Reply
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Registered User allandr's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2010
    Age: 38
    Posts: 16
    Rep Power: 0
    allandr has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0)
    allandr is offline

    Low back problems, why doesn't it get stronger?

    Like many, I have lower back problems. I have slightly bulging and degenerative disks in the L4-5 region as well as some muscle issues (right above belt line). 2-3 times a year I throw out my back, sometimes it is nerve related, and others it feels strictly muscular. Just terrible DOMS, spasms, and no strength. I've spent the past few years focusing on core, posterior chain and hinge muscles. I stretch, roll, train hammys, glutes, add/abductors. Everything feels great until it doesn't, then i'm laid up for a week or so.

    My question is, if muscles are supposed to heal stronger, why does the back always feel like it is getting worse? Is it truly nerve issues that manifest as muscle pain, or is it just a damaged muscle that won't heal? I've seen Orthos, PT, injections, everything I can think of without any clear answers. I've seen the MRI and Xrays and can definitely see the difference in the disks, unfortunately at 38 I'm stuck in this position of "not bad enough for surgery" but not good enough to move forward.

    I'm not sure if this is really a question or rant, i'm just frustrated right now. Been back in the gym for about 6 months and hurt myself cleaning garage this weekend. I've been playing this game for the past 5 years. Sometimes its something I do wrong (pickup something too heavy with bad form), sometimes I sneeze wrong, and sometimes it doesn't kick in until the next day after doing manual labor. Feels like every time I start making progress its two steps back. But why doesn't the back seem to get stronger?
    Reply With Quote

  2. #2
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2007
    Location: Suffolk, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
    Posts: 48,007
    Rep Power: 1256615
    SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz SuffolkPunch has the mod powerz
    SuffolkPunch is online now
    It's a very complex area.

    Pain is not always a reliable indicator of where or what the problem is. Spasm can be caused in muscles adjacent to problematic muscles.

    I can tell you my recipe for healthy joints but it may or may not work for you - and ultimately you should consult a qualified sports physio.

    Always train the target muscle with fullest possible range of motion using challenging resistance - but not so much that you can't complete smooth tempo movements with moderate to high reps (8-20) without cheating or hitting absolute failure.

    As well as training the lower back directly, train the abs, the quadriceps with deep squats, the posterior chain with Romanian deadlifts or GMs or GHR. Make sure you know how to properly perform a hip hinge movement so you don't over-involve your spinal erectors. Also do hamstring curls and use the hip abduction machine. This latter I put last but is actually most important for me at least - it trains upper glutes and this was crucial to my lower back health.

    I don't rate stretching or foam rollering at all... I would only recommend these if you need them before training in order to get your body moving freely enough to properly perform your resistance training exercises. If this is not a problem then I would consider them a waste of time.
    Reply With Quote

  3. #3
    I'm the beast Iceman1800's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: Under your bed, Swaziland
    Posts: 38,253
    Rep Power: 2147722
    Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz Iceman1800 has the mod powerz
    Iceman1800 is offline
    McGill big 3. Youtube search it
    L4/L5 fusion September 2016
    Reply With Quote

  4. #4
    Registered User allandr's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2010
    Age: 38
    Posts: 16
    Rep Power: 0
    allandr has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0)
    allandr is offline
    Thanks for the response. I have been focusing on the exercises you mention above. Typically 2 days a week I do a light front squat, back squat, RDL or Rack Pull workout. Followed by donkey kick machine, seated ham curls, add/adbductor machine. Then finish with some light ab work and stabilization exercises (plank variation, pilaf press, etc). I do the rolling and stretching to get things moving and my flexibility sucks, especially my hammys. The other two days a week I do a vertical/horizontal split (shoulders/vertical pull, or chest/horizontal pull).

    I'm not looking for massive gains right now, just overall fitness and lose some weight. Everything is fairly light weight and for high reps and very deep. Workouts feel great, and 95% of the time I feel great with no problems at all. Visually I'm seeing progress and the weights are slowly going up. Everything is good for 3-4 months, then out of nowhere I do something that lays me up for a week. When this happens I'm usually stuck in bed/couch for a day or two before I can even walk, then slowly start to get back moving. After about 2-3 weeks I'm back to normal and can start moving again like nothing ever happened. I don't get the sciatic pain down the leg, it is all lower back, but to the point where I can barely stand up, walk, or even wipe my butt.

    I think that is part of my frustration, could I do more/better, probably. But I've been really trying to stick to a routine, diet, and regiment that will help things improve with no luck. I coach rugby at our local college, and my kids soccer teams. I'm active and decently fit (can keep up w/ the college kids), just tired of this cycle and don't know how to break it. I work a desk job, but got myself a standing desk and go to the gym at lunch 4 days a week. I stopped going to Physical Therapy about a year ago because I was tired of paying a $20 copay each week for the PT to hand me stretches and walk away. Side rant, has anyone else had the same experience with PT? The first few visits they are super involved, helping you out, monitoring you, actively participating in your PT, then eventually the attention goes away and they just hand you the exercise list, some bands, and walk away only to check in on you once or twice over the next hour?
    Reply With Quote

  5. #5
    Registered User BromanianDL's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2019
    Age: 49
    Posts: 340
    Rep Power: 447
    BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250) BromanianDL has a spectacular aura about. (+250)
    BromanianDL is offline
    Backs are tough to fix. Especially when you have tight hamstrings/short arms. Every time you pick something up off the ground, your lower back rounds. You have to figure out a way to go through life without rounding your lower back. When sitting, have a back support to maintain arch. When picking something off the ground, either one leg deadlift, or sumo deadlift, even if it's only a piece of paper. Maintain your natural arch at all times. Take some time away from lifting. Going very deep on squats are RDL's are probably not a good idea, your tight hamstrings will pull at your pelvis and cause your lower back to round. On leg day, keep a small load on your back by doing split squats or lunges. Maybe hip belt squats and single leg deadlifts. Backs do heal, but very slowly.
    Reply With Quote

  6. #6
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 4,182
    Rep Power: 23928
    OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) OldFartTom has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    OldFartTom is online now
    Originally Posted by Iceman1800 View Post
    McGill big 3. Youtube search it
    ^^This
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
    Diet restarted Monday Oct 28th@76.8, Dec 7th@73.4, target 69.x Kg.
    Reply With Quote

  7. #7
    Registered User fendertele's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Age: 35
    Posts: 278
    Rep Power: 769
    fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500) fendertele is a jewel in the rough. (+500)
    fendertele is offline
    My backs ****ed, it can hurt in one place for days then switch places depending on a movement.. I can feel it move whatever it is lying in bed if I sneeze or cough... the pain aint extreme but im always aware of it and my back always feels tight.. even when im walking I feel like one slip and it could snap lol obv over reacting.
    Reply With Quote

  8. #8
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2005
    Location: So.Cal.
    Posts: 6,329
    Rep Power: 27788
    Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Garage Rat has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    Garage Rat is offline
    Perhaps your seeing the wrong doctors if your not getting clear answers.
    Firsts discs are not muscles and how they get better can be way different.
    A doctor or physical therapist that works with athletes is your best bet.
    Not someone that is mostly works with average folks.
    You get an average evaluation and advise from these types of medical professionals.
    Your disc may never get back to normal you may just have to alter your training but that;s why you need to seek out someone that works with athletes to guide you on what you can do.
    Good luck.
    Reply With Quote

  9. #9
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2005
    Location: Oregon, United States
    Age: 47
    Posts: 4,643
    Rep Power: 15735
    blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) blue9steel is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    blue9steel is offline
    I'm not a doctor or a PT and if you're getting bad advice you should find a new one. That said two things come to mind 1) You're doing something that aggravates your current injury or 2) You're not working the right thing to mitigate your problem.

    I have a lower back injury from falling off a horse, though it's likely different than yours. For me, strengthening my spinal erectors is what has made the difference, but each situation is somewhat unique. Doctors are mostly good with surgery or pills, neither of which really apply here. What you really want is a PT with a sports medicine background.
    Reply With Quote

  10. #10
    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Age: 52
    Posts: 15,947
    Rep Power: 10126
    John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000) John Prophet is a name known to all. (+5000)
    John Prophet is offline
    one thing about low backs..if you are not careful u can basically end up in a state of chronic fatigue if too much of your lifting and daily life is stressing the low back

    u might want to look thru your routine and try to find hidden things that are stressing your low back and find other alternatives. for instance, swap out bent barbell rows for chest supported rows. for calves, instead of loading the calf machine with 500lbs (loading the freak out of the low back) , do one calf at a time and use really short rest intervals etc
    "Humility comes before honor"
    Reply With Quote

  11. #11
    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Posts: 3,819
    Rep Power: 16885
    supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) supramax is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    supramax is offline
    Originally Posted by allandr View Post
    Like many, I have lower back problems. I have slightly bulging and degenerative disks in the L4-5 region as well as some muscle issues (right above belt line). 2-3 times a year I throw out my back, sometimes it is nerve related, and others it feels strictly muscular. Just terrible DOMS, spasms, and no strength. I've spent the past few years focusing on core, posterior chain and hinge muscles. I stretch, roll, train hammys, glutes, add/abductors. Everything feels great until it doesn't, then i'm laid up for a week or so.

    My question is, if muscles are supposed to heal stronger, why does the back always feel like it is getting worse? Is it truly nerve issues that manifest as muscle pain, or is it just a damaged muscle that won't heal? I've seen Orthos, PT, injections, everything I can think of without any clear answers. I've seen the MRI and Xrays and can definitely see the difference in the disks, unfortunately at 38 I'm stuck in this position of "not bad enough for surgery" but not good enough to move forward.

    I'm not sure if this is really a question or rant, i'm just frustrated right now. Been back in the gym for about 6 months and hurt myself cleaning garage this weekend. I've been playing this game for the past 5 years. Sometimes its something I do wrong (pickup something too heavy with bad form), sometimes I sneeze wrong, and sometimes it doesn't kick in until the next day after doing manual labor. Feels like every time I start making progress its two steps back. But why doesn't the back seem to get stronger?
    There is a proper way to sneeze, you know. Google it.
    Do you incorporate into your workouts lower back/core strengthening exercises like hyper extensions and unilateral elbow planks, etc?

    Read and heed:
    https://bodyrecomposition.com/traini...echnique.html/
    and
    https://www.t-nation.com/training/th...xercise-period
    'Improves function in the lumbo-pelvic hip complex  If you have trouble with hip, groin, knee, or low back pain, chances are you need to strengthen the muscles around the hips and pelvic floor, along with the core and spinal stabilizers. Single-arm planks will do it, and they even improve sprint speed.

    ... another great core exercise: https://www.stack.com/a/dead-bug
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    It's easy to not be afraid of tigers when you're sitting in your living room watching a television program about tigers. When you're in the jungle where the tigers are, it's quite a different story.
    Reply With Quote

  12. #12
    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2011
    Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
    Age: 64
    Posts: 1,620
    Rep Power: 16560
    RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) RestoringTally is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    RestoringTally is offline
    I used to throw my back out every fall. Seems like the onset of cool weather signaled the onset of back pain. But that was years ago. Someone gave me the book Treat your own Back by Robin McKenzie. McKenzie is a doctor and there are McKenzie Clinics around the world. The book has a few simple exercises that work well for alleviating back pain.



    I have not had my back go out in over 10 years. It used to be it would hurt so bad that I could not stand up straight. The book has exercises for when there is acute pain and for preventing future pain.
    O─O York Barbell Crew #53 O─O
    ─█────█─ Ivanko Barbell Crew #63 ─█────█─
    ─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
    My goal is to have so much equipment that I don't have room to workout. I am almost there. :)
    ──────────────────────────────────-───────────────────────
    1st Meet Nov 2014 Push-Pull: 225 - 325 @ 194 Masters 59
    Reply With Quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts