Forums Back Low back pain on one side of the spine

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    • #71435
      AvatarJames Beatty
      Participant

      Been hit with some pretty decent pain on the right side of my spine. It’s in the lumbar area a little above my but. Honestly don’t know if it’s extension or flexion based since they both hurt and I work at a desk / extended athlete too. It feels like my spine [slightly to the right] is bruised? I’m having a hard time finding ‘neutral’ now, because I’m worried that I’m either slightly flexed or slightly extended. My back is turning into a bendy straw at the wrong place!

      I’ve been working on hip mobility to avoid rounding and have started on my anterior leg too. Just looking for tips if anyone else has had some low back issues. Right now DLs are a no no. Thanks.

    • #76138
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      Hmm how did this start? were you doing something that caused it to flare up? 

    • #76140

      A good place to start is working on your posture and bracing some more. Try some deadbugs/breathing exercises where you keep your abs braced (especially your low abs below or next to your pubic bones) and work on breathing while braced. Best to do this on your back with legs lifted. Can you bring them down and back up while remaining braced and while controlling your breathing? If you can’t control your core while breathing this leaves your spine unprotected while lifting.

      In terms of posture, make sure you pull your ribs down and keep your butt squeezed a bit and core tight to avoid overextending and making the problem worse. You could mobilize all day, but without fixing these basic human skills, things won’t get better for you.

    • #76146
      AvatarJames Beatty
      Participant

      Hey, sorry about the late reply–I have been gone. This started a few months ago after some higher rep DLing. That was the initial tweak, and its just been slow creeping and “leg day” is what aggravates it.

      Today I could barely pull 135 off the ground. And doing things like picking up a watermelon at the store makes me brace my core like I’m going for a PR. I’ve been trying to mobilize the hell out of my hips. Pain is coming from when I hip hinge, even though I’m staying neutral. Even BB calf raises I can feel it, which really confuses me– I don’t know if I’m slightly overextended or rounded, or just load bearing sensitive.

    • #76150
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      i suspected it was some kind of posterior chain activity that set it off. i’m not sure how your DL form looks, but it is possible you have glute inhibition on the right side. if you do, then hip hinging activities will cause you to overwork the hamstrings and low back when the glute is not firing properly. in this case, your low back is firing up to compensate for lack of glute activation.

      this is not a complete diagnosis – it could be a spine/disc problem that is causing back pain as well. i would get it looked at by a competent chiro/PT to make sure it is not spinal or a disc.  
      then i would wait until the pain calms down. i have found Supernova work on the low back to be pretty good for this.
      then i would look at breathing and make sure you diaphragmatically breathing. this will help you brace the spine properly which is your next project.  then if you have those two going well, i would get back into DLs not in WODs but more with traditional strength training to groove proper movement and glute activation.  for the glutes, i would focus on squeezing them like hell at the top of each DL.  there are other great glute activation exercises too: glute bridges, single leg DLs, etc.
      if you find that you can’t squeeze your glutes for some reason, it is likely some other problem in your hip flexors which are causing the inhibition problem. Smashing the psoas (gut smash) and rectus femoris (use a roller or supernova), and then couch stretching every day, should help with that.
      but make sure it is not a disc problem or else none of this will work and you may end up with a bigger problem down the line.
    • #76151
      AvatarJames Beatty
      Participant

      Thank you for the very helpful tips. Do you know what they do or what tests they run to determine if it’s a disc or spine issue? 

    • #76152
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      This is a pretty good overview:

      An MRI would be conclusive for sure.
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