T Nation

Deadlifting Pain/Strain/Hernia???

Been lifting for the last 6 months and recently started Deadlifting (around 6 weeks) and squating (3 weeks).

Last friday while doing deadlifts (110kgs - pretty heavy weight for myself) I felt like a pinch in the area marked in the picture. I completed 2 reps and it wasnt until the 3rd that I felt it, at first I thought I pinched my skin under my belt but after checking it was definately internal. Being pretty worried I stopped and checked out around the area, no lumps/buldges or anything that felt out of the oridnary, The pain went away and my friends dad whos been around weight lifting for quite a long time suggested it might of just been pinching a hip flexor or something similar and to drop the weight and see how it felt.

Dropped the weight down to 85kgs and done another 2 sets of 6 reps without any pain so I thought nothing too much of it.

Fast forward to last Tuesday and doing squats were fine, no pain at all.

This afternoon I again done deadlifts, not wanting to go to heavy because of last week I stuck to 90kgs and done 5 reps after warming up. At the end of the last rep I felt that pain again, not as intense as last time (like a pinch) but more sort of like a burn in the same area. This got me worried again so stopped.

Now again there is no lump/buldge and the area in question does not hurt when I cough or strain.

Im a furniture removalist/delivera by trade so its not like im not use to straining (although the strain is alot greater deadlifting) or lifting heavy objects.

Im pretty worried as I hope to god its not a hernia so im pretty interested to see what you guys think it could be before I consider going to the doc.

Regards John

See a doc, free internet medical advice is worth what you paid for it.

It could be anything, including a tiger. See a doctor. Get a checkup.

If you ask me though I’d say you’re pinching a nerve somewhere and it is to do with the bending of the deadlift, and probably, BAD technique. Are you saying you are new to deadlifting? Yet you are pretty strongish at it for someone who has never done it, probably due to your job. AND that combination says this to me: some of the muscles for deadlifting are strong and some are weak because you didn’t get strong doing deadlifts, therefore you are screwing up in ways that most of us don’t experience.

This would be further evidenced by fact you don’t experience the pain with other lifts.

Make sure you get the technique great.

I’d recommend higher volume with lighter weights instead of trying to do say your 5RM … ie back off.

It might take you 6 weeks to get the technique right. And, you might NEVER get it right because like most, you won’t go and learn it, but fumble your way about doing what you think is right.

You will almost certainly find good technique explained on TNation somewhere.

Also the book starting strength has a good section on deadlift

I recommend that a lot because it really does go through the basic lifts well.

Thanks for the informative post Magarhe.

You could say that im pretty new to deadlifting, I started out 8ish weeks ago reasonably light to try and get a good techinque and worked my way up. My log for deadlifting for the past 8 or so weeks looked like this.

WK 1

3 x 10 - 29kg
3 x 8 - 33kg
3 x 6 37kg

WK 2

3 x 8 - 37kg
3 x 6 - 46kg
3 x 4 - 54kg

WK 3

3 x 8 - 40kg
3 x 6 - 50kg
3 x 4 - 60kg

WK 4

3 x 5 - 40kg
3 x 5 - 50kg
3 x 5 - 60kg
3 x 5 - 70kg

WK 5

3 x 6 - 40kg
3 x 6 - 60kg
3 x 6 - 70kg
3 x 6 - 80kg
3 x 1 - 100kg

WK 6

1 x 5 - 40kg
3 x 5 - 70kg
3 x 5 - 80kg
3 x 5 - 90kg

WK 7

1 x 5 - 60kg
1 x 5 - 70kg
1 x 5 - 80kg
1 x 5 - 90kg
1 x 5 - 100kg

WK 8

1 x 5 - 52kg
3 x 5 - 82kg
1 x 3 - 112kg (pain felt on 3 rep at the top of the lift)
2 x 5 - 82kg

WK 9

1 x 5 - 52kg
1 x 5 - 90kgs (slight burn on last 2 reps at top of the deadlift)

Ill see if I can get a video of my deadlift and post it up so you guys can comment on technique and things I need to improve on.

Its probably to good wakeup call (if infact its a pinched nerve or similar) to start stretching (Mike Robertsons Hardcore Stretching) and start some abdominal work aswell which all will benefit me in the long run.

All imput appriciated. :slight_smile:

You ever figure out what this was? I ask because I’ve been experiencing a similar sensation.

I would say you need a better warm up and some stretching of your inner thigh. I once had a similar discomfort, but went away with stretching and better technique.


I have also had this similar sensation in the past. Part of me thinks it is the beginning of a hernia, the ripping of the abdominal wall. However, i think being a fit person, the reason I may have no bulge is I’m not thick enough to have anything protrude from the area.

Another thought is its just an abdominal strain and it did go away, but I think i still feel it every once in a while. Just enough to know not to go to heavy during the deadlift. It was a max attempt for me, so now a days it isn’t worth it to max out on that lift.

I did see a surgeon and he said it was nothing, but I think I need a second opinion eventually. Any updates from the original poster? It makes me think I was not born to deadlift really heavy > 400 lbs.

Are there any exercises to prevent or minimise a hernia? From my understanding lifting heavy strains weak, under-utilised muscles thus leading to a rupture, somehow.

So maybe there are some type of ab exercises that will strengthen these specific muscles to allow us to deadlift more?

i had the same thing and it was an inguinal hernia

stuff your fingers in the area in question and cough, repeat on the other side

if something moves on the side in question then you may well have a hernia.

[first post - hello to all!] I have pain in the same area but mine started while sprinting - I felt/heard a little snap in the same place.

Mine seems to be sort of at the top/crest of the pubic bone. Is that an insertion point? Anyway, I don’t think mine is a hernia.

I had surgery for an umbilical hernia in January this year - freaking failed while I was squatting. Now it’s worse, actually. Didn’t use the mesh - suture method instead.