I have a fusion from T10 to L3. Before I found CrossFit, I had learned to live with constant, mostly dull lower back pain.
I started dabbling in CrossFit in the Spring of ‘07 and committed to doing solely CrossFit sometime that summer. I started slowly but I can think of 2 occasions where bad form caused me pain. The first one that comes to mind was the day after a ‘Helen.’ I let my back round and didn’t keep my core tight during the swings and I paid for it for about a week. The second occasion that comes to mind happened on an ME DL day. It was during warmup: I didn’t set my back and engage my hamstrings. My back completely rounded… Pulling any weight that way can/will hurt people who don’t have a back issues. I pretty much fell to the floor in agony. I was barely able to drive home that day.
My times aren’t the best, but they have been steadily improving over the last 2 years. The same is true for my ME loadouts. There are lots of people who are stronger, but as long as I can get a small PR and not hurt myself along the way, I’m happy.
I didn’t do anything to specifically focus on “making it stronger.” I just focused on not letting my form deteriorate and I found that as the weeks progressed, the dull pain vanished and I was able to hit higher and higher intensity levels as I got stronger faster and leaner.
Moral of the story - Maintain good form, be happy with small gains and you’ll get there too. I had the benefit of being able to train at an affiliate for almost a year so I usually had a second (or third) pair of eyes keeping an eye on my form. If you can get to an affiliate, I would highly recommend it. If not, post some video here, try and apply the advice that you’ll get and post some more video.
I’m in a bit of a hurry this morning, but I hope telling the short version of my story helps.
if you are interested, I’ve talked about it a little bit here:
to a lesser extent here: