Squats - What went wrong?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 12, 2015 12:29 AM GMT
    So this Monday at the gym, I was four reps into my last set of squats when I felt a pop in my lower back as I was on my way up from the down position. As soon as it happened, I re-racked the barbell and moved on to other exercises that didn't tax the lower back. I went to the doctor that day and he gave me some recommendations for what to do. I've been managing pretty well since then and I only feel it a little bit, but certain movements will aggravate it. I've put my workouts on hold until I feel healed.

    I know that squats can be a problematic exercise because of the need to pay attention to form. I'm always conscious of form and I try to ensure I'm using a weight that I can lift confidently. One of my problems, however, is that I have a great deal of tightness in multiple areas. I've been stretching a lot and doing yoga to try and help with that. Squats have always been difficult to execute because of tight hip flexors and plantar fasciitis. Also, the tightness in my shoulders makes it nearly impossible to do squats with dumbbells if I position them above the shoulders (barbells aren't too bad, but just barely manageable). Over 11 months of consistent exercise, I've gotten better. I still can't go beyond horizontal without losing balance, unless I'm doing jump squats or other quicker and less controlled movements.

    What I want to know is, what the hell did I do wrong to cause this? My lower back is always arched and I always bend at the hips with my chest up. I'm not even using all that much weight (110lbs + bar) compared to what other people my size can lift. I thought that's what I was suppose to do...so...what gives?
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    Feb 13, 2015 3:32 PM GMT
    What did the doctor say the damage *was*?

    There are several possibilities as to what the *pop* could have been, some serious, some not....
  • real_diver2

    Posts: 88

    Feb 13, 2015 7:15 PM GMT
    As was mentioned: Most important thing is to find out what you did from a medical professional.

    I injured my rotator cuff doing the same exercise I had been doing for years. All it takes is one time when you do something in a way that is just a little different and you can injure yourself.

    At least you are taking a break and allowing it to recover.
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    Feb 13, 2015 7:17 PM GMT
    Difficult to say without more info about this 'pop' or what is currently hurting you (i.e. location and quality of pain, what movements make it worse, etc.) Sounds like you were being careful -- not too much weight, focusing on body positioning and proper form. Rest, ice/heat, and NSAIDs are a safe bet if you're feeling pain
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    Feb 14, 2015 12:21 AM GMT
    All good questions. All questions I had myself. If only I could get answers for them from my doctor before he came in and out of the exam room. It's usually hard to speak a full sentence with my family doc because he comes and goes so quickly.

    The pop I felt was quite low along the spine and slightly to the left, probably around the L4-5 area. As far as my recovery goes it's been much better than expected. He did tell me that the pain was likely going to be it's worst after three days, but it only got better after the first day. I barely feel it at all now and I'll probably get back to exercising tomorrow. I'll just take it easy on the lower back and maybe substitute some compound exercises for isolation.

    In any case, any recommendations in regards to the tightness?

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    Feb 14, 2015 3:44 PM GMT
    There wasn't much of a sound. If there was, I couldn't hear it as I had my earphones on. It felt just like how it does to crack a joint but a bit stronger.
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    Feb 15, 2015 12:18 AM GMT
    Sometimes the fascia will release and create the sensation you described.
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    Mar 20, 2015 11:05 AM GMT
    go_dreaming saidAll good questions. All questions I had myself. If only I could get answers for them from my doctor before he came in and out of the exam room. It's usually hard to speak a full sentence with my family doc because he comes and goes so quickly.

    The pop I felt was quite low along the spine and slightly to the left, probably around the L4-5 area. As far as my recovery goes it's been much better than expected. He did tell me that the pain was likely going to be it's worst after three days, but it only got better after the first day. I barely feel it at all now and I'll probably get back to exercising tomorrow. I'll just take it easy on the lower back and maybe substitute some compound exercises for isolation.

    In any case, any recommendations in regards to the tightness?



    Get a referral to ortho. Try calling the receptionist and asking her to phone it in. Primary care is great with internal medicine daily stuff. Ortho is good with bones, ligaments, and anything that needs xray or diagnostic CT/MRI. Some have PT (for rehab) on staff which can do iontophoresis steroids or stretching/strengthening.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Mar 22, 2015 3:35 PM GMT
    Was the sudden pop painfulicon_question.gif
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    Mar 23, 2015 1:16 PM GMT
    go_dreaming saidAll good questions. All questions I had myself. If only I could get answers for them from my doctor before he came in and out of the exam room. It's usually hard to speak a full sentence with my family doc because he comes and goes so quickly.

    The pop I felt was quite low along the spine and slightly to the left, probably around the L4-5 area. As far as my recovery goes it's been much better than expected. He did tell me that the pain was likely going to be it's worst after three days, but it only got better after the first day. I barely feel it at all now and I'll probably get back to exercising tomorrow. I'll just take it easy on the lower back and maybe substitute some compound exercises for isolation.

    In any case, any recommendations in regards to the tightness?



    Aside from stretching, steam room and massage, I would ask my doctor for a prescription of muscle relaxers. Whenever I injure myself like that and can't make the tightness go away, I take a Flexeril at bedtime and wake up with the tightness completely gone. If it's really bad, the tightness will come back later in the day but if I take the muscle relaxers for a week or so it improves rapidly over time.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Mar 25, 2015 7:23 AM GMT
    Your form was still off. You lifted with your back and not enough with your legs. There are woman that lift more at my gym, but it's not the amount of weight it's definitely your form. If it was really severe you wouldn't have been able to rerack te weight. But as one member said, and I say it all the time see a Real Doc, and not a Realjock!icon_idea.gif