Chronic Low Back Pain 4 Months After a Bad Deadlift

Hi there. So I’m pretty desperate & I thought I might as well try forums to see if anyone has any insight or a similar problem. Everyone I’ve seen about this problem hasn’t been able to help

The pain:
Oddly enough there are two specific pains I’m feeling in different locations. The first and most debilitating is a low back pain only on my left side. I feel it directly when I try and bend over and lean towards my right. It’s a pulling sensation located right above the SI joint (maybe paraspinals?). It has gotten to the point where I feel it sitting and getting up from sitting, laying down, if I try and do any sort of lifting. The second pain is in my QL (right beneath my last rib on the same side). The QL is permanently tender to the touch like it’s permanently sore or something. That one isn’t quite as bothersome.

The story:
Late november I was maxing deadlift and everything seemed fine. I didn’t hear an audible pop and wasn’t aware of any immediate strain. That weekend however I remember feeling low back pain that was different than just a typical soreness. It felt somewhat swollen as well. I thought nothing of it (big mistake) and continued to work out as normal. Very slowly (over the course of the next 3-4 weeks) I started noticing a low back pain only on my left side. Eventually it got to the point where it was causing me pain during working out, so I decided to see a chiro. Since that day I’ve been seeing him weekly for 2 months now. Adjustments to the SI Joint don’t help. Really anything he’s done was no help, although he’s prescribing me weekly exercises (to no avail). I’ve been to two different massage therapists. One tried cupping which had zero effect. The other did a very painful deep tissue massage that actually made the pain weaken substantially, however it came back with a vengeance later that week. I drink tons of water daily, stretch for almost at least two hours daily which helps a bit but by the morning the low back has returned to insanely tight and painful. I have found one exercise that gives me immediate relief which is the reverse hyperextension. I was hopeful these would make a difference permanently but I woke up this morning & it’s as bad as ever.

This is causing me endless turmoil. I have stopped working out altogether for about two months now. I run daily to try and keep some exercise in my life. Running doesn’t cause any pain. I don’t know what to do. I may get an MRI but it doesn’t seem like a disc problem since there isn’t any radiating pain down the leg or up the back and that’s pretty expensive. It’s very localized to the SI Joint area and QL.

If you have ANY insights whatsoever or tips on what to do I’d appreciate it immensely. I’m at a complete loss here.

I am very interested in hearing more about your QL pain as I am experiencing very similar symptoms and pain. My actually stretches around my ribcage on the same side and causes some pain when I inhale. I have been pt, massage therapy, chiro, to some relief but never goes away. Any advice/thoughts would be great to hear.
Thanks all

Hey catmando. So I noticed the pain in the QL about a month or so after the supposed bad deadlift. If I press directly under my last rib on my left side, it’s painful. It’s stayed constantly tender since I’ve noticed it. At it’s worst it flares up whenever I would sneeze or try and get up using my left side to turn over in bed and what not.

I’ve been advised to try and strengthen it but it never works. You may want to look up QL releases, where you roll around on a lacrosse ball and then immediately stretch it. I had zero success with that but apparently it works for some.

I’m seeing a sports medicine doctor in a couple weeks so if I get any concrete answers I’ll be sure to let you know.

Get an MRI, you might have a bone spur poking a nerve

I am in the same boat. I was doing squats. No pop, just a dull ache that set in and gradually worsened. This was my fault as my core wasn’t braced as it should have been.

After a week I visited a Sports Medicine ortho. He examined me, and took x-rays. The diagnosis was an irritated disk. He said it will take about 4 weeks to heal.

At week 3 I started doing light squats to start to rehab my low back. I also built a belt squat machine so I can still go heavy on my legs without loading the spine.

I am getting better but it is taking some time.

Since you have been dealing with the pain for a while, and you haven’t mentioned that you saw an Ortho, I would recommend (internet opinion) seeing one and going the MRI route like Aero51 mentioned.

Hey man, I am experiencing something that sounds almost exactly like what you described. Have you had any luck figuring out that the problem was and how to fix it?

Wow, I never thought this would come up again, haha.

I did end up getting relief from “Dry Needling.” It’s the only thing that helped. The best diagnosis I got was inactive paraspinals on the left side causing the surrounding muscles to be overworked. The needling + little exercises every night has kept it at bay.

Hope this helps!

Glad to hear your doing better! Are you back deadlifting?

I just recently started again…so I took about two-ish years off of the movement. I also do very light weight and put the bar on plates so it’s lifted off the ground. It’s supposed to help take strain off the low back. Good luck to you!