I've thrown out my back a few times last year. Scans found no evidence of unusual damage, but I was completely bedridden for weeks after. The first time it was a regular pull workout and the second time back squats. Needless to say, I'm scared of that happening ever again.
I recently started to lift again, having moved towns and gyms. I got some nagging discomfort in the problem spot of my back which lingered for a few days, despite precautions.
Since I already did what I could to prevent it, it seems to me my options are either going on and hoping it does not come back or quitting lifting altogether.
Lunges (deemed safe) and all the machine work are not doing anything for my hamstrings and deadlifting seems risky but ultimately necessary.
I'm thinking one option would be to limit the ROM at the top, stopping short of groin level so the hams get hit a fair bit but the limited ROM would perhaps provide some protection for the back.
Another thing I'm thinking of is the snatch deadlift. Before, I used to go extreme with them, grabbing the barbell as far as I could, near the plates (my armspan is 5'10) which necessitated low weight. I don't find this particularly risky, but the exertion is largely concentrated on the hands and arms and the grip gives in first.
Narrowing the grip to a regular snatch style might be an option, still allowing me to use lesser weight. Have not tried it as of yet.
Any suggestions or experiences to share?