T Nation

Back Trouble


During one of my sets of deadlifting today at 8 AM, I felt a pop in my lower back. It felt like it came from the lowest part of my back slightly to the right of my spine. It wasn't painful, yet I could feel my back tighten up almost immediately afterwards and start to feel weaker. I didn't do anything else involving my lower back after this, and proceeded with my work out.

Throughout today at my job it had been getting tighter and increasingly soar, especially when I took a deep breath and arch my back, or when I slouched forward. I know my form was off on the last deadlift because of fatigue, and that this was the main factor causing the situation. I'm a little afraid that I might have messed something up, so I was just wondering if anyone had any personal experience in a situation like this. I don't think it's bad enough now to warrant a trip to a doc. because 2 Tylenol can do the job.


Back = nothing to play with.

See a doc and lay off it for a bit until i's healed.

Just my 2CC


Definitely go to the doctor. Last time I was having some "minor" back pain, it wound up being a herniated disc. Do yourself a favor and get it checked out. I know you're probably thinking there's not much they'll be able to do for it, but atleast you'll know what you're dealing with.


Find a Chiropractor, you may be able to get an appointment with one faster then your doctor, not to mention your doctor will refer you to a back sugeon which will mean another delay. Probably a MONTH or more.

Find a Male Chiropractor or a Large Fit female one. I am assuming you are fairly large due to your lifting so size matters in this regard.

They also have access to x-ray machines and such to do the diagnostics and are more likely be able to offer you better solutions then just pain killers.

Reason Why I recommend it is that my father burst a disk back when he was in his mid 30s and the best the Back specialist could offer was surgery and potential for not walking again. From what I have heard things really haven't changed in the past 20 years in that regard either

My father fortunately opted for the Chropractor and was able to completely avoid surgery, he works as A county inspector in Weights and Measures and works with 25 and 50lbs weights several times a week. He also is still farming (part time).

Somthing that will actually help recovery from this (not cover up the problem like tylenol) is MSM. NOW foods is a good brand and will help out a lot(I am new to Biotest and don't know if they carry any), I HAD cronic lower back pain for the past 12 years (weather I was lifting or not). The last time my back was so messed up I couldn't stand strait for about 2 days.

That night I used 2 teaspoons of MSM poweder in my protein shake, and on the following two evenings as well. My pain was gone by the 3rd night and has stayed away ever since. Not to mention my back is more solid now then it was back when I was in highschool.


I've had herniated discs for over 20 yrs., and I've injured my back the same exact way that you describe about a fifty times over the years (mostly during squats and sometimes during romanian deadlifts). It even happened numerous times on the leg press if I went too deep.

Basically initially you have to ice it and take anti inflamatories. Then get slowly back into working out with a lot of stretching and light weights with high reps. Eventually build the strength up again with perfect form.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but in my case after the first time I injured it in that manner it was never the same again. Plus it would happen more frequently. It would get so bad I couldn't get out of bed for days or even contract my abs to take a shit.

In the future make sure you're very aware of the injury whie working out, and be very meticulous with form. And always be stretched out.


Hey man,

Sorry to hear about the back. You can get better though, but it will come down to how much you learn about ways to recover the back and prevent a future occurance. Since it "popped", it would lead me to believe that it is muscular. . .usally during a muscle pull, one will hear a pop. Hopefully it is just muscular in nature. I hurt my back a little over a year ago doing deadlifts and good mornings, it seems a lot of people are now a days. There is so much that leads up to a back injury that you can't just think that "if I do this exercise with good form I will avoid any injuries"...not true. Its about muscular imbalances, spinal fluids, form, mechanics, and your own body makeup.

Needless to say, you are hurt, read Eric Cressey's articles on this site about imbalances (he herniated a disc and rehabbed himself out of it), see your doc and push to get an mri or at least an x-ray...he will more than likely give you the run around and not know anything about back injuries, so just go there and try to get a diagnosis. There is so much I could say about this because I have read up and experienced back pain, while still staying strong a fit...pm me for more info man.



Find a chiropractor, preferably one who is familiar with lifting (check at your local gym for a referral). Have him/her check out your SI joint along with everything else.


I agree with everyone here- get to a doc as fast as possible and utilize every diagnostic tool they have- even if you have to demand.

I am in a similar situation- i herniated my L5-S1 a year ago and just recently got the MRI to show it. My symptoms were VERY similar to a muscle issue, so my chiro and PT went about addressing a muscle injury. Only that wasnt it.

Seriosly- get to a doc. And get McGills book on back fitness and performance. I just ordered it myself on the advice of multiple people here. Take this seriously and do not take any crap from the docs. roll heads if you have to- just get a compitent diagnosis. Then the guys here - Cressey (whom I had no idea had a herniated disc himself), Robertson, Dr. Ryan, etc- are more than happy to help you with any questions. They just prefer that they have something to go on besides "it hurts"- which is pretty much what i told them....

You may even want to go back through the last few weeks of Prime Times and look for my idiotic questions to see if anything applies, or check out my thread MRI=Herniated lumbar disc, cuz the guys here were really helpful and there is some pretty good info in that one (I think).
Anyhoo, good luck and let us know what happens.