T Nation

Bad Lower Back Pain From Deadlifts

So 2 days ago i decided to do Deadlift again after a long time without doing them, And stupid me i went really heavy. After my warmup sets

i loaded the bar with 220Lbs and did 3 sets i got 9,8,8f reps, my hand slipped on the last rep but i just managed it.

felt no pain at the gym, the next morning my lower back was so stiff, and i cant even bend over. I am now going to take 4 days off gym to help my back recover.

My question is , have i messed up my discs ? to give u a idea of how it feels, when i get up from lying down for hours, i walk but have to bend forward.

I have never hurt myself deadlifting before i just start doing it again so i can beat my PR of 352 lbs.

is there any stretches or work i can do on my day’s off to help it heal?

If i took 4 days off again then started next week, if i feel no back pain, should i deadlift again or give it a break for awhile?

leave deadlifting til your back stops hurting.

Strengthen your glutes. Do activation work on them EVERY DAY. Notice my use of capitals there, it was no accident.

Weak glutes are the source of all that is wrong with the world.

Do more core work too.

good luck!

[quote]janet1 wrote:
So 2 days ago i decided to do Deadlift again after a long time without doing them, And stupid me i went really heavy. After my warmup sets

i loaded the bar with 220Lbs and did 3 sets i got 9,8,8f reps, my hand slipped on the last rep but i just managed it.

felt no pain at the gym, the next morning my lower back was so stiff, and i cant even bend over. I am now going to take 4 days off gym to help my back recover.

My question is , have i messed up my discs ? to give u a idea of how it feels, when i get up from lying down for hours, i walk but have to bend forward.

I have never hurt myself deadlifting before i just start doing it again so i can beat my PR of 352 lbs.

is there any stretches or work i can do on my day’s off to help it heal?

If i took 4 days off again then started next week, if i feel no back pain, should i deadlift again or give it a break for awhile?

[/quote]

As you found out first hand:

Return to DL after not doing them for a while + DL heavy = a high likelihood of injury

My guess is that your technique was rusty, the muscles involved were not as efficient, and it’s questionable if you had a solid foundation to begin with.

Rather than dwelling on why this occurred (anyone can be a Monday-morning quarterback), let’s address what you should do.

You’re not paranoid about a possible injury to the discs. Hopefully, it’s no more than a strain to the muscles. However, it’s in your best interest to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s and get yourself examined.

Generally speaking, the discs are filled with nucleus pulposus. This acts to distribute compressive load. The outer surface of the discs are comprised of annulus fibrosis. Repeat flexion under a significant load will put pressure on the annulus. With time, because the nucleus is pressed towards one spot (for those who repeatedly flex at the lumbar spine under heavy load), the disc can bulge. With further activity, annulus can tear from the excessive pressure.

Now, I hope, you have a better understanding of why it’s important to maintain proper form in lifts such as the DL and squat.

I hope you also learn to ignore (or at least be skeptical of) any trainer, in a transparent effort to be iconoclastic, that tries to bring back into vogue acts of stupidity such as the traditional situp or the Roman Chair. Forget the fact that Manny Pacquiao does hundreds of situps each day; not only is he a statistical outlier, I seriously doubt he is also trying to set PRs in DL, squat, etc.

In the Conditioning forum, I mentioned how it’s about saving yourself for the battles that really matter. If your battle is the DL, then it’s in your best interest to avoid movements that place your lumbar spine in further jeopardy.

So, take it or leave it, here is my advice:

  1. Get yourself checked out by a qualified and experienced medical professional. Know exactly what you’re dealing with.

  2. If you have the green light to resume training, incorporate other movements in addition to the “big 3.”

  3. Learn proper technique in everything you do. It can be something as mundane as clamshells with bands; do yourself a favor and give it your full attention.

  4. Wake up and realize that you do not have to hit PRs every time you step foot into the gym. The mind may be willing but the body may not. It’s ridiculous to believe you can will yourself into a superhuman performance every damn session.