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Old 10-31-2009, 08:27 AM   #1
Mick Byrne
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Back Squat: Back into spasm.

Hey,

Just got back from the gym (and hospital). My back went into spasm while trying to do:
5-5-5-5-5.

I was up to around 70kg which I didn't think was too heavy, 5 should of been hard but possible without failing.

Big click at the bottom and hey presto back went into spasm.

Any ideas why?

I think when I'm back to 100% I will try squatting lighter for more reps just to get my back stronger and used to the deep movement.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Mick
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
Brian Strump
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

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Originally Posted by Mick Byrne View Post
Hey,

Just got back from the gym (and hospital). My back went into spasm while trying to do:
5-5-5-5-5.

I was up to around 70kg which I didn't think was too heavy, 5 should of been hard but possible without failing.

Big click at the bottom and hey presto back went into spasm.

Any ideas why?

I think when I'm back to 100% I will try squatting lighter for more reps just to get my back stronger and used to the deep movement.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Mick
Your the guy that went to the hospital, right? What did they say? Are you in pain now? Did anything they did, or you are taking help? Radiating pain?
There are thousands of things it could be.
More info would be a big help to helping you on your way.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

Usually strains/spasming/etc. happen if your form gets off somewhat and then you have some mobility issues and it just aggravates something then boom.

Heat, rest, massage...

May be a good idea to get your technique looked at or you mobility evaluated especially if you're one of the people who are always tight.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
Mick Byrne
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

Yes it was me that went the hospital.

Doctor says its not damaged, just gone in to spasm. Apparently the muscle does this to protect the back.

No radiating pain or weakness or pain anywhere else. Just pain in lumbar region.

Mate watching says form was ok, just started olly lifting. Only really first time started to try and do do max for five.

Mick
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
Andrew Roden
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

Had this happen to me a year ago. Last rep of last set of 5X5 at 380lbs. I relaxed my core just a little at the top and snap...
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:31 PM   #6
Brian Strump
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

It you are in ALOT of pain I'd use ice for the first 2-3 days, then turn to heat. 20mins on a few times throughout the day. Laying on your back, pulling your knees to your chest may help reduce some discomfort. Sleep on your back, put a pillow under your hamstrings, this will help to flatten your lumbar curve and be more comfortable. Do simple range of motion exercises to help keep it loose many times throughout the day. Give it another 2-3 days and see how you feel.
Next time...BE CAREFUL! Your technique more than likely suffered on those final reps, and you lost your lumbar curve.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:54 PM   #7
Elliot Royce
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

I've had the same thing happen but everyone's different so this advice may not apply:

- agree to get your technique checked out by someone who really knows how to look for rounding (you won't be able to tell yourself). Rippetoe explains all the cues for proper squat technique
- I have very tight hip and lower back muscles and I think they just tilt the pelvis at the wrong time. I simply try not to go too far down and ease into it. Going 5x5 at max is not a good idea until you've really tested your range. I'd be more inclined to start with 3 x 20 squats at lighter weight and work on the range of motion.
- I studied O-lifting for a while and learned that, for me anyway, the number one rule was to keep that curve in the lower back. Get the bar across your shoulders, stick your butt back and develop a good curve in the back by keeping your chest up, then hold your breath and focus on maintaining the curve no matter what. I was doing 430lbs deadlifts with a tricky back and never had a problem when I followed this. It was when I got sloppy and didn't go through the right prep that spasms occurred.

I find myself much more prone to spasm than most. I agree that it's the brain's circuit breaker for protecting the spine. A very small difference in the angle of your pelvis or lower back can trip the circuit breaker which is again why you should go for more reps and lower weights until you've developed more flexibility and perhaps conditioned the brain to the expanded range of motion (this is just my theory of how it operates).

Hope this helps! The good thing is that spasms always heal.
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:35 AM   #8
Mick Byrne
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

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Originally Posted by Elliot Royce View Post
I've had the same thing happen but everyone's different so this advice may not apply:

- agree to get your technique checked out by someone who really knows how to look for rounding (you won't be able to tell yourself). Rippetoe explains all the cues for proper s.
Sounds like good advice,I have just started seeing a coach once a month and will get him to check from next time I go.

I definitely agree with doing 20 reps, the movement still feels unfamiliar to me and doing more reps will build up muscle memory as well as some strength.

Still hurting a lot today, hope it goes quick, I'm sure my last one lasted a 2 or 3 days.

Later,

Mick

Mick
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:10 PM   #9
Mike Mallory
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

You need to be evaluated, because we don't know if you have

-too much lumbar curve
-not enough lumbar curve
-SI joint issues
-facet problems
-disc problems
-proper core control
-etc. etc

You can set your back off from a lot of things, and just keeping your lumbar curve is not enough!

Without knowing stuff like this you could easily be sent in the wrong direction as far as treatment goes.

Given that you've already been in the hospital, I would give it a high priority
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
Mick Byrne
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Re: Back Squat: Back into spasm.

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Originally Posted by Mike Mallory View Post
You need to be evaluated, because we don't know if you have

-too much lumbar curve
-not enough lumbar curve
-SI joint issues
-facet problems
-disc problems
-proper core control
-etc. etc
Feeling looser this evening already.

I can try to answer a few
Physio has always said I dont have much lumbar curve.
Had a Si Joint xray last year and that was ok.
Possibly have a slight disc herniation but nothing has been proven.

I will see the guy who has been coaching me and get him to chek my form asap.
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