Conquering Low Back Pain While Getting Fit…Part I

August 20, 2007

This is a message I wish I could get out to every person on the planet who suffers low back pain.

If you know someone who has chronic low back pain for any reason, please refer them to this article.

There is a book by Dr. Stuart McGill called “Low Back Disorders”. This book has literally improved my life!

A Quick Background on My Injury

Back in college I wanted to get massive legs, because I was clueless and didn’t realize at the time that women weren’t attracted to overly muscular guys.

So, I was loading up a ton of weight on a leg press machine…it’s easy to do 700+ pounds on these machines with a little practice. I was doing a set of 6 and was making sure to go “all the way down” to get full advantage of the lift.

I didn’t realize that when I was at the bottom of the lift, my spine was curling a bit. On rep number 5 something felt terribly wrong! I finished the rep and locked the weights back into place. I had a hard time standing up.

Here is a Picture of A Guy Making the Same Mistake

low back injury

I limped back to my place and immediately called my sister.

My brother-in-law is a chiropractor and let me into his office after hours…he x-rayed my back and found that I had “slipped a disk”.

I Suffered Severe Pain Like I Couldn’t Imagine for 3 Months!

If you have never suffered a spinal injury, consider yourself extremely fortunate! When your spine is injured it carries over to other parts of your body.

The slipped disk in my spine was pushing on the main nerve going down my right leg…this pain was so intense that I wouldn’t be able to stand more than 3 hours without throbbing unbearable pain.

After Several Months of Pain, My Back Got Close to the Pre-Injury State

After 3 months, I could look in a mirror and the bones weren’t poking out of my back abnormally anymore (yes…my back injury was that nasty). I still had a bit of pain, but it wasn’t crippling.

Everything was great, I went back to working out, and my back was completely back to normal…WRONG!

Two Years Later…The Injury Returned Worse Than Before!

I was just doing a normal workout in my gym and I was sitting on a bench getting ready to bench press…and all of the sudden I felt a burning pain shooting down my leg and I immediately walked into the locker room and lifted my shirt up.

I looked in the mirror and my lower back looked like a mess…the curve was all wrong.

This Injury Returned 5 More Times in 12 Years…Until I Conquered It!

In 2003, the injury came back and all I was doing was shooting a basketball. I was fed up! I spent the next 6 months online researching every site and book I could find on low back injuries.

I’ve easily read 1,000+ pages on the subject of low back injuries. In Part II, I will share with you the cutting edge information I discovered that changed my life.

What I found is that most people (including physical therapists) are taking the wrong approach to healing an injured lower back. If your back is hurting, you NEED to read part II.

Conquering Low Back Pain While Getting Fit…Part II
(click to read part two of this article)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Natural Back Pain Relief August 22, 2007 at 12:33 pm

This is a very good article. Sometimes you don’t just think of different things and Boom, there goes the back.
Great job,

admin August 23, 2007 at 5:01 pm


You have a nice site! I took Ibuprofen until my back felt better, but I would have preferred a natural treatment instead.

(click the “Natural Back Pain Relief” link in Steve’s comments, if you guys want good alternatives for back pain).

Have a good one!


Charlie Cory September 18, 2007 at 9:29 am

I can empathise with this. I did the same exercises as you (without slipping a disc thankfully), but suffered from lower back problems for a number of years. I have since found a series of exercises that have strengthened my back in less than 5 minutes a day.

mitch March 22, 2008 at 8:06 am

i couldnt get part 3 of the article

admin March 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm


Thanks for pointing that out. It is fixed and should work now.


Sean August 2, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Nope, I couldn’t get part 3 of this article either…

admin August 2, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Hopefully the link to part 3 are working now. Sorry about that!


Oliver November 19, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Hey Rusty,
Was this injury by any chance called spondylolisthesis?

Tiffany January 6, 2010 at 8:46 am

Hi Rusty

I have just found your site while searching for exercises to relieve back pain. I had a MRI (I think that’s what it’s called where you go under an enclosed tube and they take a picture of your spine?) in 2008 which did not show any injury or slip discs, unfortunately, I still have LBP until now. I enrolled in Pilates for beginners but the movements really hurt and the instructor told me to see a doctor again which means I’m back to square one. I’m thinking of trying the plank exercises you’re recommending. What do you think?

Bryan December 18, 2010 at 3:44 am

Low back pain causes can come from several things. Like your injury, a slipped disc can be the culprit.
However, many times, muscle strains coming from the glutes and hammies can lead to a lot of low back pain. Other times, tight muscles like the psoas can do it too.
Whichever, I agree with the point you are making. “Lift Smart”. Be “aware of your body”. It’ll prevent some serious injuries.

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