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-   -   DL Injury (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3501)

Donald Lee 12-13-2008 05:27 PM

DL Injury
A little background, this past September I sprained my lower back in the L5-S1 region back squatting with the high-bar and hips back and without a proper warmup for lack of time. I was able to finish all 10 sets of 3 reps. I think the lack of a warmup and the relatively light weight made my rounding of the lower back worse.

So fast forward to today. I have been slowly coming back. I was deadlifting 4-5 times a week with light weights and high reps. Then, I started deadlifting 3 times a week because I wasn't able to recover enough. By this time I lowered my reps to 3 sets of 5 reps. Then, soon after I lowered it to 1 set of 5. Then, I started deadlifting 2 times a week and now 1 time/week.

Before my lower back injury, I deadlifted an easy 265 for a set of 5. Last week I deadlifted 195 for a set of 5. Today, my last warm up was an easy double overhand grip 195# deadlift. I mistakedly thought that my last week's deadlift had been 205 instead of 195, so I felt strong and went for 225 instead of 215. I set up with the mixed grip and went for it.

I lifted the bar about an inch or so off the ground, and my back cracked like it's never cracked before. Does this sound like a muscle strain? I can bend over pretty well and only have pain toward the edge of my flexibility limits.

I'm not way too worried about it, but I'm more curious. It's funny how big of a difference 30# is. I've never double overhand grip deadlifted 195 that easily. Then, on a 225 switch grip deadlift, I fall apart. The body is strange.

Btw. Is it safe to do spinal decompression with a muscle strain or ligament sprain?

Steven Low 12-14-2008 09:11 AM

Did the back crack have any pain?

I personally don't think it's a muscle pull because you would feel that every time you used the muscles back there. When you strain a muscle you generally know it's strained because any time you get even remotely close to using it there's some pain involved. Kind of like perpetual painful soreness for a while.

Decompression is ok from my experience although not sure it would help much. I would get in there with some massage if possible to help keep everything loose.

Sounds like the form is a problem on the DL.. might want to work hip extensions a bit instead to help solidify the movement.

Donald Lee 12-14-2008 01:17 PM

The back crack had a lot of pain. My lower back has minor stiffness today, but it's nothing like the last time I injured it. If I sneeze, it hurts a bit. For the past 3 days or so, I've been sitting like Esther Gokhale suggested, by elongating my spine, and for the first couple days, my back cracked a lot and got stiff. I think now my back has gotten used to it. I wonder if that had any role in it though.

Also, for some reason, when I went with the mixed grip, I just didn't feel comfortable. I'm wondering whether the mixed grip changes the dynamic of the deadlift. I'm thinking of going with the hook grip instead.

George Mounce 12-14-2008 03:40 PM

Did you by chance seek medical attention for it? Muscles don't crack, bones do. Pops are generally fluid. Muscle pulls and tears from my experience feel like someone hitting you in the muscle with a sledgehammer. Broken bones have a crack and then a hollow feeling in your stomach as the adrenaline rush occurs.

Donald Lee 12-14-2008 04:48 PM

My back doesn't hurt too much today, so I don't feel that I need to seek medical attention.

I wonder what happened if it wasn't a muscle pull.

George Mounce 12-14-2008 05:01 PM

Well make sure you take time off to rest, the worst feeling is reinjuring yourself because you didn't fully heal.

Donald Lee 12-14-2008 05:22 PM

That was my initial thought. I thought that maybe my back just wasn't ready for higher weights, but I wonder why my back felt great with the double overhand 195# for 1 rep and just completely fell apart for the first rep in the 225# mixed grip. It's a mystery. Also, I wonder why my back actually cracked instead of just tearing, etc.

I'm wondering whether this injury has something to do with my former injury. I'd think that if it did, my back would be in A LOT of pain.

Anyways, as of now, I'm considering employing some Steady State Programming for the DL for at least 2-3 months (i.e., DL 2-3 times/week 185# for a month and then 195# for a month, etc.). I'm thinking this will consolidate any potential weaknesses in my lower back-muscle, ligament, and tendon.

If I didn't have a prior injury, I'd probably just go right back into it once I feel strong enough, but I am really tentative about my lower back now.

Gant Grimes 12-19-2008 08:30 AM

Did it sound like cracking your knuckles? This could be some gas release (like a chiro adjustment). The sound is somewhat dramatic (and scary), but it's not that bad. You might have done this while straining something else.

Rest yourself. Fix your form. DL once a week. Do some reverse hypers.

If you don't have time to warm up, you don't have time to train.

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