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Old 01-04-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
Eric Lester
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Left Lower Back Pain

This past summer I did Starting Strength for about 3 months. During that time I somehow started getting a pain in my lower back which has not gone away since. I am 5'7 and 163lbs. During that time my deadlift max went from 240 to 350. I am wondering if perhaps I tweaked something with bad deadlifting or squat form. I never use a lifting belt or straps or anything. Most of the time I life barefoot or wearing Chuck Taylors.

The pain is not excruciating and it is not constant. I feel it whenever I turn or bend over certain ways, it feels like something "catches" and causes pain. I have hardly worked out the past 2 months since starting a new job, and the pain persists. It is only on my left side, right above my waist, near my spine.

I am about to start lifting again but I am very wary of heavy lifts with this unknown pain. I have attached an image where I put a red circle over the approximate location of the pain.

I know it may be hard to diagnose something like this over the Internet. If I was to seek professional advice who should I go to? Doctor, physical therapist, someone else?
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:45 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

Sounds like a strain of some sort although since it lasted two months or so without much working out it seems like it could be something else. There's lots of muscles in that area so it would be hard to venture a guess. Is the pain deep inside or is it more on the surface? And is it right next to the spine or a little more laterally away from the body?

In any case, if you want it resolved if you can talk to some sort of sports doctor or possibly chiro/PT, they should be able to help you out depending on what it is.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:10 AM   #3
Brad Thompson
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

See a Dr./PT/Chiro

Ice Ice Ice.

What sort of flexibility work are you doing? Try and see if your abs need to be loosened up - cobra stretch.

Good luck.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:12 AM   #4
Eric Lester
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Is the pain deep inside or is it more on the surface? And is it right next to the spine or a little more laterally away from the body?
It feels like it is on the surface, but when I try to knead the spot with my knuckles or fingers I can't. It feels like the ligaments or muscles near the surface are too tense and I can't massage deep enough. So I guess that might mean it is deeper.

It is not up against the spine. I would say a couple inches to the side.

Quote:
In any case, if you want it resolved if you can talk to some sort of sports doctor or possibly chiro/PT, they should be able to help you out depending on what it is.
Thanks, I'll have to see if there is a sports doctor around here. If not I may check on the chiro or PT.

Brad,

I haven't really been doing any flexibility work. I will try both the ice and the cobra stretch! Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

If you can get a massage from someone else it would probably be better. If they know how to do myofascial release & crossfriction stuff as well as pressing for deep tissue that would probably help you a lot.
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:04 AM   #6
Howard Wilcox
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

I had something vaguely similar (all back problems seem to be similar, unfortunately)...and I had a massage person do a psoas release. Not only I had never heard of the psoas muscle, it was one of the most painful procedures of my life. She got at it through the stomach...yay...and it made me want to cry. But when she started working, besides fighting back nausea, I could feel it tugging on that exact spot on the lower back. A few moments later, it literally "popped"...and the relief was immediate.

I still am not sure if this was the cause or merely a symptom, but it made a big difference. Something to check out. Also, you might get the Trigger Point Therapy Manual by Claire Davies. It's a great reference for figuring out potential trigger points (which many in the medical community are unaware of). This is important since the source of the pain is often not where the problem is (i.e. referred pain).

Good luck...

howard
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:40 AM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

psoas release through the stomach.. interesting. I guess that's a good way to do it.. if you can.. because the other muscles on the back block it from being hit directly from the backside.

How exactly did she do that? I'm curious.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
Corey Duvall
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

I do a number of psoas releases. Most often I'll have the patient lie on their side. Bend both hips and knees to 90 degrees... similar to the fetal position. Then the abdominals will be relaxed enough to dive in the side. When I make my contact, I have the patient actively extend the top hip off the back of the table, with my hip blocking theirs to ensure hip extension. My first contact is often on the iliacus, just inside the hip pointer. From their I move medially a few inches to the intersection of the psoas and iliacus. Then travel upwards along the psoas. I'll often have them extend the leg 2-3 times per contact until it will release. To help the psoas stretch, I'll sometimes have them raise their top arm over their head after the foot drops off the table... it can be intense, but the clinical benefits from it are immense.
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:31 PM   #9
Howard Wilcox
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

I'm sorry Steven, I forgot I posted in this thread. What Corey is saying sounds about right, IIRC. I can't remember if my legs were up or down or varied over time. But she seemed to go in at about the 1/4 line of the body and sort of moves the intestines out of the way (a little over from the belly-button). She then feels around for a large band of muscle (apparently the psoas is quite large). I can feel it myself now that I know how, though I'm not sure I can do much with it (hard to relax and work it at the same time). She then massaged it until it released.

I think Claire Davies shows how to do it in his Trigger Point Workbook. I highly recommend it, just for the out-of-this-world sensation.



Despite having a pars fracture and grade 1 spondy (neither of which ever gave me any trouble, I'm now 36)...I think the core of my problem was trigger-point related (originating in a kickball game of all things, twisty-flexing-kicking motion and all that).

howard
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:44 PM   #10
Brock Jones
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Re: Left Lower Back Pain

Just recently I strained my back in almost the exact location that you circled in your image. I went to a chiropractor that also specializes in trigger point/active release (ART) massage. I would say that the chiropractic didn't do much (count me as a chiropractic skeptic), but the myofascial release seemed to work wonders. Once he found the trouble spot in my back (which wasn't in the same location as the pain I felt), some intense (and intensely painful) kneading released the muscle and my recovery sped up dramatically.
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