotheticaly, a minor disk impingement will settle down, with appropriate rehabilitation exercises and modified daily movement, in anywhere from 3-8 weeks.

A severely damaged disk will take longer, and can in some cases require surgical intervention if the disk itself is ruptured beyond repair.

Quote:
Also, am I doing the right thing in stopping pretty much all my physical activity's? Obviously weight training is pretty much out of the question right now, but is there something I can do that won't put more pressure on my injury?


Dude, you are going to see a doc in 5 days time - you need to rest, its not the end of the world. Time to accept the situation mentaly, because no matter what the diagnosis, your rehab and training during the course of the repair of the injury is going to be radicaly different in intensity, volume and priority. You are probably looking at a period of a couple of months minimum where you will be devoted purely to recovery - no lifting for strength, no MA practice, just getting your spine to a point where it is able to allow you to do those things again.
Think of it like a sail-boat. You cant fix a sail boat at sea, it has to be brought into dry dock to make it sea worthy again. Ignore the wear and tear, and you are setting out on the ocean in a vessel likely to sink.
Time to come into dry dock for a bit wink
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Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
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#430268 - 10/02/10 03:04 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Cord]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:
Dude, you are going to see a doc in 5 days time - you need to rest, its not the end of the world


Let me second that in a huge way. I've got 2 bulging disc's going on 20 years or so. Find out what your dealing with before you hurt yourself even worse.

Keep us posted, interested to hear what the diagnosis/treatment is.
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Undefeated in all of Asia!

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#430320 - 10/06/10 06:41 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Kimo2007]
JonathonSam Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 3
There have been a number of studies that show effective treatment of back pain by chiropractors. However, not all causes of back pain should be treated by a chiropractor. There are some conditions that should be identified and treated by an M.D. rather than a chiropractor.Most cases of back pain can be effectively treated by a chiropractor.

no ads


Edited by MattJ (10/06/10 11:30 AM)

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#430323 - 10/06/10 08:45 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JonathonSam]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Totally spam, but weird because this place is only about half an hour from me.
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We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#430340 - 10/07/10 12:17 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JoelM]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Yes spam and not a huge fan over all but I will say it was a chiropractor that handed me a flyer on a the benefits of swimming. I told him I can't imagine a more boring workout. He said, imagine letting them cut and you being in rehab for the rest of your life. that was 1992...been swimming ever since, still no surgery, can't recommend it more for back issues (2 bulging discs).

He was a damn good chiropractor, not all are so good. Like anything they are not the end all be all of back issues.

So, to the OP what were the MRI results?
_________________________
Undefeated in all of Asia!

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#430341 - 10/07/10 01:49 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Kimo2007]
JonathonSam Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 3
Back pain is as common a disorder as it is cough and cold. Due to adverse lifestyles, more and more people are suffering through this. But the bounty of Mother Nature offers us a plenty of cures for each disorder. Of all the effective medications available for back pain, some natural products work the best.

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#430353 - 10/07/10 02:22 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JonathonSam]
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
For those that are still interested, I just got back from the doctor. I don't have any disk ruptured/herniated.
The diagnosis I was given was an inflammation of the femoris nerve (not sure I got the spelling right) for which i've got anti-inflammatory.
I was also told that my core muscle may have become a bit weak and that I should do specific exercises to keep them strong enough to do squats.

My doctor said I can continue practicing sports and moderate weight lifting. Really glad it's nothing major, thanks all for your help.
_________________________
Thats what she said...

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#430354 - 10/07/10 02:34 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JKDGuy_1985]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Glad to hear that it's not too serious. Thanks for the update and good luck.
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#430355 - 10/07/10 02:58 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: MattJ]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Core is HUGE. I have issues from time to time and it always comes down to the core. I used to be big on working my abs but got away from it years ago. I work my lower back and of course that then picks up the slack for my abs and hence back pain can happen. I strengthen my abs and it now takes back its share of the work and I'm all good.

I was going to mention something like that earlier in this thread but thought not due to if something serious was wrong with your back I'd had for my post to be used and further problems happen. Always best to check with the professionals first.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#430357 - 10/07/10 03:03 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Dereck]
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Dereck, for strengthening the core, are simple bodyweight crunches/sit ups enough? I've been thinking for a while about buying a decline bench especially for ab workout, with the decline position, it makes the exercise harder, any thoughts?
_________________________
Thats what she said...

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#430359 - 10/07/10 06:00 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JKDGuy_1985]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I don't think it matters what you do as long as you do something. Here is what I did and do from time to time when I feel back pains. (taken from one of my earlier posts)

Quote:
Put a weight (that you are comfortable with) on your chest and do 3 sets of 10. Make sure hold your abs tight at all times and when you lift up hold a few seconds and then go down Ö but donít release the abs. To make it harder you can increase the amount of time you hold it at the top Ö currently Iím doing 30 seconds. Intensity/Quality is better then quantity.


When I do these I get flush in the face, almost like I'm getting sick. Holding your abs is hard especially through the whole exercise and something I had to build up to mind you I can't do them now for that amount of time.

I have also done abs on a machine where your sit at the end of the bench and pull down on some straps to a crunch position, hold at the bottom and then slowly go up; rinse and repeat.

I own a incline/decline bench but have never done them on it. Again, what you are comfortable with. For me I always will opt to do something I can do pretty much anywhere at anytime without anything fancy. I'm a big believer in K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) grin That is probably why I stick with so many basics when it comes to weight lifting. It is just like fighting in martial arts. There are so many things that "can" work with some fancy things but it is more then likely the basics that will win it for you. Just my opinion.
_________________________
"IF I COME ... I'M BRINGING THE PAIN WITH ME"

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#430360 - 10/07/10 06:13 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Dereck]
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
thanks for the advice, I think i'll try that and see how it goes before investing in other equipment. Thing I didn't like with my ab training from a few years back, is that I was doing crunches in sets of roughly 100-150 reps without any weights after I had recovered from my scoliosis in 2003. Just doing so many reps takes long and I strongly believe like you in quality over quantity.
_________________________
Thats what she said...

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#430371 - 10/08/10 05:20 PM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JKDGuy_1985]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
What you have been told is essentialy that in your quest for heavy squat and deads, you have sacrificed technique as your ab and back muscles have not been strong enough to maintain correct spinal position during the movements, and this has led to imflamation of a nerve bunch.

If you lessen the weight, get some tuition on perfecting your form on squats and deads, and compliment this with some specific core work - plank, planche, L-sits, maybe even some gorilla pull-ups, then things will be fine.

In the heavy lifts, you are only as strong as your weakest link in the body-mechanics that create the movement. If you let your form lapse through allowing dominant muscles to 'bully' the body through the reps, injury will occurr, and re-occur. Time to deconstruct your lifts, and concentrate on technique, not poundage.
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Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
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#430391 - 10/10/10 01:41 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Cord]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:
you have sacrificed technique as your ab and back muscles


Probably exactly what I did many years ago when working core was not even on the radar like it is today. Any core work we got was a result of added benefit of other activity as opposed to focused training. It was during a light squat workout I first hurt my back, my legs were fatigued so I used my back to lift the weight and "spot my quads" trying to push out one more rep...POP

Today, and Cord love to hear your thoughts on this. I try and keep my workouts simple as my time is limited. For abs I do a sit up variation of a crunch, plus sit up with legs under the bag (punch the bag) and weight over the head arms extended sit up. Combined with a reverse crunch to hit the lower abs.

The rest of my core work comes from swimming (lots of that) and whatever I get from Muay Thai training.

I also do a lot of push ups and pull ups, squats and lunges (no weights) about 2 sometime 3 times a week as overall body workouts and that so far has kept my back in check.

Simple easy to do anywhere. I am pretty sure for back stuff the swimming is the main PT part (90% freestyle with 10% kicking drills).

To Cord, see any major holes here? I feel like I have it covered fairly well, but you clearly are the one with your finger on the pulse in this area.
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Undefeated in all of Asia!

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#430392 - 10/10/10 06:30 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Kimo2007]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
crunches and sit ups both are getting outmoded in current opinion on how best to train the core. The core is not just the rectus abdominis. The core referrs to the many muscles directly responsible for maintaining the position and shape of the spine. It is the posterior chain, the transverus, multifidus, the obliques etc. A killer 6-pack is not sure sign of postural integrity. In fact, a dominant r-abdominis can and will throw your core out of balance just as sure as a dominance in any of the other muscles in question.

With this in mind, and accepting that the primary function of the anterior core (the abdominal structure) is not to shorten the point between the pelvis and the sternum, there are better ways to develop functional core strength.

1. Unilateral lifts.
Single arm deadlifts, one arm snatches, turkish get-ups. Dymanic movements completed with proper biomechanics necessitate that the core engage fully to maintain spinal integrity.

2. Direct dynamic core engagement.
Glute/Ham raise, woodchoppers, gorilla pull-ups
Movements that engage some of the core muscles as prime agonists, whilst others must engage as stabilisers

3. Static Core enegagement.
L-sits, planches, plank and variations.
Great way to not only focus on strengthening the postural muscles, but also great low risk tests to show which links in the chain are weak.

4. Unstable base training.
Swiss ball, wobbleboard, power-plate, single leg standing lifts.
Similar in goal to the unilateral lifts, in that by destabilising the body's balance, the core must engage to compensate and maintain centre of gravity.

Find me someone who can do a dumbell pistol-snatch on a swiss ball in perfect form, and you have found someone with amazing core stability, and a body perfectly primed to use good biomechanics in everything they do, from kicking Muay-Thai, to mixing mai tai's.
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#430397 - 10/10/10 11:03 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Cord]
JasonM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 2502
I would love to see a vid or pic of that. If it is what I think, WOW!!
_________________________
90 percent of good abs is your nutrition

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#430400 - 10/10/10 11:23 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: JasonM]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Never seen it done myself. With a strong core and good flexibility, it should be possible (with a lot of practice). And the person who could perform such a feat would have a core developed beyond the dreams of any of the '1000 crunches per morning' crowd wink


Edited by Cord (10/10/10 11:23 AM)
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
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#430455 - 10/14/10 04:18 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Cord]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
The abe roller (little wheel with handles) is also a kickass core exercise, I'm noticing huge improvements from that and weighted crunches.
That dumbell pistol snatch on a swiss ball would be AWESOME to see!
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#430458 - 10/14/10 11:13 AM Re: On/Off Back Pain [Re: Stormdragon]
JKDGuy_1985 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hey guys, thanks for all the tips. I've been doing weighted crunches/sit ups for the past week and also a lot of stretching and i'm seeing good improvement, i'd say my back is at about 75% now, still not perfect obviously but slowly getting there. Also if it can be of help to anyone, here's a link to the stretch that helps me the most (http://www.drbenkim.com/articles-lowback.html), it's #11 on the page. When I do this stretch, it completely relieves my back pain, and I found that the more that I do it, the faster my back recovers, sure the weighted crunches and sit-ups must help, but I found that stretch to be the one that makes the biggest impact on the pain. I've also included other hamstring stretches in my stretching program and not only does it help my lower back pain, but it also helps with the "inner hip" pain I had from time to time.
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