T Nation

Lower Back Muscle Strain/Tears

Hello guys so I injured my back deadlifting about 3 months back that damaged both my spine and muscles around it. It’s been a slow recovery but I am confident that my spine is healed. Extension and flexion shows no pain normally.

My problem now is that my muscles in the lower back are way too weak or senstitive cause they get pulled almost everytime I try to deadlift a moderate amount of weight. For instance two weeks ago i deadlifted about 225 for 2 reps and i felt a pop in my muscles. It healed in about 4 days. Last week I deadlifted 5 x 10 with 185 with no problem except a bit of muscle tightness. Today on my FIRST set of 185 i felt a weird series cracks or pops and the pain in my muscle is bad. I’m getting tired of these muscle pops and pains and I can’t get back to lifting normally.

Should I give my back a break and stay off of it till it’s completely healed or should I try to strengthen it with very light weight? Cause deadlifting assisted a lot previously when I had spine damage and was doing less weight but idk when this weak piece of rubber band is going to stop snapping.

What’s ur max deadlift at? Maybe you’ve gone relatively too heavy or too much volume too quickly and exceeded your healing tissues load tolerances.

Cracks and pops aren’t really sounds muscles should be making with strains and tears. muscle strains tend to heal in the time frame of 6-12 weeks depending on how bad it is.

I reckon either build back up really slowly with moderate volume (or low depending on if volume aggravates your back) and or get a professional to check you out

Previous to my injury 3 months ago, it was 395. Or at least i hit 385 and then when i tried 395 my back blew out.

I have to wonder about your form, maybe post a video if you have any so it can be critiqued.

If you’ve been limping around for 3 months its possible that your whole lower body and back are weaker.

Your abs and obliques could be soft and lazy too.

Maybe lay off the deadlifts for a few weeks and do some specific work for your abs, hamstrings and lower back to get everything working smooth again.

When you return to deadlifting, if you need to, you can elevate the bar by lifting off plates or blocks or out of the rack to shorten the ROM into an area of the lift you can do without hurting yourself. Then when you get your bracing, technique and low back feeling solid you can lower the barbell.

1 Like

My 395 deadlift that blew my back was actually cause of improper form and form breakdown. So I’ve been working to fix my mechanical errors such as leaning too far forward, not keeping a straight lower back at all times, and bracing/pulling the slack out of the bar. It’s still a work in progress.

Yeah I’ve been getting back to core work since then but my muscle would still feel pulled or something. I’ll take your advice and try it out. Thanks man

Pretty low percentage of 1RM then. Like a bit over 50%. You’re probably fairly de trained and have a low tolerance to intensity/loading.

Train around the injury as much as you can like flats said e.g. keep the hamstrings going with hamstring curls, chest Supported rows pull ups etc. for the upper back

Excessive volume, at any stage healthy or coming back to full fitness could contribute to injury or reinjury. One doesn’t need that much volume to anyways especially if the goal is rehab. 5x10 is probably excessive I’d cut that at least in half or more and stay away from high rep Sets because that’s where form breakdown and muscle fatigue sets in more

Edit: more ideas for u:
Hip Thrusts
Single Leg Deadlifts