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Old 12-01-2010, 10:29 AM   #1
Sam Fuller
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Deadlift severe low back pain

I was back in the gym on Monday after a long Thanksgiving weekend. Started out with a few hundred jump ropes, back extensions, stretching, air squats. First part of WOD was finding 1 rep max. I don't have a true 1 rep max discovered yet so I did 8-10 reps of 135 with no problems...this was easy warmup weight. Then I made the mistake up jumping straight to 225 (didn't think this would be a problem b/c I've easily done 225 many many times).

I got into position, back straight (I thought), and went into a strong, slow pull when BAM...felt something weird in my back before I even budged the weight. Not a click or clunk or an obvious shifting, but I knew something was wrong. I was immediately unable to bend over to get back in DL position or pick up anything off the ground. I immediately foam rolled my back and did some leg crosses while lying on my back. I called it a day and took my crippled a$$ back home. Yesterday truly sucked as I found it excruciating to shift in bed or even put pants on. Any movement which requires me to bend over more than 10 degrees causes severe pain in my sacral area. Just getting eggs out of the fridge I have to support myself with one hand on my knee while I reach in the fridge with the other hand. Getting socks on this morning was torture and I had to fight through level 8-9 pain.

I went to a chiro friend last night and she said my Sacrum was tilted right a good 20-30 degrees. I'd lay on my stomach and she would push my legs towards my butt. My right leg would come 6 inches further than my left. So after about 20 "table drops" later she said he was close to being straight but not perfect. This seemed to make the problem even worse at the time....I could barely get off the table or out of my vehcile. I iced and iced all night and this morning it was feeling terrible!! But as the day has gone on, I think it's starting to feel better. The pain isn't as jaw-dropping when I bend over but now I'm getting a "pinch" in my sacral area when I walk. Left leg has no affect on it but I get the pinch when my right leg comes all the way forward (at the end of the walking stride). I think the pain is about 20% better and it feels to be loosening up.

Does this sound like a muscle or disc issue? Would you continue Chiro or go to spine doc? I'm freaking out b/c I'm getting married in 80 days and we are going snowboarding in Whistler for 2 weeks for the honeymoon. This MUST be better soon!
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #2
Jessica S Roberts
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

If it were me and I was that concerned because of your upcoming trip, I'd go to an orthopedic doctor. I don't mess around with matters of the back though because I have a bad back - I practically have my ortho on speed dial!!!

Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:22 AM   #3
Joe Bernard
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

I don't have any advice for you except to get better for the honeymoon. I went to Whistler two years ago during winter break and it was the best skiing I have ever done! It snowed everyday so there was fresh powder all the time, it was amazing.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:40 AM   #4
Mike Mallory
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

severe pain like that usually suggests disc or something similar, but you need a proper assessment.

You're sacrum can tilt like that for a number of reasons.

Finding your one rep max after thanksgiving is not cool......not sure if you're gym programmed that or what, but unless you're a paleo superstar, most people are gettin' to work inflaming their gut for a whole week during thanksgiving. Trying a one rep max with you're inner unit shut-down from pie-overload = accident waiting to happen. even with a straight back you can still jack yourself up that way. Not meant as a lecture, but just sayin-

not the end of the world, but you should either have some disc provocation tests done or get an MRI.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
Anthony Ricci
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

Find a Chiro who knows Crossfit if possible. Orthopedists are surgeons they are great at cutting not so much on biomechanics . PT's are fine also if CF knowledge. Get the right diagnoses-there are numerous reasons for pain.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

If it's continually sacral it's probably all SI joint.... If it doesn't get much better within a week might be a good idea to see a doc. But I would see what the chiro (as long as he/she is good) can do with it for a week to try to get it to stay in the right spot
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
Brian Strump
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

A good chiro will be better than a "spine doc", in regards to the conservative active approach to getting you better.
Too many people come to us, after their doctor tells them to rest for 6 weeks, and take anti-inflammatories. Makes me cringe 99% of the time. IF they knew how tissues respond to that, I'd hope they could offer a better suggestion.

If you're feeling better from the chiro, AND he gives you things for exercise, I would continue where you are....If he tells you not to DL or squat for a extended period of time; I'd listen to Anthony's advice...Not to mention Stephen and Mike's too.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:20 AM   #8
Sam Fuller
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

Thank you for all of your input. Here I am 6 days later and I'm about 20% better in the mornings and 80% better in the evenings. Putting on socks in the morning is still excruciating in the morning, yet my back loosens up so much during the day that there is very little pain in the evening! What is this?? My chiropractor said that my sacrum was shifted/tilted severely to the left and after 2 adjustments it's getting back to where it should be. However, I can't say that I think this is what is helping. What seems to be helping is getting up and moving around, walking, stretching, working around the house.

Should I continue to just deal with the pain in the morning until this gets better or go see a doc? Maybe a massage? It doesn't seem to be a disc problem b/c that wouldn't "loosen up" throughout the day, would it? I'm thinking it's some sort of muscle in spasm that freezes up overnight and loosens as I use it. Sound right? What's the fix?
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
Jordan K Smith
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mallory View Post
Finding your one rep max after thanksgiving is not cool......not sure if you're gym programmed that or what, but unless you're a paleo superstar, most people are gettin' to work inflaming their gut for a whole week during thanksgiving. Trying a one rep max with you're inner unit shut-down from pie-overload = accident waiting to happen. even with a straight back you can still jack yourself up that way. Not meant as a lecture, but just sayin-
what is the "inner unit"? sympathetic nervous system? i thought heavy eating and heavy lifting were complimentary?
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:48 AM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: Deadlift severe low back pain

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Originally Posted by Sam Fuller View Post
Thank you for all of your input. Here I am 6 days later and I'm about 20% better in the mornings and 80% better in the evenings. Putting on socks in the morning is still excruciating in the morning, yet my back loosens up so much during the day that there is very little pain in the evening! What is this?? My chiropractor said that my sacrum was shifted/tilted severely to the left and after 2 adjustments it's getting back to where it should be. However, I can't say that I think this is what is helping. What seems to be helping is getting up and moving around, walking, stretching, working around the house.

Should I continue to just deal with the pain in the morning until this gets better or go see a doc? Maybe a massage? It doesn't seem to be a disc problem b/c that wouldn't "loosen up" throughout the day, would it? I'm thinking it's some sort of muscle in spasm that freezes up overnight and loosens as I use it. Sound right? What's the fix?
Pain in the morning is due to the fact that the discs swell up with fluid during the night (as you're lying down and no compressive forces of gravity are on them from standing up). This is necessary and how the discs get their nutrition.

Take it easy in the mornings as much as you can.
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