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  1. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 7:57am


     Style: Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Neck pain during squats

    Hi Guys,

    I'm just wondering if anyone has experienced something similar to what happened to me (Alright, what I did to myself) today and two days ago.

    On Wednesday I was squatting 5x5 with 85kg when on the last rep of the last set, as I was rising up from the bottom of my squat I experienced this very odd pain that almost felt like it was at the base of my skull. I've never really felt anything like it before and I'm wondering what might have caused it.

    I suspect I was looking to high up, my head was tilted nearly all the way back and the bar was quite low on my shoulder blades, my back was very tense and it almost felt like the pain came about because my neck and back muscles bunched up into the base of my skull (Sounds weird, only way i can think to describe it). Anyway, the pain was quite intense, it almost felt like my head was going to pop for about 30 seconds after I finished the lift but then the pain faded and was gone.

    Anyway, today I warmed up very cautiously, tried some lifts with light weights and had no trouble at all, then when I moved up to a heavier weight I felt the same thing almost straight away so stopped squatting, again pain faded away quickly and I simply can't feel anything wrong with my neck unless I put a weight across my shoulders, I'm a bit baffled as to whats going on and plan to lay of squats for a while and rest but I'm curious if anyone has experienced something similar.

    Basic question then, can tilting your head to far back when squatting cause the sort of pain I described?

    Cheers in advance for any help/insights,

    Steve
  2. honesty is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 8:03am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quick question, where are you putting the bar when you squat?

    From what I've read, looking up can be bad and do what you've said, you should keep your head in a natural position.
  3. nisezoom is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 8:10am


     Style: BJJ (noob)

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I had a similar sort of neck pain not long ago, caught my foot during skipping, jerked my head sharply and wound up having the most intense feeling of pressure around the base of my skull, which developed into a throbbing pain all around the right hand side of my head. Ignored it initially and it reoccured the next few times I was lifting any kind of weight (even when I avoided any upper body weights)/doing any cardio above a slow jog. Saw a doctor about it and after a few basic range of movement checks and taking a look at a swelling I hadn't even noticed he diagnosed a minor muscle tear. Few weeks later and only minor reoccurances and I'm good as new.
  4. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 8:12am


     Style: Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by honesty
    Quick question, where are you putting the bar when you squat?
    Bar's sitting low across my shoulder blades, I've been focusing on making sure I feel the weight in the middle of my foot as much as possible recently so I'm pretty certain it wasn't too far forward putting strain on my neck at the bottom of the squat if thats what you're thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by honesty
    From what I've read, looking up can be bad and do what you've said, you should keep your head in a natural position.
    Pretty much what I figured was wrong myself,

    Cheers,

    Steve
  5. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 8:14am


     Style: Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by nisezoom
    I had a similar sort of neck pain not long ago, caught my foot during skipping, jerked my head sharply and wound up having the most intense feeling of pressure around the base of my skull, which developed into a throbbing pain all around the right hand side of my head. Ignored it initially and it reoccured the next few times I was lifting any kind of weight (even when I avoided any upper body weights)/doing any cardio above a slow jog. Saw a doctor about it and after a few basic range of movement checks and taking a look at a swelling I hadn't even noticed he diagnosed a minor muscle tear. Few weeks later and only minor reoccurances and I'm good as new.
    Sounds similar though I don't experience pain doing anything other than squats, figure if it's a torn muscle I'd better lay off anything that might hurt it for a few weeks.
  6. nisezoom is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 8:45am


     Style: BJJ (noob)

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If it's a tear (and it may well not be - see a doc if it reoccurs) around the neck/base of the skull you'll know quite soon because anything that causes a rush of blood to that area of the body, so just about anything that causes an adrenaline release, will set it off again.
  7. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 9:05am

    supporting member
     Style: creonte on hiatus

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slindsay
    Hi Guys,

    I'm just wondering if anyone has experienced something similar to what happened to me (Alright, what I did to myself) today and two days ago.

    On Wednesday I was squatting 5x5 with 85kg when on the last rep of the last set, as I was rising up from the bottom of my squat I experienced this very odd pain that almost felt like it was at the base of my skull. I've never really felt anything like it before and I'm wondering what might have caused it.

    I suspect I was looking to high up, my head was tilted nearly all the way back and the bar was quite low on my shoulder blades, my back was very tense and it almost felt like the pain came about because my neck and back muscles bunched up into the base of my skull (Sounds weird, only way i can think to describe it). Anyway, the pain was quite intense, it almost felt like my head was going to pop for about 30 seconds after I finished the lift but then the pain faded and was gone.

    Anyway, today I warmed up very cautiously, tried some lifts with light weights and had no trouble at all, then when I moved up to a heavier weight I felt the same thing almost straight away so stopped squatting, again pain faded away quickly and I simply can't feel anything wrong with my neck unless I put a weight across my shoulders, I'm a bit baffled as to whats going on and plan to lay of squats for a while and rest but I'm curious if anyone has experienced something similar.

    Basic question then, can tilting your head to far back when squatting cause the sort of pain I described?

    Cheers in advance for any help/insights,

    Steve
    It is possible. It could range from a cramp/rupture/pull on the splenius or where either the erector spinae or the upper fibers of the traps connect to the skull. Worst, you hyperextended your cervical spine (your neck). In the worst case, that can cause a herniation if you hyperxtend your cervical spine under pressure.

    Your neck is supposed to be neutral, just as if you were standing. Instead of looking up with your entire face (which forces your neck to hyperxtend at the bottom of the squat), look up straight ahead with your eyes at a point on the wall about eye level. Then, as you squat down keep that neck configuration in relation to your torso; your eyes will travel a linear path from where they were at the start (at eye level) until looking down at a point on that path about knee level.

    As you come up, you look up WITH YOUR EYES as you beging to get up with your glutes and hamstrings, keeping the neck neutral.

    I strongly suggest you ice the area immediately, just in case. In the worst case, a hyperxtension should heal itself in a matter of weeks with proper care. You may want to check with a chiro if you can.

    In the meantime, switch to front squats (either with a oly or bodybuilding grip), and remember to keep the neck neutral at all times. Ice the neck regularly, and it should be fine.
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

    My crapuous vlog and my blog of training, stuff and crap. NEW: Me, Mrs. Macho and our newborn baby.

    New To Weight Training? Get the StrongLifts 5x5 program and Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 2nd Ed". Wanna build muscle/gain weight? Check this article. My review on Tactical Nutrition here.

    t-nation - Dissecting the deadlift. Anatomy and Muscle Balancing Videos.

    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
  8. Bang! is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 9:11am

    supporting memberBullshido Newbie
     Style: Wu Style TCC + BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    While your pain could be referred from the shoulders (more on that in a second), it's probably because you're looking up. This is a common issue in many lifters. People are taught to look up to help them with tracking. However, this places a lot of stress on the cervical vertebrae . . . especially with someone already exhibiting postural issues from sitting behind the desk all goddamn day.

    If you're doing 5x5s, I assume the load was fairly heavy for you. Added tension from elevating the shoulders would actually exacerbate the issue.

    So stop doing that; especially if you're a martial artist.

    As for the shoulders, the fixed bar position can put a fair amount of stress on your rotator cuff muscles as they attempt to stabilize. Two corrections:

    1. Take a narrow grip of the bar -- relatively close to your head
    2. Roll the bar as if you were revving a motorcycle -- eliminating wrist bend and creating a clean line between your forearm and your fist

    If it is indeed your shoulders, take a break for a while (from barbell work in general). If you've got to squat, switch to fronts and ditch the barbell bench press until you're feeling pain free throughout your lifts.

    Edit: Ha Ha! El Macho and I are on the same page yet again. Amazing? Or terrifying?
  9. Teh El Macho is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 10:16am

    supporting member
     Style: creonte on hiatus

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Scary!!! :tongue3:
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

    My crapuous vlog and my blog of training, stuff and crap. NEW: Me, Mrs. Macho and our newborn baby.

    New To Weight Training? Get the StrongLifts 5x5 program and Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 2nd Ed". Wanna build muscle/gain weight? Check this article. My review on Tactical Nutrition here.

    t-nation - Dissecting the deadlift. Anatomy and Muscle Balancing Videos.

    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
  10. ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/04/2008 10:31am


     Style: Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for the advice guys, I'll leave off squats for a while, I guess I'll substitute them with front squats which cause me and make sure take on board what you've said when I get back to squatting.

    Bang! Is right on the money in that I've always been told to look up during squats, guess someone taught me wrong for a joke :D
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