Thanks for providing the information about your workout. I agree with @Informaficker that the best way to deal with a back problem is to seek professional expertise. Lots of people have back pain and lots have advice about what worked for them. However, all back pain is not alike and there are many contributing factors, so treat your condition as unique. Most likely, at this point, adding weighted exercises on your own could be counter-productive. Here are my suggestions:
1) Find a Good Trainer: Have a pro check out your form. Improper form can lead to pain and dysfunction. Incorrect form over time can cause progressively unbalanced compressive forces on your joints or can cause an acute injury. So find a professional trainer who can correct any mis-alignments and problems in your form when you are weight lifting.
- Examples of Poor Form that can cause Back Pain: There are some generalizations that can be made about weight lifting contributing to back pain. Improper form in the squat such as leaning too far forward can load the spine and cause back pain. In the standing shoulder press, an example of poor form that can stress the back would be holding the bar too far back causing arching of the back. Taking video of your form helps you analyze any potential problem areas and can help you to correct your form. Sometimes it is much easier to see a fault rather than to feel it.
2) Find a Good Health Practitioner/Therapist: Since you currently have back pain that you are unable to eliminate, it is time to see a professional to evaluate the cause(s), treat any offending tissues (joints, muscles, fascia) and instruct you in specific exercises (stretching and strengthening) to correct imbalances.
Palpation, postural and movement analysis, and an assessment of your range of motion will tell if you have joint, muscle and/or fascial restrictions. You will likely be given flexibility exercises to address any restrictions of the trunk, chest, hips and lower extremities.
Specific muscle testing will identify any weaknesses that need to be addressed. The best part about seeing a pro is to get knowledge specific to your body and information as to what you can do towards correcting your particular dysfunction(s). While exercises that emphasize stability are generally good for the back (as those seen on our site like the plank, bridge and bird dog), they may or may not be the key to correcting your back problem.
Choosing a Practitioner: You will find that all physical (physio) therapists, doctors and other practitioners such as chiropractors, massage therapists etc. are not alike. For hands on treatment choose a manual therapist who specializes in back treatment. Or you may prefer a sports medicine therapist/doctor that will be more tuned in to your gym program, but who may not be as skilled at hands on treatment. Try to get personal recommendations from people in the gym who have been treated successfully.
3) Set up your Back Routine: Because you have already found that your back is responsive to stretching and strengthening exercises, you should respond well if you get the right combination of exercises. In addition to exercise there are other self treatment techniques you can ask your therapist about:
Self massage techniques such as using a foam roller, a tennis ball or a miracle ball as they can also help to release tightness.
For some back conditions, traction helps relieves pressure. There are ways to provide self traction, but check with your healthcare pro first to see if it is appropriate for your back.
KinesioTape is another self treatment technique that may help and your therapist can instruct you how to apply it.
Tissue imbalances in the feet, legs, hips, upper back, neck and even the arms can all contribute to back pain, so trying to find the right combination without professional input may be difficult.
Hope that helps to get you started. Back pain will often ease off on its own. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem has been resolved. It may just mean that your body has accommodated to the dysfunction, only to flare up again (or in a different place). So heed everyone’s advice and find the right professionals to educate you on correcting your form and balance your body. Good luck.