T Nation

Lower Back Pain

So I’ve come to you to get some advice. RDLs and deadlifts tend to cramp up my lower back, in particular on the left side of my lower back. Yesterday, for example, I was doing some barbell complexes (it was a day off from heavy lifting) and I failed my third round because my lower back cramped so bad. Granted, this was the day after a full body workout that certainly exercised my lower back.

When lifting heavy, whether with regular deadlifts or with RDLs, I definitely feel a lot of stress on my lower left back.

Any suggestions on what I can do to minimize this problem. I am not a particularly flexible person, and I do use a standard barbell (I work out at home) with ridiculous numbers of 25lb plates on it when I DL, so technically my DLs are deficit deads. But that should have no impact on RDLs, which tend to shred my back even more.



Are you sure it is lower back muscles? It could be your sciatica. if your hamstrings are normally on the tighter side they will screw up your SI joint and roll your hips. This will pinch down on the sciatica in certain movements. Look up neural flossing on youtube. If it is indeed a sciatica issue, those exercises really help with loosening it up. It will not fix it, but it will help with the discomfort. Go to a chiro, one that focuses on sports medicine and have them look at your hammies and SI joint/hips. They will be able to tell pretty quickly.

Yeah, I’m sure it is the muscle. I feel it tense up, and I can reach behind and feel it tense like a rock. I have attached an image here to show exactly where the pain is, the bigger circle is on the left side where the majority of the pain is, and a smaller circle on the right where I also feel it, but not to the extent of the other.

Granted, it will probably take 24 hours for the picture to be approved/shown on the site :slight_smile:


Ok, just because you feel it in a certain area and your muscle is tense does not mean it is the muscle that is CAUSING your pain. I’m not saying your wrong (please dont take it that way) I am just saying that if you are working out your back, your spinal erectors are going to feel pretty tight. I would still go to a chiro and have them evaluate you. The flexibility thing can cause so many issues.

I’m sorry if this seems obvious, but by “cramped up” do you mean spasmed?

A lower back spasm is actute and can bring me to my knees, I experience a cramp as an constant, uncomfortable tightness.

BE CAREFUL. That’s how I ruptured out my L5 disc. If you begin feeling pain shooting down your ass, then into the hamstrings it means big trouble. Many times lower back muscles crap and tighten to to compensate and stabilize a herniated disc. Beyond that is the rupture of the disc, then life changes forever.

Are you sure this isn’t just a lower back pump? From the description, that’s what it sounds like to me.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Are you sure this isn’t just a lower back pump? From the description, that’s what it sounds like to me.


Funny you should mention that, but… I’m certainly getting a lower back pump when I do DL exercises. But the pain really is not from the pump. I feel it grow over the course of the exercise until I can’t lift any more. But when I stop, most of the pain goes away immediately, and all of it within a few minutes. My back then remains sensitive for an hour or two (if I lift things up, etc), but otherwise doesn’t hurt. It then returns to normal pretty quickly.

I’m certain it is not the sciatic nerve. The pain grows as the muscle is fatigued, and the pump that accompanies it shows me that the muscle is working.