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  1. #1
    Registered User ve1ocity32's Avatar
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    Intense lower back pain when stretching on exercise ball

    Hey guys. I've recently posted about not being able to stretch my lower back using common stretching exercises because I don't feel anything when doing so. I've finally found a way to stretch my lower back and boy does it hurt. Laying on my stomach on an exercise ball feels like someone is stabbing me in the back. I have had an MRI on my lower lumbar and I couldn't be diagnosed with anything. This was from an old powerclean injury that I assume herniated a disk. I waited about a year later to get an MRI because a lingering pain and tightness wouldn't go away. The disk between the L4 and L5 looks like a > with the narrower portion favoring my backside which I assume means I've developed anterior pelvic tilt to compensate for the pain from the disk injury. Its extremely hard for me to self diagnose if I have APT because I pass all of the stretches (notably recommended by ATHLEANX) that confirm it.

    Well, my question is this. Does anyone have any insight on why the pain would present itself so significantly while doing this stretch? Also, should I continue doing this stretch as a part of my rehabilitation routine?
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    Registered User BromanianDL's Avatar
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    I would not do any lower back stretches, they are mostly harmful for a herniated disc. Get stuart mcgill's book "back mechanic", and avoid rounding your lower back for any reason until you have read it. If you are picking up something off the ground, either lunge down, or do a one leg deadlift like a golfer picking up a golf ball. This will keep your back posture correct. Stop tying your shoes, just keep them loose and slip them on and off.
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    no don't continue a stretch that causes acute pain....

    and for **** sake stop watching Athlean X
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    no don't continue a stretch that causes acute pain....

    and for **** sake stop watching Athlean X
    Definitely this that athlean x guy basically just tells everyone they're working out incorrectly lol
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  5. #5
    Registered User ve1ocity32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BromanianDL View Post
    I would not do any lower back stretches, they are mostly harmful for a herniated disc. Get stuart mcgill's book "back mechanic", and avoid rounding your lower back for any reason until you have read it. If you are picking up something off the ground, either lunge down, or do a one leg deadlift like a golfer picking up a golf ball. This will keep your back posture correct. Stop tying your shoes, just keep them loose and slip them on and off.
    I had a herniated disk, diagnosed by myself of course. I took ~6 months off from the gym after the injury and was very careful when coming back. But after about a year of lingering pain and tightness I went to a spine specialist who ordered an MRI. He couldn't diagnose any type of back injury from my scans. I kind of regret not going to a physical therapist or sports therapist to check my posture and correct any problems. I started a routine geared towards correcting APT if that is my problem. Just focusing on building core strength, something I neglected the past few years. My back really doesn't hurt all that much when bending over or performing simple tasks. Its the tightness when bending over that really causes me the most discomfort. I've been completely unable to feel my lower back stretching when performing common stretches. The only time I can stretch it is laying on an exercise ball with my stomach but it hurts in that position more than in any other position I can produce without any assistance.

    I took your advice and ordered the book on amazon but I'm going to continue my rehab while I read it. Knowing that I don't have a spine injury, do you still recommend against doing lower back stretches?
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  6. #6
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Stuart Mcgill is a hack, makes **** up left right and centre.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9poXGU11ms

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDurZ3SS8NE&t=1711s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMFCKhmcKtI

    Here's some reasonable discussion on pain management bu actually qualified indiviudals
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  7. #7
    Registered User ve1ocity32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    no don't continue a stretch that causes acute pain....

    and for **** sake stop watching Athlean X
    His video on APT is pretty informative. It recommends pretty much what every other source recommends to fix it.. but I found it was presented more clearly by him. I can't attest to any of his other videos that aren't about lower back pain because I didn't watch everything that he made.
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  8. #8
    Registered User ve1ocity32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Definitely this that athlean x guy basically just tells everyone they're working out incorrectly lol
    I've only seen his videos about lower back pain. A lot of what he said made sense and was something I've never heard in 12+ years of bodybuilding. I didn't know he was so hated here but I'm not going to defend him since I haven't seen all of his content.
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  9. #9
    Registered User BromanianDL's Avatar
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    Your diagnosis of a herniated disc is probably correct, as they are very common. Stretching your back will can make you feel good for a few moments, but it's a terrible idea, it puts pressure on your damaged disc. Keeping a neutral spine at all times relieves pressure on a damaged disc and allows it to heal--slowly. Here is one article talking about some things to do:

    https://squatuniversity.com/2018/06/...ore-stability/
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  10. #10
    Registered User ve1ocity32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BromanianDL View Post
    Your diagnosis of a herniated disc is probably correct, as they are very common. Stretching your back will can make you feel good for a few moments, but it's a terrible idea, it puts pressure on your damaged disc. Keeping a neutral spine at all times relieves pressure on a damaged disc and allows it to heal--slowly. Here is one article talking about some things to do:
    Thanks for the link. What do you suggest if I don't have any evidence of a damaged disk on my MRI? Can I stretch my back?
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  11. #11
    Registered User BromanianDL's Avatar
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    If you want to stretch your back, google the cat-camel and be very gentle. I would go through the back mechanic book before trying anything else. You probably have a herniated disc, you could also have other problems like ligament damage, vertebrae damage, nerve damage, etc. Backs are complicated and there is a process that needs to be followed before you decide what course of action to take.
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    Originally Posted by ve1ocity32 View Post
    Hey guys. I've recently posted about not being able to stretch my lower back using common stretching exercises because I don't feel anything when doing so. I've finally found a way to stretch my lower back and boy does it hurt. Laying on my stomach on an exercise ball feels like someone is stabbing me in the back. I have had an MRI on my lower lumbar and I couldn't be diagnosed with anything. This was from an old powerclean injury that I assume herniated a disk. I waited about a year later to get an MRI because a lingering pain and tightness wouldn't go away. The disk between the L4 and L5 looks like a > with the narrower portion favoring my backside which I assume means I've developed anterior pelvic tilt to compensate for the pain from the disk injury. Its extremely hard for me to self diagnose if I have APT because I pass all of the stretches (notably recommended by ATHLEANX) that confirm it.

    Well, my question is this. Does anyone have any insight on why the pain would present itself so significantly while doing this stretch? Also, should I continue doing this stretch as a part of my rehabilitation routine?
    Yes ATP is the main factor for herniated discs, especially if people perform exercising and letting the lower back arched ... The muscles in the lower back are tight, because they are looking for stability, so it's more protective tension to save your discs, so the last thing u wanna do is stretching as many youtubers recommend. What u wanna do instead is create a good stability and bring the pelvis to neutral position it means strenghten transverse abdominal, external obliques, hamstring and glutes. The exercises are 50% another one is how you perform the exercises and what exercises you choose. On example if you do over head press you dont want to let your lower back arched. Also I would avoid any heavy deadlifts because they just tighten ur lower back even more - it's better to chose glute ham raises / nordic curl / reverse leg curl. once you feel better u can also add some spine traction - reverse hyper extension or other which is good for you.
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