T Nation

Deadlift Injury

Looking for some input on an injury that happened today.

I was deadlifting and while pulling felt a snap or pop in my lower back. I had immediate, though not severe pain, radiating from my lower back to the middle of my right calf. About fifteen minutes later the sole of my right foot was numb.

It doesn’t feel like a back injury, it feels muscular. In fact I have a feeling it is the piriformis muscle as I have injured it in the past with similar symptoms.

It’s been about three hours and I still have the same pain, no better and no worse. However, if I put bodyweight on my right side my butt and hammie go numb.

Any suggestions on what I might have done or how to treat this would be appreciated.

I don’t have much to say other than that I have hd a similar experience with deadlifting and it put me out for a long while.

Try to keep swelling down by icing affected areas and take ibuprofen regularly throughout the day, until you can see a doctor.

YOu need to get to a doctor ASAP!!! This is no piriformis muscle syndrome brother, good lord. You may have ruptured or bulged a disc.

If it was purely muscular, why would you feel numbness in your legs and feet? Think about that.

Agree. You need to have your spine checked out ASAP. Numbness could be nerve damage. Pay the $10 co-pay and have a professional tell you…

Good Luck Bro.

[quote]Leafblighter wrote:
If it was purely muscular, why would you feel numbness in your legs and feet? Think about that.[/quote]

Well sometimes the piriformis muscle will impinge the sciatic nerve in the hip region and create numbness and tingling and or pain. In some people (a very small segment of the population) the sciatic nerve actually runs through the pirformis, so they have to be really careful of tension in this area. It was the motion he was going through and the sound he heard that concerns me. The piriformis is not likely to have been torn during a deadlift and if it did tear away form the bone (the popping sound) it would not be effecting the sciatic nerve.

Ah shoot, dude, just saw this. That sucks man.

Anyway, like others have said, just get yourself in to a competent doctor and get it checked out.

Take things as easy as you need to until you are sure you know what is what – there is zero point in taking any risks, that is for sure.

[quote]chriscarani wrote:
YOu need to get to a doctor ASAP!!! This is no piriformis muscle syndrome brother, good lord. You may have ruptured or bulged a disc. [/quote]

that’s what i was thinking too. i would specifically request an mri. i had several doctors tell me it was a sprain, even with x-rays. good luck, and keep us in the loop. worst case scenario, there is lifting life after/with a disc problem.

I took him to the ER and the doc confirmed what we thought originally, that it was muscular. He’s on anti-inflammatories and hydrocodone for pain, though he only took one last night.

He’s not in any pain anymore although it is a little tender. There is also a small amount of swelling in his hamstring.

[quote]sic wrote:
I took him to the ER and the doc confirmed what we thought originally, that it was muscular. He’s on anti-inflammatories and hydrocodone for pain, though he only took one last night.

He’s not in any pain anymore although it is a little tender. There is also a small amount of swelling in his hamstring.[/quote]

That’s good news! Did they determine what that popping sound was?

Here’s an update of sorts. Sitting isn’t painful. I can walk some without pain. My lower back isn’t in any pain, just a little sore. I do have swelling in my glute and hamstring area, along with some numbness. Woo hoo. I can definately feel tightness if I attempt to stretch my ham out. And pain. Oh, and I’m observing a lot of involuntary muscle contraction in my glute and hamstring.

Thanks guys for your input.

I’m really glad to hear it’s just muscular Kroby, I was concerned.

You need to see a doctor. Numbness that goes to just below the knee can indicate a muscular injury. When it goes to the foot and the foot is numb, you may very well have herniated one of you lower lumbar disks. DO NOT continue to lift until this has been addressed.

Yea I hope it gets better man. You may want to get a second opinion if it’s not better within a week or so. No offense to ER physicians but they really don’t have much knowlegde on these issues, on top of the fact they don’t have time to accurately diagnose them. Sounds to me more than just a muscle problem.

[quote]kroby wrote:
Here’s an update of sorts. Sitting isn’t painful. I can walk some without pain. My lower back isn’t in any pain, just a little sore. I do have swelling in my glute and hamstring area, along with some numbness. Woo hoo. I can definately feel tightness if I attempt to stretch my ham out. And pain. Oh, and I’m observing a lot of involuntary muscle contraction in my glute and hamstring.

Thanks guys for your input.[/quote]

I just replied to this thread, and hadn’t read the whole thing. (my first l post not up for me to edit yet) I’m glad you got looked at. I would still wait until you are 100%, and if any question see a specialist. Start bakc light. This wouldn’t be something you want to take lightly. The fasciculations (involuntary muscle movements) can still indicate a problem at the spinal level. Hope you feel better.

Did you wear a belt at the time of your injury? I had a minor back injury for several months after deadlifting without one. It’s gone now, whew, but I’m curious if the same thing can happen even with a belt. I haven’t deadlifted in a couple of years because of that. I figured it’s not worth losing my back if my body can’t handle it, and if there are other exercises that I can do for the same muscle area (I know, I know, deadlifts rule )-: ).

[quote]BFBullpup wrote:
Did you wear a belt at the time of your injury? I had a minor back injury for several months after deadlifting without one. It’s gone now, whew, but I’m curious if the same thing can happen even with a belt. I haven’t deadlifted in a couple of years because of that. I figured it’s not worth losing my back if my body can’t handle it, and if there are other exercises that I can do for the same muscle area (I know, I know, deadlifts rule )-: ).[/quote]

It CAN happen with a belt. You still put a lot of strain on your lumbar disks when you deadlift. If you have a weakness in the disk from either a congenital problem, a prior injury, or degnerative disease, it can still herniate/rupture. With good form and a good belt it shouldn’t be an issue.

Hey man, yeah that sounds pretty familiar. In December i was deadlifting and i was midway through my second set and on the concentric portion of the lift i felt/heard this horrbile “pop” and had immediated pain in my lower back that wrapped around my right leg and into my groin. I knew something was seriously wrong immediately. I got an MRI soon after that (which is something i definitely recommend to you) and it revealed i had a herniated L4-L5 disc.

This was devastating to me, cause everyone doctor i talked to said definietly no more heavy anything that involves spinal loading or heavy weight being lifted while bent at the waist. So far ive avoided surgery by conservative treatment ( chiropratic visits including spinal decompression therapy and maintaing good ROM/ flexibility in my piriformis/hams and quads.) I havent done anything heavy in a while but since i have such a bodybuilding mentality i think im going to slowly start incorporating things back into my routine but very light at first and see how my body responds.

A doctor could tell you one thing but ultimately remember only you know your own body. Just let pain be your guide is the mentality ive had to adopt but i definitely think for now your best bet is to take it easy, find out what the problem really is and go from there. If its a serious injury its not worth aggrevating it even more just because you dont wanna skip a couple of workouts. I know its hard to stay out of the gym or not go as hard as you would like, but belive me, in the future youll definitely be better off.

Do you think you can get injured doing a deadlift when your in a lot of heat? When I do power cleans and my body temp is up-Im really sluggish in the motion. I did a deadlift and I was real hot-and I think I got an injury. Its wierd, its not a lower back muscle, its like further down from that-like where my butt starts-and Im pretty sure it may be bone. Yesterday I tried picking up my cat and my entire spine felt like a shock had run through it, like, not that much pain, but it felt like a jolt-like something electric. Freaked me out. Im a girl, and am 5’10 and can deadlift 310-I only use my lower back when I deadlift-do you think it may have been because of me using my lower back solely to deadlift that caused this…wierd pain, or could it be that I was real sluggish from the heat when I did it-making me more subsceptible to injury? Sorry such a selfish question-But my trainer will not listen to me-and my guyfriends dont even know what powerlifting is.

A few questions for Kroby:

  1. What deadlift style were you using (Sumo, semi sumo, regular)?
  2. Do you know if you compromised your form at the time the injury occured or were you using correct form and it just happened anyway?
  3. How much were you lifting?

I’m just curious because I love to deadlift, but am always on the lookout for advice/stories that will help avoid injury.

Sorry to hear about your injury and good luck getting better.