Sports Injuries

Squat Exercises Causing Low Back Pain

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Squat exercises are highly effective, as they strengthen the back and core muscles, helping the prevention of injury. They can be done anywhere with or without equipment like weights and resistance bands and can be part of an aerobic workout. Squatting requires following proper form and posture. Using the improper form, adding too much weight too soon, overdoing it without enough recovery time can cause soreness, back pain, and injury. Having muscle soreness after performing squats is expected; however, if symptoms like chronic soreness, tingling, numbness, or sharp aches that come and go, begin to appear, it is recommended to consult a medical trainer, chiropractor, doctor, or spine specialist to evaluate the symptoms, and if necessary develop a treatment plan, as well as a prevention plan to continue exercising safely.

Squat Exercises

Squatting is a highly beneficial form of exercise. Athletes, trainers, coaches, and individuals just staying healthy use the technique as a part of their training and workouts. This is because squatting increases core muscle strength, increasing body power. Squat exercises benefits include:

Increased Flexibility

  • Improved strength and a range of motion allow the body to move flawlessly in various directions with minimal effort.

Increased Core Strength

  • All major muscles work together during a squat.
  • This increases muscle stabilization, maintains body balance, increasing core strength.

Injury Prevention

  • Squats work all leg muscles simultaneously, synchronizing the body.
  • This increases body stability decreasing the risk of injury.

Back Pain and Potential Injury

The spine is exposed and unprotected during a squat. This is where back pain and injury can happen. Potential causes include:

  • Not warming up/priming muscles properly.
  • Tight muscles and a limited range of motion.
  • Improper form and squatting technique.
  • Adding weight or loading too soon.
  • Weak core muscles.
  • Incorrect or improper footwear with inadequate arch support.
  • Weak ankle muscles are not used to the weight and shift, causing misalignment and awkward positioning.
  • Previous injuries to the lower back can cause a flare-up to the area and potentially worsen.

Prevention

Ways to troubleshoot and prevent back pain during squat exercises.

Warmup

  • Using a proper and effective warmup will ensure that the body is ready for the workout stress.
  • Priming each muscle is recommended. This could be:
  • Starting with glute work.
  • Then planks to activate the core.
  • Finish off with stretching and range of motion exercises.
  • A personal trainer can assist in creating a customized workout routine.

Starting Position

  • The feet should always face forward to protect the hips and knees when beginning a squat.
  • If the feet face at an angle, the form can be impacted, leading to back pain or collapsing arches.

Spinal Alignment

  • Maintaining a straight-ahead or upward gaze, which increases center awareness during squat exercises, can prevent the body from leaning forward and placing stress on the spine.
  • Only squat as far as possible, making sure to feel in control and maintain the form.
  • Squatting too deep can cause muscle strain leading to pain.
  • Focus on form, as it is more important than depth.

Joint mobility

  • Ankle mobility and stability are essential to balance and control.
  • If the ankle is compromised, the feet could lift off the floor, forcing the body to compensate, leading to strain and potential injuries.
  • Only squat as far as ankle stability allows.
  • Ankle flexibility exercises will help improve squat form.

Variations

A chiropractor or physical therapist will be able to evaluate spinal health, exercise form, and advise if there is an issue.


Body Composition


Achieve Health and Fitness Goals By Doing What You Enjoy

Don’t engage in workouts or fitness programs that make you miserable. Do workouts/activities that you enjoy and have fun doing. Exercise for the love of the body, keeping it healthy and in shape, not because there is a feeling of obligation.

  • Try and experiment with different workouts/physical activities to see and feel what works for you.
  • Individuals who don’t like lifting weights try using resistance bands or bodyweight exercises.
  • The same goes for nutrition. Don’t base diet and supplement choices on misperceptions about health.
References

Calatayud, Joaquín et al. “Tolerability and Muscle Activity of Core Muscle Exercises in Chronic Low-back Pain.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,19 3509. 20 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16193509

Clark, Dave R et al. “Muscle activation in the loaded free barbell squat: a brief review.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 26,4 (2012): 1169-78. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822d533d

Cortell-Tormo, Juan M et al. “Effects of functional resistance training on fitness and quality of life in females with chronic nonspecific low-back pain.” Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation vol. 31,1 (2018): 95-105. doi:10.3233/BMR-169684

Donnelly, David V et al. “The effect of the direction of gaze on the kinematics of the squat exercise.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 20,1 (2006): 145-50. doi:10.1519/R-16434.1

Zawadka, Magdalena et al. “Altered squat movement pattern in patients with chronic low back pain.” Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine: AAEM vol. 28,1 (2021): 158-162. doi:10.26444/aaem/117708

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The information herein on "Squat Exercises Causing Low Back Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

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Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols, and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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