Our third question in a series about 60-year-olds training but having more trouble than they used to, Chuck asks:
“Here’s a question I have and maybe some of your other readers can relate to: so, I keep running into lower back pain when I attempt exercises like dead lifts. The classic advice regarding form used to help but not so much anymore. I know you have much different views about form so interested in what you would suggest. My doctor believes my discs that cushion between the vertebrae are deteriorating, i.e., “you’re gettin’ old buddy, don’t play around with heavy weights!” I’m 66, granted, but seems like there still should be some way to rebuild my back. Maybe a nutritional approach? I’m not very convinced about collagen supplements, seems it just gets broken down into aminos and used however, not going to joint support in particular.”
What do doctors know about fitness?
I’m often criticized and told to stay in my lane when it comes to the medical system, so shouldn’t this advice go the other direction too!
Now, deteriorating discs certainly is a possibility. But was this diagnosed with x-rays or anything like that, or simply based on age and the symptoms?
Again, there are some people even older that do fine lifting heavy weights at even older ages.
But there are some that would stand to switch to different forms of lifting.
I know I sound like a broken record, but it depends!
In my opinion, collagen supplements might be useful, but I’d go for something even better if you can. Bone broth. Beyond the aminos inside you’ve got all kinds of other nutrients that may be especially helpful.
In the end minerals, vitamins and fatty acids will be important. Not just for joint and disc health, but everything so that’s an area worth looking at, including with supplementation.
There are certain herbs such as Horsetail or Cissus that may be useful (sorry I don’t sell those ones).
Low back pain, in Chinese medicine, is associated with the Kidney. Here we may see some herbs like Cistanche or Shilajit help.
While nutrition is important, I go back to listening to your body as one of the most important things to do.
Normal deadlifts might not be the best for you for a variety of reasons. Maybe a change in stance is best. Try Sumo or Jefferson deadlifts instead.
Or just a partial. Something like the Health Lift might be healthier for your spine, even though you’d end up using far more weight.
But let your body be your guide. And let Beyond Biofeedback be your guide to doing just that. It’s on sale now for half price.