T Nation

Lower Back Injury Question


Hey guys,

I don't post very much, but I've been training for a few years. Recently had a lower back injury which came as a bit of a surprise, as I was feeling pretty bullet-proof with regards to deadlifts, squats, etc. and doing pretty well with regard to dieting and just progress in general. In the past, I was only set back maybe a few days and I was usually able to train around the injury. This time, it has been a month and there is still a hint of the injury. I cannot Romanian deadlift (anything putting my back into the Good Morning position), and squats are proving to be especially difficult.. leg press is hit or miss.

This came as a bit of a surprise only because I was using 335 for 4x12 on Romanians, whereas I have deadlifted 500lb beltless recently. I believe that I was just having an off day, but so concerned with the PRs I had been setting, that I had pushed myself too far when I should have backed off that day. It was a minor tweak at the time, but now I am concerned as sitting can be uncomfortable, as well as extending my legs while seated and certain stretches that put the hamstrings in use.

If you need more details, feel free to let me know, but I would like to figure out how to get this worked out ASAP to get back to lifting correctly. I have subbed out deads for another hamstring curl, and I am going to sub out leg press for extensions and squats for maybe something else (need to find another exercise). I had been using these this past month, but I feel that I may be re-aggravating the injury slightly and not allowing it to fully heal.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as, due to shitty upper body development, squatting and deadlifting was one of the few things that brought me joy in the gym with OK lifts for somebody 170lbs bodyweight.

Thanks, love the community!


Hey I have hurt my back twice deadlifting…first time 500lbs, seccond time 545 hex bar…

My injury was a dislocated SI joint which resulted in a bulged disk in my L5 S1… if you are not having any burning sensations or sciatica you may have a similar injury…

You would know if you dislocated your SI joint so I would maybe rule that out… but a bulged disk… not uncommon at all… not much you can do for it… the first time It happend to me I spent a shit load of money at the chiropractor getting alignments and decompression therapy. But in the end… nothing but time healed me… infact I’m just now 95% healed from my seccond time… and I have done nothing but train smart… avoid dead and squats… keep your back straight… and just try and loosen up… NOTE!

I am not a doctor… this has only been my experience. For all I know you could have anything from a strained muscle to a herniated disk… but if you take it easy for a few weeks and begins to feel better… chances are it’s nothing serious… if your having a hard time getting in and out of bed… putting your pants on… and bending over in genral then that sounds like a bulged disk… if your having a hard time making bowel movements and sharp pain that persists longer than a month… see a doctor… hell… if your worried and have medical insurance. See a doctor anyways… but the only way to really see what is going on with your disks is a MRI… which is very pricy…

Anywho… sorry to ramble on… but I’ve found myself in your position. . It sucks… it’s hindering… but it’s not the end of the world…

Do some research on bulged disks… and if you must train… which I did… just be smart… do productive exercises… i found to train legs with my injury. Single leg movements was best…

Best of luck


Exercises to keep legs up…

  1. Lunges…
  2. Hack squat machine (keep back flat)
  3. Leg extensions
  4. Ham curls
  5. Leg press** note be careful sometimes it would aggravate my back
  6. Light weight front squats

And like I mentioned. Single leg movements!

Lunges were my go to for almost a month hahah actually got some good development