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Joe Agliozzo 05-11-2012 01:11 PM

Starting Strength + MWOD fixed back problems
Just wanted to post this because I am grateful, but for those with persistent low back problems:

After sitting at a desk for many years, I developed severe low back pain that would come and go in intensity but was pretty much always there. I tried many stretching routines, etc. with some limited and temporary relief.

I started doing crossfit about 4 years ago and started doing the warmups and when it became available, mobilitywod and that started to help a lot but still lingering issues that would come and go.

The final piece of the puzzle was starting strength, and specifically building up my squat and deadlift. Although I had been doing this lifts for a number of years, I did them at very reduced/scaled weights. When I decided to give SS a go, I got on the linear progression. I had to start very light (like 1/3BW for my squat) and take the increases very slow. I constantly watched form and depth and took my time.

Now I am almost done with my second cycle of SS and wow what a difference! My back pain is almost entirely gone. Most importantly it doesn't come back after a long day of activity - whether it's surfing, beach vb or mountain biking. If I do feel some stiffness or strain coming on, by thinking "tighten the core/glues" it effectively goes away. A lot of my hipflexor/glute muscles that had atrophied from years of sitting have really come back and it makes all the difference.

Mine is just one experience, but it's worth trying if you fit the model of "athelete"/desk jockey like I do.

Thanks to Crossfit, MobilityWod and Starting Strength.

Matt A. Windsor 05-11-2012 01:40 PM

Re: Starting Strength + MWOD fixed back problems
I had the same problem; the only difference is that I've had an L5/S1 microdiscectomy. I pretty much had the same experience until I started CrossFit; our box has an EXTREME focus on correct form (not that others don't, of course).

Within maybe 2 weeks after that my lower back problems were pretty much gone. :)

Steven Low 05-13-2012 08:56 PM

Re: Starting Strength + MWOD fixed back problems
It's pretty surprising what strength training does.... and honestly it shouldn't be surprising

Back pain is typically caused by some form of instability or compensation or other types of factors like that.

Once you start strengthening the muscles and re-educating the core muscles to contract at the right times, especially with fundamental movements like squat and deadlift you basically solve instability problems, help to eliminate compensation issues by being stronger, etc.

Funny how that works...

Alden Hingle 05-14-2012 02:16 PM

Re: Starting Strength + MWOD fixed back problems
I had a similar experience. I hurt my back when I was 21 and had lived with recurrent back pain for over 30 years. Never did squats or deadlifts because "you already have a bad back; you'll make it worse."

When I started CrossFit, I started very light with the weights for squats and deadlifts and moved up in a linear progression. Also did other core strength work like planks and Abmat sit-ups. Woke up one morning and realized, "wow, my back hasn't hurt in a long time." As I thought about it, I realized the strength training was the change that fixed it.

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