Doctor says no more squats - should I get a second opinion?

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    Aug 24, 2008 11:04 AM GMT
    I had an MRI done due to having some low back pain; which has since gone away. I found out that I have some slight degeneration in my spine. There is apparently some lose of fluid around the discs. Anyhow, my doctor told me to stop doing squats. My instinct tells me that I don't want to "baby" my back and just let it continue to degenerate. I feel like I should try to keep my abs and low back muscles as strong as possible and keep doing squats and deadifts etc. - just very carefully. Then again, I'm not the one licensed to practice medicine.

    Anyhow, has anyone else had low back pain and been told to stop squatting? Did you get a second opinion and if so what were you told?
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Aug 25, 2008 12:14 AM GMT
    Go to see a Chiropractor. The back is kind of their thing.
    If you can, go see a chiropractor that deals with athletes, and has been doing so for many years.
  • UTB1

    Posts: 39

    Aug 25, 2008 3:18 AM GMT
    You may think it is appropriate not to "baby" it, but I have some friends who have horrible back problems and it really isn't anything to mess with, otherwise you could be in for some very serious and expensive back surgery that will not only curtail your squats but a lot of other activities as well. Get another opinion, but don't think that this isn't a very serious issue.

    I am not a physician, but again I do have friends who have gone through hell with their backs.

    Good luck!
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    Aug 25, 2008 3:34 AM GMT
    DON'T MESS WITH YOUR BACK!!!

    I haven't done squats for just over a year now. I've had back problems for years due to a number of sports injuries over the years. Last year, after soreness in the back, I went to the doc and she told me to stop with deads and squats. I did. I've had no problems with my back since then and my legs have even gotten bigger.

    I do single leg squats and single leg king deads to work around both. I also cycle through sissy squats and a number of other leg positions without weights during my workout. I haven't had a problem with my back since then (knock on wood) and my legs definitely haven't suffered.

    With that said, I'm not a power lifter. I'm not training for size. But then if you have back issues, you should probably stay away from power lifting anyway.

    And, if you do go to a chiropractor, make sure that they do x-rays (at least) before they touch you. If they don't tell you that they need to do this first, leave.
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    Aug 25, 2008 4:01 AM GMT
    I'm not going to give medical advice or even take a stand on second/third/forth opinions or which type of doc you should see.

    I'll just offer my own personal experience...

    I've suffered from back issues since I was 20. That's 28 years now. I have arthritis in my spine and some genetic abnormalities in both my disks and vertebrae that combine to create mechanical and structural "challenges."

    I've seen just about every kind of doctor out there, with many difference instances of each kind, some of whom are the absolute tops of their specialties. I've tried all sorts of things. I've had a dozen or more CT, Xray, and MRI scans. And where am I now? For the last two years, I'd say my back has been the best it's ever been since I was 19. I give most of the credit to a very sharp Chiropractor -- she's the 8th or 9th Chiro I've tried over the years. So after finally nailing it, with her help after working on it for 26 years, here's my advice for you and anyone with serious back issues (by serious, I mean disk, vertebral, nervous, or structural issues, not just "sore back muscles"):

    1) It's all about your core strength and flexibility. Sacrifice everything for core strength and flexibility. Spend all your time researching and understanding the muscles and structure of your core, and how to develop strength and flexibility. Note I'm always saying strength AND flexibility. With just one or the other, you lose. Only with both do you succeed. With core strength and flexibility, everything else is possible. It is the foundation. Without it you lose. I won't tell you exactly what this means. There's millions of words out there on the net for you to find. Many on this site -- which is a great place to start.

    2) Don't go under the knife. Ever. The procedures today are still as medieval as they have been for 50 years.

    3) Get over the "cult of the squat." I was a member of the cult. I loved the squat. But it is just too risky a move, and it will ALWAYS find your weak point and fuck you. It is simply a matter of time. Yes it is a great exercise. But for people with serious back issues, the risks are not worth the benefits. And regardless of what the cult says, there are plenty of ways you can achieve strength and mass in your legs without this exercise. Lunges, sissy squats, and presses all can be fine substitutes and there are plenty of variations of each. This site is a great resource for non-squat legwork.

    Good luck.

    K
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    Aug 25, 2008 9:48 AM GMT
    Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll stop doing squats until I get the clearance from another medical professional. Could probably benefit from incorporating more unilateral movements like lunges anyhow.
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    Aug 25, 2008 5:01 PM GMT
    I'm all about NOT doing squats anymore. I tweaked my lower back doing them months ago, and it's still giving me problems.

    I'm not a big fan of chiro's, but even mine told me to NOT do them as they put severe amounts of pressure on your spine/joints/back. What he DID say I could do instead of barbell squats were smith rack squats. The difference is that your legs are supporting the weight instead of all of it falling on your back. It forces your body to rely more on leg/core strength and helps to reduce the pressure on your spine.

    But there are plenty of exercises you can do to build your legs that don't include squats.

    As the others have said, DON'T F*CK WITH YOUR BACK. You'll regret it the rest of your life.
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    Oct 12, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    Although I love/hate squats if I were in your case and I did have several opinions that dissuaded me from doing them I would make the leg press my new best friend.


    Stay away from leg presses. They are a prime cause of back injuries.

    Do yourself a favor and read Stuart McGill's books on back rehabilitation and training.

    In any case, nearly everyone has disc degeneration, including most of the young guys you see squatting at the gym. It doesn't mean anything.
  • training_guy

    Posts: 271

    Oct 12, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    Most Doctors don't have a clue. If you are practising good form and it is not causing you pain then do squats. Everyone over the age of 30 starts to degenerate (& in some cases earlier), it's often a normal finding on MRI/X-rays, it does not necessarily mean you should avoid certain exercises.

    With degernerative changes like arthritis the best thing you can do is exercise, but pace yourself. You will build strong muscles which means less stiffness & stress on your joints. However if squats are causing you pain, try different exercises.

    People get so scared of back pain, they end up avoiding certain movements or activites because they are scared it will "go", but it's a vicious circle, as the back just becomes stiffer & weaker with increased pain.......
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 12, 2009 6:40 PM GMT
    >.<
    I just realized this thread is more than 1 year old.
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    Oct 12, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
    Diffident_Sunshine said>.<
    I just realized this thread is more than 1 year old.


    Yes it is. Maybe if sashaman sees this topic back up, he will let us all know what finally happened. I just know that I think there is a difference between getting a second opinion and searching for a doctor to tell you what you want to hear.
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    Oct 12, 2009 7:16 PM GMT
    necromancer wooooo

    Actually in my experience (nearly 20 years of back issues) most general doctors don´t know much about the back and their solution is "don´t do anything", ibroprufen or referral. In some cases that is the correct advice, no doubt, but in many cases it is not.

    If anyone is in doubt they should go and see a physiotherapist or a back specialist. Surgeons will suggest surgery. They would. I started pilates because of my back and the difference is stunning. Iguana got it with the balance between flexibility and strength: that`s pilates.



    (This post was brought to you by Future Pilates Teachers Looking for Clients LTD)
  • troy_par

    Posts: 22

    Oct 12, 2009 7:21 PM GMT
    I second the pilates comment. I have suffered back pain for the last 15 years. Until I started pilates. In addition to the relief of back pain, I have noted an overall difference in my body and the way I carry myself.
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    Oct 12, 2009 7:39 PM GMT
    Most doctors know absolutely nothing about lifting, good lifting technique, nutrition or pretty much anything fitness related. They are great for acute injuries (axe in the forehead stuff) but often ignorant of "how to be fit."

    Unless your doctor is also a very serious athlete or trains athletes, I would ignore that advice or seek out a really top tier athletic coach to work with.

    I had major back pain for 15 years from martial arts injuries and saw all sorts of doctors who recommended rest or surgery or medication. The only thing that made it better was training with a good knowledgeable coach and lifting heavy weights (eventually, once past the early stage progressions.)

    Wish you luck. Would love to get an update on your progress (since this is an old post.)

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    Oct 12, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
    What about yoga? I thought yoga cured back pain and gave you the erections of a 17-year-old.
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    Oct 12, 2009 8:00 PM GMT
    I'm beginning yoga today.
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    Oct 12, 2009 8:04 PM GMT
    I'm not a Doctor, but I am a healthcare professional.

    the only thing doing squats is going to do is put more strain on your back.
    if you're already running and 90%, you're not going to get any better. Degeneration is Degeneration. You may be able to see a chiropractor and feel less of the effects, but putting more strain on your back is probably a bad idea.

    More plyometric based things like pilates or yoga are probably going to be more suited for you now. You'll be able to strengthen the muscles without the extra pressure pushing down on your intervertebral discs, which is what's going to make things worse. (Hell you may even relieve the pressure with yoga.)

    but if you're really worried about it, why are you asking us? We're not doctors, and we're not chiropractors. Go see one, and see what he says.
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    Oct 12, 2009 8:12 PM GMT
    why is this an issue if you're not a professional weight lifter?

    the first thing i did was look at your pictures expecting competition photos or something... in my opinion... squats? there's nothing to miss, thank your doctor and find something healthier for you.

    doctor says no... OK, thank him. Find one of the thousands of alternatives you have to choose from that are less eye-popping and back breaking. You will find a doctor who says its ok, if you seek it out.. its ultimately up to you and what you deduct is good for you.

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    Oct 12, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
    Funkapottomous saidI'm not a Doctor, but I am a healthcare professional.

    the only thing doing squats is going to do is put more strain on your back.
    if you're already running and 90%, you're not going to get any better. Degeneration is Degeneration. You may be able to see a chiropractor and feel less of the effects, but putting more strain on your back is probably a bad idea.

    More plyometric based things like pilates or yoga are probably going to be more suited for you now. You'll be able to strengthen the muscles without the extra pressure pushing down on your intervertebral discs, which is what's going to make things worse. (Hell you may even relieve the pressure with yoga.)

    but if you're really worried about it, why are you asking us? We're not doctors, and we're not chiropractors. Go see one, and see what he says.


    I'm sure the OP has been to see the doctor. After all the thread is over 1 year old
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    Oct 12, 2009 8:43 PM GMT
    gym_dude said
    Lostboy saidnecromancer wooooo

    their solution is "don´t do anything", ibroprufen or referral. In some cases that is the correct advice,


    (This post was brought to you by Future Pilates Teachers Looking for Clients LTD)


    Doing nothing is the worse thing you can do for back pain......even in the acute stages it's vital to do some form of exercise, however little......


    when it´s actually acute (a flare up) you often literally can´t move. I do agree though that as soon as you can you should start some form of movement.
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    Oct 12, 2009 9:15 PM GMT
    My low back bugs the dickens out of me from time to time. For me, I've found ab work brings relief. I have also found that legs presses are great for popping my low back in, and provide relief. Flat bench dumbbells pop my upper back in. I'd never let them cut on my back. I strengthen core and do heavy leg presses and everything fixes itself right up. I also do hamstrings. For me, it's about balance which seems to fix everything.
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    Oct 12, 2009 10:30 PM GMT
    i hate squats and never do them anymore.
    They put a strain on my upper vertebrae. The pressure on the neck is not something that feels right to me.
    Maybe it's the way i'm built .
    There are so many other ways to develop legs.
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    Oct 12, 2009 10:39 PM GMT
    Sure, get another opinion, but don't do any squats until that time!icon_mad.gif
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    Oct 12, 2009 10:52 PM GMT
    you could always try and switch things up... front squats engage ur abs more so theres less strain on the back and might just be what ur lookin for... but as a 20 year old virtually pain free i should just shut my mouth icon_razz.gif
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    Oct 13, 2009 3:27 AM GMT
    Blondizgd said
    Funkapottomous saidI'm not a Doctor, but I am a healthcare professional.

    the only thing doing squats is going to do is put more strain on your back.
    if you're already running and 90%, you're not going to get any better. Degeneration is Degeneration. You may be able to see a chiropractor and feel less of the effects, but putting more strain on your back is probably a bad idea.

    More plyometric based things like pilates or yoga are probably going to be more suited for you now. You'll be able to strengthen the muscles without the extra pressure pushing down on your intervertebral discs, which is what's going to make things worse. (Hell you may even relieve the pressure with yoga.)

    but if you're really worried about it, why are you asking us? We're not doctors, and we're not chiropractors. Go see one, and see what he says.


    I'm sure the OP has been to see the doctor. After all the thread is over 1 year old
    yeah.

    Didn't see that.


    Was trying to be helpful.

    Big deal. You wanna fight about it?
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