T Nation

Lower Back Tweak

I was deadlifting today and after a straining set I felt a little tweak in my lower back; it wasn’t severe, just a little pinch but I was aware of it and now about 8 hours later I can still feel it. Its on the outside of my back so I think it may have been due to not contracting my abs and over arching my back.

My question is whether this should be a red flag or is it the kind of thing that is going to happen from time to time when lifting ME? Any advice or warnings?

Not really enough information to tell if it’s a red flag or not. See a doctor?

Most likely its nothing big. You might not want to go quite as heavy on your next couple of ME days. You also may want to work on bracing your abs and getting a bellyfull of air before your next attempt-both of these brace the spine.

Sounds like you might have strained your spinal erectors a bit, it’s not really a big deal.

It’s happened to me a couple times, usually when my form slips or I add way too much weight.

Try recording yourself on video or finding someone in the gym who’s really experienced. Might just need a slight adjustment – these things are virtually impossible to monitor by yourself.

Take it easy for a couple days and try hitting some hyperextensions. Not only are they great for your back but if you need more time to recover you’ll know pretty quickly (pinching pain will return).

Good luck man.

I messed up my back doing power cleans with a bent bar. Lost balance and tried to finish the lift anyways. Next day, and 3 weeks afterwards, I could not do anything without twinging my back. It hurt to walk sometimes, which was perfect because the week when my back was the most messed up, I had to walk home from school.

The point of all this is that you will really feel it is something really bad. Mine was just a pulled muscle. I didn’t see a doctor and it got better. I just rested a few days, and began lifting weights. Once I could lift heavy, that’s when all the pain ended.

So, just rest up. Yours doesn’t seem bad. Just don’t be as dumb as me and still try to go balls to the wall with pulling movements and squats with your messed up back. Hell, even bench hurt me. But that’s not the point.

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
I messed up my back doing power cleans with a bent bar. Lost balance and tried to finish the lift anyways. Next day, and 3 weeks afterwards, I could not do anything without twinging my back. It hurt to walk sometimes, which was perfect because the week when my back was the most messed up, I had to walk home from school.

The point of all this is that you will really feel it is something really bad. Mine was just a pulled muscle. I didn’t see a doctor and it got better. I just rested a few days, and began lifting weights. Once I could lift heavy, that’s when all the pain ended.

So, just rest up. Yours doesn’t seem bad. Just don’t be as dumb as me and still try to go balls to the wall with pulling movements and squats with your messed up back. Hell, even bench hurt me. But that’s not the point.[/quote]

I second this. I tweaked my back recently and saw a doctor. It was a strained muscle too. My doctor said that if I had done something worse, then I’d be in much more pain and for a longer period of time.

I had a hard time walking for a day or two, but it feels better every day. I’ve slowly been stretching and getting myself back into the gym.

About a year and a half ago, I tweaked my back worse. I never saw a doctor, but eventually it got better. It took me a good month before I was back in the gym though. The mistake I made that time was not doing anything during that month. I actually think the inactivity caused my recovery time to be longer.

So like ukrainian said, rest up, but as soon as you feel well enough to start doing stuff again, get back in there. Just don’t do too much too quickly. You might not be able to go heavy right away, so just make sure everything feels right before you do.

if ppl ran to the doctor everytime they strained theyre back and had a little back pain for 2 days doctor’s offices would never close.

Key is lay off it and try to avoid doing this stuff in the future. Your supporting muscles/erectors are now weak and repairing. Your discs have no protection now. DONT LIFT and you’ll be fine in a week. If you lift with a strained back you may as well just be dropping the weights right on your spine.

I’ve done this a few times and came back stronger than ever. Minor strains are like a bad case of DOMS if you are smart about recovery.

Deadlift is really too dangerous to be straining with and losing form, though. Only 18 year olds can get away with that crap…

I had a similar issue about a year ago, and I knew it was from a deviation from good form. I stretched it a lot, and kept cracking it, but it didn’t seem to work (about a month). Eventually, I got a foam roller and within three days of using that, the pain was gone, so it was a matter of stretching and massaging the way the roller worked. I’d recommend picking one up and finding directions to do it here online. Good luck.

One more thing… like everyone else said it might take a while to get back to 100% performance (couple weeks, maybe a month or more).

Might want to try hitting hack squats and seated leg curls until you can squat/dl again, they seem to put less strain on your back than leg presses and prone curls.

[quote]pachell wrote:
One more thing… like everyone else said it might take a while to get back to 100% performance (couple weeks, maybe a month or more).

Might want to try hitting hack squats and seated leg curls until you can squat/dl again, they seem to put less strain on your back than leg presses and prone curls.[/quote]

Although my back has recovered fairly well, I am still aware of it. And I have noticed that leg curls put more strain on my back that heavy deadlifts. So, I don’t know if that’s just me, but I would go lighter on the curls.