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    Registered User realdistort's Avatar
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    Low-back, one sided-nerve pain while squatting

    Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and am looking for some lower back recovery/healing advice.

    I have been lifting for a little under 2 years now, and have had explosive results on all exercises and muscle groups besides legs, and for a very alarming reason that I cannot seem to resolve.

    Around the time I was beginning to master my form early into lifting (lightweight and higher reps), I experienced a very random discomfort and sharp pain in my left lumbar area and lower outer side of my thigh. I spoke to my chiropractor and our best guess is that I injured my SI joint alongside some imbalances caused by my scoliosis. My left leg is shorter than my right leg, accompanied by a very minor curve of the spine (I'd say maybe less than 15 degrees but it has been some time since I last had it medically assessed).

    I quit squatting entirely to recover as recommended by my chiro, but it seemed each time I tried to squat again after I'd thought I'd recovered, the pain would reinvite itself shortly after squatting again. And then I would stop squatting in the hope the next time it would fix itself, and thus the cycle continued. For months I was making no headway. I did everything I could to remedy it at the time. More recently in my attempts to fix this, I spent a large amount of time working with squat wedges for incline squats, and that helped my back tremendously by taking some of the pressure off the lower area and more in the central quad. But recently I have started back on flat foot squats and I have noticed considerable improvement in both form and strength since I made the switch off of incline.

    As of today, I attempted to go heavy (switching off high reps into low reps with heavier weight) for the first time (in a long time), and am deeply regretting it. I did a 2nd rep of 225, and I felt stupidly powerful, but right at the top of the 2nd rep after its completion, I felt that exact spot near my left SI joint just burst like a water balloon. The pain shot down in my left lower back through my leg and into my foot for a good 5-10 seconds. I sat down immediately and waited until I had a grasp on the situation. I can still walk with some discomfort, and the motion of sitting down hurts, but overall I am more worried about the future of my squat if this continues like it has. I am pretty sure based on what I am feeling as of writing this post that there is some degree of nerve damage, or possibly sciatica. I have felt this degree of discomfort before, so I think I will recover in due time, but never the popping sensation. The pain usually comes about a day or two after squatting, but this pain was instant.

    I admittedly am not the best with my core bracing while squatting. My form early on when I started lifting wasn't great, and that I consider to be the main culprit of my lower back pain early on. But what worries me is that it has gotten much better, and at the time of these 2 reps, I felt very stable and controlled. It was one of the best sets of reps I had done both strength and form-wise, and there was no low back tension going down or pushing up that I noticed. This incident simply came out of nowhere to me and I am very concerned about it.

    If anyone has dealt with something similar to me and/or has tips or recommendations, I am very welcome to hear them; stretches, exercises, whatever you may find helpful. I know I am stronger than the weight I put up, but I want to hold off until I know I can move on and continue lifting safely again. For now I, again, am going to refrain from squats until I can do them right. I am also going to hold off on leg press as that can flare the pain too.

    Thanks for your time. It is much appreciated.
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