10 Myths About Lower Back Pain (LBP)

enframed

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How so?

It seems no one wants to believe they just aren't good at something.....it has to be mobility, flexibility, or some other physical limitation out of their control.
I know I'm not good at surfing, and the hope is that being more flexible will make me better. You really can't understand how being more flexible could make one a better surfer?

The whole point is it IS in my control, hence the desire to do something to improve.

You are not making any sense.
 

Havoc

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If someone wanted to get strong I wouldn't program anything above 5-6 reps for the main lifts. Once a person reached the intermediate phase there is a time and place for 8-10 reps of the main lifts as an assistance to the main lifts....or if they wanted to run a hypertrophy block I would program some higher rep work but I would never have someone squatting or deadlifting anything greater than 12 rep sets.

To get strong you need to apply adequate stress to drive a strength adaptation. What we're looking for is the cheapest and easiest way to provide this training stimuli. Cheap and easy meaning time commitment and fatigue. I wouldn't recommend lifting 20 pounds a thousand times but doing so would make you stronger....but the time commitment would be huge. I very generally would have you lift something at around 75% for 1-2 sets of five, then back off to something around 70% for 3-4 sets of 5. This can be done in 20-30 minutes and will be at an intensity that allows you to apply maximum force production for all full sets and seeing progress week to week for a fairly long period of time. As you moved forward in your training and wanted to shoot for maximum strength we could begin to add a initial double or single at around 90-93% intensity, drop it down to around 85-86% for a set of 4-5, and then drop it for a couple of back off sets at around 75-78% and add in some overload work during the training week as well....but this would be a pure strength building program.
I'm on HLM programming and the volume day for squats is a 5x5 at 85% of the heavy day. Heavy day has a heavy set of 5 and then 2-3 sets of backoffs at 85%. The 5x5 at 85% is fkn brutal.
deadlifts are similar with a 2x5 or 3x5 at 85% of 5rm. I'm just stoked to have hit 1.5x bw on the squat. took a while to get there as i'm old and weak and lift 14 year old girl weights.
 

waxfoot

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@VonMeister , I don't understand how you can be so black & white on the whole stretching matter. It strikes me that you're only arguing from the perspective that you don't need excessive pornstar movement in order to be "better" at surfing, and for the most part I'd agree with that statement (we're not all going to be doing body-varial-to-ass-lick combos)

The rub is that with age, many of us experience limited mobility in various areas. The thinking here is to remain as flexible as when you were younger, through regular stretching. Surely that's uncontroversial ?
 
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enframed

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Moving around makes your lower back feel better. You can spin in circles and get the same result. There is a mental aspect to stretching. It feels good...which makes it placebo.
I'm not sure you are using placebo correctly.

In any case, there may be a mental aspect to stretching, but it cannot be denied there's a physical one as well; and they aren't experienced separately.
 
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VonMeister

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I know I'm not good at surfing, and the hope is that being more flexible will make me better. You really can't understand how being more flexible could make one a better surfer?

The whole point is it IS in my control, hence the desire to do something to improve.

You are not making any sense.
I asked you how being more flexible than you are today would make you a better surfer. You didn’t answer. Apparently you have this very rare form of flexibility disorder unseen before by the medical community.
 

enframed

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I asked you how being more flexible than you are today would make you a better surfer. You didn’t answer. Apparently you have this very rare form of flexibility disorder unseen before by the medical community.
If I could squat all the way down and be stable on my feet with both feet firmly planted, I'd have a more dynamic range wrt my center of gravity. I cannot squat without going to my toes. No one said it was a disorder.

Actually it can be denied. Physical benefits from stretching do not exist.
Oh, OK. Care to explain this idea?
 

VonMeister

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@VonMeister , I don't understand how you can be so black & white on the whole stretching matter. It strikes me that you're only arguing from the perspective that you don't need excessive pornstar movement in order to be "better" at surfing, and for the most part I'd agree with that statement (we're not all going to be doing body-varial-to-ass-lick combos)

The rub is that with age, many of us experience limited mobility in various areas. The thinking here is to remain as flexible as when you were younger, through regular stretching. Surely that's uncontroversial ?
There is no medical evidence that static stretching does anything physically positive for the body and a whole lot that shows it has the potential to do harm. This is uncontroversial. I occasionally stretch a sore muscle or body part. I do it because it feels good, not because it is relieving some mystical ailment or releasing a stuck body part. I am always willing to accept and evolve based on evidence. The real controversy is you and the rest of the stretching and mobility aficionados unwillingness to provide one iota of evidence that stretching is a physically necessary or beneficial thing.

Muscles are very simple. They relax and contract one way. They are always long enough to allow for full normal joint mobility. Joints can lose some mobility but this is after long periods of time without use...like when a joint is externally fixated for weeks after a surgery or repair. This is remedied very quickly when the fixation is removed and the joint is back in use once again. The only other cause would be a neurological disorder but you aren't going to fix that with stretching.

If you find that you have trouble getting into a position surfing requires you have a technique or strength issue that only surfing is going to fix. There is absolutely zero translation from stretching. Practice is the answer.
 

VonMeister

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If I could squat all the way down and be stable on my feet with both feet firmly planted, I'd have a more dynamic range wrt my center of gravity. I cannot squat without going to my toes. No one said it was a disorder.
This is caused by weakness.


Oh, OK. Care to explain this idea?
It's not an idea. It's a fact backed by decades of research. If you believe you have some magic it's on you to share it.
 

VonMeister

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I'm on HLM programming and the volume day for squats is a 5x5 at 85% of the heavy day. Heavy day has a heavy set of 5 and then 2-3 sets of backoffs at 85%. The 5x5 at 85% is fkn brutal.
deadlifts are similar with a 2x5 or 3x5 at 85% of 5rm. I'm just stoked to have hit 1.5x bw on the squat. took a while to get there as i'm old and weak and lift 14 year old girl weights.
In my opinion volume day is too intense. I would make do a top set at 85-86 and then drop from there. I limit volume day on a program like yours to just enough stress to drive progress on heavy day...which is the day that matters. If three sets are enough to add weight on heavy day I would limit it to that. The only way to dial it in is trial and error. Some people are more sensitive to training stress than others. Do you do sets of five all the way through your warm ups? Some coaches have you taper your warm up sets to a final single or double before the working sets of 5. My opinion is that warm up sets are valuable training stress and if your there you should make use of them. My warm up sets are always the same rep as the working sets and my last warm up is usually in the 10-15% of first working set. Warm up sets give you an opportunity to use high force production via bar speed which is main driver of strength gains. The thinking is that if you accrue stress during warm ups than you won't be able to finish 5 sets across. My response is always....accruing stress is the goal and on a volume day we are focusing on stress accumulation and technique. It also goes to the time commitment of training and grinding out squats for two hours is a sure fire way to burn yourself and your trainees out. If you log your warm up sets that require an effort just north of annoying and add them to your working sets you can add the appropriate amount of stress without grinding five across.

For a general strength program I'm more likely than not to program a deadlift variation, like beltless paused or deficient deadlifts on volume day. I think you always have to pull a barbell that requires a high degree of effort so I use the mechanical disadvantage to help manage intensity. I also find the variation makes you more aware of what you're doing. For instance right now I'm doing pause DL plus/minus 5@62% 5@75% 5@80%x2. If I find I need to add stress I would probably add a 5@80 or maybe a 5@85 and then a couple back offs...around 5%.

Paul Horn did a great video on a modified Texas Method that he uses. He modifies volume day to an as needed. In the video he goes into changes he makes for older lifters or lifters that need a break from the grind. I think the genesis of his programming comes from Andy Baker who's one of those guys that has a unbelievable knowledge base.
 
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Havoc

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In my opinion volume day is too intense. I would make do a top set at 85-86 and then drop from there. I limit volume day on a program like yours to just enough stress to drive progress on heavy day...which is the day that matters. If three sets are enough to add weight on heavy day I would limit it to that. The only way to dial it in is trial and error. Some people are more sensitive to training stress than others. Do you do sets of five all the way through your warm ups? Some coaches have you taper your warm up sets to a final single or double before the working sets of 5. My opinion is that warm up sets are valuable training stress and if your there you should make use of them. My warm up sets are always the same rep as the working sets and my last warm up is usually in the 10-15% of first working set. Warm up sets give you an opportunity to use high force production via bar speed which is main driver of strength gains. The thinking is that if you accrue stress during warm ups than you won't be able to finish 5 sets across. My response is always....accruing stress is the goal and on a volume day we are focusing on stress accumulation and technique. It also goes to the time commitment of training and grinding out squats for two hours is a sure fire way to burn yourself and your trainees out. If you log your warm up sets that require an effort just north of annoying and add them to your working sets you can add the appropriate amount of stress without grinding five across.

For a general strength program I'm more likely than not to program a deadlift variation, like beltless paused or deficient deadlifts on volume day. I think you always have to pull a barbell that requires a high degree of effort so I use the mechanical disadvantage to help manage intensity. I also find the variation makes you more aware of what you're doing. For instance right now I'm doing pause DL plus/minus 5@62% 5@75% 5@80%x2. If I find I need to add stress I would probably add a 5@80 or maybe a 5@85 and then a couple back offs...around 5%.

Paul Horn did a great video on a modified Texas Method that he uses. He modifies volume day to an as needed. In the video he goes into changes he makes for older lifters or lifters that need a break from the grind. I think the genesis of his programming comes from Andy Baker who's one of those guys that has a unbelievable knowledge base.
I use the starting strength warm up reps schedule which tapers to a heavy double before the work set. see:

coach had me gradually build up to the 5x5. first it was a 4x5 then a 5x4, finally a 5x5. I think he believes that I have a 300 lb squat in me lol. been adding 5 lbs to the bar a week. it seems to be working as long as i'm not taking too much time off between sessions. surfing saps ur strength gains like a mofo.

andy baker is a beast. he's been on a few podcasts i listened to.

also, 4 all u old duuus like me, check out 40-fit radio. he talks about how maximal strength training can actually be detrimental. most ppl here will take that as a way to justify lifting pansy weights as usual lol. myself included haha.
 
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tacos

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Andy baker wrote something about a no-program program, which has been fun for someone like me. Basically it’s work up to a heavy single, then do 2-4 reps of 90% of the single, then 5-8 reps of 80% of the single. It’s nice because I just go by how I feel that day and it still feels like a good workout at the end.


@VonMeister going back to my sciatic pain— since COVID I’ve been pretty much only deadlifting and not squatting (I don’t have space for a rack at home)— deadlifting 2-3 times a week. I found this quote on reddit (yeah, I know) about only deadlifting:

”You would develop some pretty bad leg/hip imbalances for sure. The deadlift has very little quadriceps recruitment, so unless you're doing something like lunges, box jumps, split squats, etc to replace the squat you'll end up with beefy ham strings and puny quads. It'll probably end up pulling your hips out of balance and you may develop some sort of pelvic tilt and end up with piriformis syndrome due to underdeveloped glutes.” [emphasis mine]

is there any truth to this?

I loved back squats when I went to the gym and mostly did those with occasional DL. Now I’m wondering if I should incorporate front squats (limited to the weight I can clean) into my workouts.

am I just being a pussy and overthinking this?
 

VonMeister

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Andy baker wrote something about a no-program program, which has been fun for someone like me. Basically it’s work up to a heavy single, then do 2-4 reps of 90% of the single, then 5-8 reps of 80% of the single. It’s nice because I just go by how I feel that day and it still feels like a good workout at the end.


@VonMeister going back to my sciatic pain— since COVID I’ve been pretty much only deadlifting and not squatting (I don’t have space for a rack at home)— deadlifting 2-3 times a week. I found this quote on reddit (yeah, I know) about only deadlifting:

”You would develop some pretty bad leg/hip imbalances for sure. The deadlift has very little quadriceps recruitment, so unless you're doing something like lunges, box jumps, split squats, etc to replace the squat you'll end up with beefy ham strings and puny quads. It'll probably end up pulling your hips out of balance and you may develop some sort of pelvic tilt and end up with piriformis syndrome due to underdeveloped glutes.” [emphasis mine]

is there any truth to this?

I loved back squats when I went to the gym and mostly did those with occasional DL. Now I’m wondering if I should incorporate front squats (limited to the weight I can clean) into my workouts.

am I just being a pussy and overthinking this?
There is no truth to imbalances, piriformis syndrome or some sort of pelvic tilt disorder. Also the glutes are heavily recruited in the deadlift, as are the quads and just about every other muscle in the body. With access to gyms being limited you have to go with what you have and I would try and do lunges, split squats etc but not for the reasons listed....moreso for just being more athletically well rounded.
 
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VonMeister

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I use the starting strength warm up reps schedule which tapers to a heavy double before the work set. see:

coach had me gradually build up to the 5x5. first it was a 4x5 then a 5x4, finally a 5x5. I think he believes that I have a 300 lb squat in me lol. been adding 5 lbs to the bar a week. it seems to be working as long as i'm not taking too much time off between sessions. surfing saps ur strength gains like a mofo.

andy baker is a beast. he's been on a few podcasts i listened to.

also, 4 all u old duuus like me, check out 40-fit radio. he talks about how maximal strength training can actually be detrimental. most ppl here will take that as a way to justify lifting pansy weights as usual lol. myself included haha.
Was the weight going up at 4x5 or 5x4...which stress wise is realistically the same thing? Have you tried 3x5 to see if it's still enough training stress to drive gains?

If you're spending the time getting under the bar for warm ups I see no reason to taper them. Volume day is just a training stress day. I really think coaches get it wrong when they make it a grind rather than a stress accumulation day. It's not like stress only appears after you're warmed up.
 

feralseppo

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About a month ago i had another issue with back pain caused simply by bending down to put a bike tire on the ground and lifting back up. Felt a sharp pain in my low back and then pain in the glute. I could barely walk. First week it was bad enough that I need led to take some hydrocodone to sleep.

De gave me a steroid pack. My left foot is numb and I have zero strength in the left calf. It can’t support my weight if I try to stand on my toes with the left foot and I can’t lift my heel with the weight on my left foot. No problems doing so with my right.

I had similar problems on the right side a few years ago and have MRIs to compare. New MRI saus something about a desiccation of the disc or nerve and a 12 mm herniation. Not sure if I have all that correct need to look at the report again.

so deadlift doctors will squats and deadlifts eliminate the numbness in my foot and bring back the function of my calf which is useless at the moment. I have no pain anymore.

Previous incidents have left part of my right foot permanently numb.

what say you? Talk to a. Surgeon or deadlifts and squats?
 

VonMeister

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About a month ago i had another issue with back pain caused simply by bending down to put a bike tire on the ground and lifting back up. Felt a sharp pain in my low back and then pain in the glute. I could barely walk. First week it was bad enough that I need led to take some hydrocodone to sleep.

De gave me a steroid pack. My left foot is numb and I have zero strength in the left calf. It can’t support my weight if I try to stand on my toes with the left foot and I can’t lift my heel with the weight on my left foot. No problems doing so with my right.

I had similar problems on the right side a few years ago and have MRIs to compare. New MRI saus something about a desiccation of the disc or nerve and a 12 mm herniation. Not sure if I have all that correct need to look at the report again.

so deadlift doctors will squats and deadlifts eliminate the numbness in my foot and bring back the function of my calf which is useless at the moment. I have no pain anymore.

Previous incidents have left part of my right foot permanently numb.

what say you? Talk to a. Surgeon or deadlifts and squats?
I had a similar story which was the beginning of my journey. The easy answer is no, squats and deadlifts will not cure numbness.

Desiccation of a disc is completely normal, as are disc herniations. The only time they are of a concern is when you have symptoms you are describing. The good news is that disc issues and associated symptoms respond well to movement and time. Herniations commonly will reduce on their own and symptoms usually resolve. The lingering issues are mostly mental...the one false move and I'm a shopping cart syndrome.

The steroid packs are completely ineffective as you've probably found out. Numbness and weakness can be caused by pressure on a nerve ganglion and steroids don't really work on reducing these things.

If I were you I would apply heat, then try to do some very simple physical activities...walking, moving around etc. Don't do anything that causes enough discomfort to cause you to pause. Just take it easy and see what time brings. if nothing resolves then you need to work with your doctors on a more aggressive treatment plan but these are last resort type things that have a fairly poor success rate.

Are your physical limitations due to pain or can you truly not activate the muscles sufficiently to support your weight?
 
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One-Off

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About a month ago i had another issue with back pain caused simply by bending down to put a bike tire on the ground and lifting back up. Felt a sharp pain in my low back and then pain in the glute. I could barely walk. First week it was bad enough that I need led to take some hydrocodone to sleep.

De gave me a steroid pack. My left foot is numb and I have zero strength in the left calf. It can’t support my weight if I try to stand on my toes with the left foot and I can’t lift my heel with the weight on my left foot. No problems doing so with my right.

I had similar problems on the right side a few years ago and have MRIs to compare. New MRI saus something about a desiccation of the disc or nerve and a 12 mm herniation. Not sure if I have all that correct need to look at the report again.

so deadlift doctors will squats and deadlifts eliminate the numbness in my foot and bring back the function of my calf which is useless at the moment. I have no pain anymore.

Previous incidents have left part of my right foot permanently numb.

what say you? Talk to a. Surgeon or deadlifts and squats?
Sorry to hear that Feral. Way back somewhere in this thread a distinction was made between two phases of injury- pain management and recovery. Sounds like you are in phase one. For me that lasted about two or three weeks. Recovery took 6 months (before I could surf) and is still ongoing. Take VM's advice and do whatever you can without making it worse. I kept getting impatient and would over do it and have set backs. I did that with my finger injury just now- started exercising a bit too vigorously (I thought it was healed) and reopened the wound. Ended up taking 2 months to heal. So my advice is keep moving but take it easy. Don't ask me about weight lifting. I do girly weights.

ps MDs seem to know very little about preventative remedies. When I asked a pain MD about weight lifting he just said, "That would be OK," and left it at that with no further info.
 

feralseppo

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I have no pain. That has resolved. All the muscle stiffness is gone. Couldn’t bend over sitting and put socks on for a few weeks. No physical limitations. Only problem is the side and bottom of my foot is numb and my calf has almost no function which is the real problem. I can flex my foot up and down if there is no weight on it. Apply weight and it can’t move. When I walk once I step forward with my left leg and place weight on it my knee snaps backwards when I push off with my left foot to bring my right leg/foot forward. Other than my calf doesn’t work I have no physical limitations.