Weightlifting & Exercise/Lower back pain



I have had lower back pain mainly which spreads to my spine and upper back for about 2 years after an accident during a road race when I landed weird in this mud/water pit. I have gone to two physical therapists for about 2-3 months each and have continued their exercises when I stopped going. However, I still have a lot of pain and can't do much physical activity and even daily activity like sleeping and shoveling snow. My doctor took an xray and found a cyst in my lower back (although she said it is not a concern) and believes it is a muscle sprain. My physical therapist also told me everything is out of place in my lower back. Although my physical therapist (and their practice as a whole) is against going to a chiropractor, I have in a lot of pain and have been in pain for a while now. Is it in my best interest to see one or a massage therapist? I also have scoliosis, if that plays a part.

Thank you so much for your response.


Boy did you come to the right place, I am a massage therapist by training and someone who had herniated discs L5 fully and L4 and S1 partially. I can tell you it took forever to get a correct diagnosis as doctors and nurse practitioners were telling me I had sciatica and tendonitis (as it stated with leg pain prior to moving to my back but was a result of disc herniation.) I don't know how severe your injury is or any specifics but if you have been suffering this long I would get yourself to an Osteopath (which is what I did and he diagnosed me in 2 minutes just by having me do a few movements) and he may order an MRI. You could potentially have nerve damage or something else going on. I would say save your money and forget massage, they can sometimes alleviate flair-ups and some tightness but it is temporary so save your money. You could do just as well taking a hot bath or getting in a Jacuzzi or try laying on a golf ball or tennis ball right where you feel tightness (not directly on the spine though)as this is a form of deep tissue massage where you can get muscles that are tightening up to relax. Continue with the exercises the physical therapist gave you and tighten up your abs and lumbar muscles via exercises and isometric exercises. Maura be sure to always bend your knees when you pick things up (no matter how light they are) with you legs, never your back as I am sure you are aware. Do you know what my physical therapist told me the best back exercise is? Walking. Seriously, because when you walk, you actually loosen up the Paraspinal muscles that shoot out from the spinal cord. Walking is like the special exercise that is good for everything. They had me walk 3 miles every day so I went and measured a complete trip around my down town which came out to exactly one mile, so I walked it 3 times around each day and guess what? Within a short while I was back as close to normal as I could hope to be.
I too have a weak lower back where I can feel things move around and crack some times, and you with scoliosis are more susceptible to further difficulty and possibly a slower come back. Don't lose faith however, keep doing your exercises and see an Osteopath and get this figured out, I assure you they are most helpful. Also do a walking program like I did, outside or on a treadmill, doesn't matter as long as you do it. Also be very careful shoveling, take small loads and half scoops instead of full shovel loads of snow. Especially when it is wet snow as I am sure you know. Well Maura I hope I was able to help you and I wish you a speedy recovery, if there is anything else I can assist you with please let me know and rest assured I am here for you if you need anything else. Cheers!


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Greg Hoppe


I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.


I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

ISSA, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

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