T Nation

Lower Back Injury. Finished Before I've Begun?


Hi All.

Been a lifter for a few years and only recently truly started powerlifting and was starting to think about my first meet. Ive been training with a little reservation due to an older lower back injury hat caused some discomfort whist deadlifting (could still go all out on squats and bench) and have been actively working with a physio to sort it out.

All has been going well until last week when an hour or so after a deadlifting session i had some serious pain and stiffness when getting up out of my seat at work. Fast forward one week and i have complete numbness in the lower legs along with ‘pins and needles’ and some back pain. I have seen a doc and am now waiting to get an mri to see the extent of the damage :frowning2:

The reason for this post is to see if anyone has come back from something like this? Although fairly new to the sport, ive become very passionate about it and really do not want to pack it in for good. Any advise would be appreciated.

For now i can just sit back and enjoy the ipf worlds on youtube.



Louie Simmons has broken his back and come back.

Brandon Lilly came back from having his patellas explode.

Jason Pegg took an IED to the elbow and still smashes weights.

Wendler has fubared his back to hell and back and is still training.

Depending on the severity of your injury, the resources you utilize, your patience and your drive you may be fine. Listen to the Drs, if they tell you that you’ll never train again, go see someone else and repeat until you find someone that says “we will get you training again to some degree” then go from there.

Just my peso.


If the injury had happened right when your training is one thing, but having injuries pop up after the fact certainly sucks. Dealing with injuries in its own right is just an important skill as Powerlifting. How you go about dealing with them, sorting out what’s wrong and recovery are super important to your longevity in the sport.

Tuff to sit on the sidelines with injuries when you having a passion for lifting I hear ya, listen to your body and you’ll be back soon enough.


Thanks both, your posts are helping keep spirits high. I have had a week off, so going forward I think Im going to stay as active as possible and use this time to perhaps lose a bit of body fat as strength loss is inevitable. Im sure ill be able to keep lifting relatively heavyish on the bench as long as I dont arch but anything thats going to put any stress on the injury is out of the question, at least until I have my MRI. Just going to stay patient and work slowly back into it for as long as it takes.


You may want to try revamping your DL form when you can. I had/have an SI joint injury that wouldn’t let me progress on my sumo pull. So I switched to conventional and haven’t had problems since. Maybe try a sumo stance where you really focus on sinking you hips down and keeping your back upright. Basically, trying to make your deadlift more like a squat.


Yep. Hurt my back squatting sub-maximal weight a few years ago. It was bad and work was rough (manual labor).

Find out why you hurt your back and then fix it. Don’t just treat the pain, treat the problem.

When you start to come back take your time and make progress no matter how small. I had to go back to squatting the bar for almost two months.

It’s just a setback. You’ll either let it beat you or become better having beat it.


a herniated my L4 discback in 1998 flipping a 800 pound Tire on uneven grass broke into serious sweats quickly, talk to a surgeon he said cause I was 24 i could possibly heal it self could not sit for more that 30 minutes at a time, but he said once you get cut I’ll be back every 5 years, for surgery . Went to chiropractor 3 times in 10 days, did hand and thigh lift, advice from weightlifting coach Dale Rhodes, and after a montj no pain, yhen pull went from 545 to 585 in 4 months. Still a quarter of my right quad is dumb, still better than surgery and pain meds.