lower back pain/injury

i hurt my lower back when i was squatting a while ago. the pain started on one side, low and just to the left of my tailbone. now the other side hurts even worse. i can barely bend over, let alone lift weights or work out. are there specific exercises or stretches that i could do for treatment? how about heat and ice?

It could be a torn muscle or ligament. I have experienced an injury very similar to your description a couple of times in the past. It is a sharp, burning sensation in the lower back, right above the hip bones. Bending over is very painful, walking even more so, and prolonged sitting in the same position makes the pain worse when you stand up.

The advice given to see a medical professional is good advice; I offer my own advice here, based on personal experience.

Looking back, the injury is heralded by vague back aches or a tired back. It is touched off by squatting, olympic lifting, or short sprints.

The good news: it will heal completely. The bad news: it will take 6 - 8 weeks before you are able to resume normal training.

Rest your back completely for the next 2 weeks. Don’t stretch, don’t train, don’t strain it. Don’t run, don’t lift anything heavy. Avoid sitting too long in the same position. Your back will be painful during this period. Icing your back will reduce the pain, but don’t overdo it.

After a couple of weeks the pain will subside. You will still feel it like a nagging toothache, and you will be unable to sprint or lift weights. During this period you may gently stretch your back, and go for brisk walks or gentle -gentle!- jogs .

In 3 to 5 weeks the pain will have subsided to the point that you will be able to train somewhat, though each workout will leave you in pain afterwards. It is important at this point NOT to do any kind of sprinting, NO jumping, NO heavy weightlifting. Start with jogging, tempo runs at max. 50%, light weight training such as squats with an empty bar. Over the next two or three weeks build up slowly. Use the pain as a guide to whether you are pushing it too much. Your back will be sore after each work out, but the pain you feel when you bend over should be back to normal or less than previously within 24 hours. If it is worse, lay off until it recovers.

The pain should be 95% gone within 2 months or so, and completely gone within 3 months. It is important, after the first three weeks, to start gentle exercising, otherwise the back will heal only to a certain extent before your muscles start to atrophy and the pain becomes chronic. The first time I experienced this injury 10 years ago I followed my doctor’s advice and rested completely. Six months of inactivity later, my back still hurt like hell. The last time I experienced this injury, in 2000, it healed within 2 months: after the first 3 weeks of rest I started execrcising carefully again.

Best of luck.

I know it may sound dumb, but go see a chiropractor ASAP or a physio, injuries, especially to the back, should be taken care of as soon as possible, were you wearing a belt while squating?


thanks for the advice. i will back off immediately and call my doctor.

a few yrs ago i had an injury to my lower back in which the ‘military docs’ claim that there is nothing wrong…i have had an MRI done and he said that it may be acute arthritis and the narrowing of the L3,L4,L5 discs… I have heard different opinons about rehabs as far as strengthening the core or what not to stop being so athletic and quit working out…what ever the hell that means…

It may be partially mental. My squats are not as heavy, but my legs feel as strong as always, it just feels like my back in gonna ‘POP’ like it did the last time. I dont feel the pain in my spine, just in the erector spinae. Other than taking another cortizone shot…which was useless…what can be done…SOMEBODY PLEASE GIMME SOMETHING!!


snelkracht has certainly summarised well. I had a similar injury mid last year when I felt a bit sore after my first block start from a few months lay off (and I didn’t stretch properly before). Within about 12 hours I could barely walk and for 2 weeks every step I took was agony. Chiro seemed to accelerate the recovery in the latter stages of those two weeks, but the pain wouldn’t go away for a while. With me it was still around at Christmas, but then I found MicrostretchingTM and since then :D. Well, until I tweaked my mid-upper back a week or so ago :frowning: (note: never throw a discus when you haven’t warmed up - especially if you’re not a discus thrower!). Anyway, give the MicrostretchingTM a go (see the thread for a link).

Lo Hill - see Microstretching thread too - maybe it will help, but it certainly won’t hurt (hopefully).

Go at get your back see to by a chiropracter and/or osteopath before deciding on how to approach your rehab and recovery.

I had back pain (abour 5yrs ago), bending down was sore, and it would also give me pain dow my hammy.

Physio - diagnosed it as a slight hamstring strain, so I proceeded to rehab my hammy - nothing.

Then finally went to see an osteopath: I was in full training in about 7 days. My back pain and hammy pain totally gone.

He said that one of my lower veterbrae had moved very slightly, and this is what was causing my problems.

Stretch quads and hip flexors - if these are tight, then it can cause back pain.

Thanks everyone.

“I had back pain (abour 5yrs ago), bending down was sore, and it would also give me pain down my hammy.”

I have these exact same symptons. Went to physio and got the exact same story “hamstring strain”. Still sore, though, 6 weeks later! I went to an (who I now believe incompetent) osteopath who made one small adjustment, which didn’t work. Will use your experience and have it checked again. :wink: