Why does my back feel better than it has in years?
background: I've had lower back (skeletal) pain for 15 years on and off, X-rays show nothing major, but the bottom 2 discs dont have much space between them. Usually my back feels OK, but weak and unsteady when bending, but periodically some innocuous movement will cause me to have a bad couple of weeks where I have sharp pain and spasms if I bend over. Pain also builds up if I'm standing up for a long time.
Lately it's been feeling much better and I'm trying to pin down why. I even did a PB deadlift of 140kg I know its not much, but for me it's great.
Here's the possibilities.
1. this is the first time I've made an effort to cut. I've trained on and off for years and my weight has fluctuated a lot. Last year in october I reached a lifetime high of 110kg during a bulk (6'0). Since then I've leaned down to 89kg. I've been less than that before, but that was during periods when I wasn't lifting (my back was bad then too)
2. Doing more ab work. I don't hundreds, or even dozens of crunches, but I do hanging leg raises, some weighted crunches, some twists with resistance, and other stuff. i never spend more than 10-15 minutes on abs, but I do train them 3 times a week or so.
3. doing more cardio - I don't do long runs, but I do hit the bag and do those circuit type cardio where you're doing mountain climbers, burpees, that kind of stuff
4. swapped back squats for front squats
5. get regular massages. - not professional, I just get my girlfriend to walk on my back or push down really hard on the bottom 2 discs.
Which of these do you think is helping? Or do you think the good feeling is just temporary and I will wreck it again soon?