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Possible Disk Injury, Looking for Help


Background, I'm 19 years old, 167 lbs, 5'10", I've been lifting for around 3 years. About five weeks ago, I was warming up for some sumo deadlifts with 175 lbs when I felt 2 pops in my lower back, one just above my pelvis and one about a vertebra higher. I stopped lifting out of fear of having seriously injured by back and made a doctor's appointment to see if I had messed myself up.

I went into the doctor a week later and by that time most of the pain had stopped. there was still some when I bent backwards or forwards a lot, but nothing too serious. He recommended that I take a month off of lifting before working my way back in over a month.

I took the month basically off, only some stretching/ light running to release some energy and relieve any back pain. For the past week I've been working my way back into lifting slowly. No lifts have made me have serious pain, so I haven't been too worried. Today was bench and rows. Benching was fine, no pain. When I tried 150 lbs cable rows, I felt a bit of a twinge in my lower back. When I stood up, there was some pain in the same region I had hurt my back and it got worse when I bent backwards or forwards. I felt the gym again to avoid making the problem worse.

I am pretty pissed/ worried that I might have seriously hurt my back now. Should I just take a few days off and try to go back too it? Go back to the doctor? He said for more conclusive results they'd need an MRI. I thin my insurance will cover it, but I'd rather avoid it if I can. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.


Sounds like a slipped disk.

Check with a chiro pronto… you’re only 19 and you don’t want this shit to mess with how your body matures.

And as a rule of thumb, don’t;warmup with 175lbs on deadlift.

Try 45lbs.


If I were you, I would sit down with Stuart McGill’s Ultimate Back Book and start working through some of the progressions.

Learn what a neutral spine looks like, and train to keep a neutral spine during lifting.

I’ve had myriad back issues over 20 years, including the popping you’ve experienced. In my case, it was my multifidi and QL spasming in response to instability around the joints.

A doctor telling you to take a month off…well, he isn’t wrong, but that’s not really helpful. It does nothing to determine the source of your pain.

<----------- Not an MD.


Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll definitely check that book out. I don’t know any chiros around my area, but I’ll look into it.


Is there any pain that shoots down the back of your legs?
Learning about neutral spine is a good idea, I would see a physio over a chiro personally. If there isnt any pain down your legs it may be an erector strain.

You need to take it slower when coming back, coming from a low back injury and jumping back into 150lbs cable row is not the smartest thing to do. Look up foam rolling and consider adding core stabilizing work (TA activations, planks, etc) to help take load off your back. Dont do hamstring stretches where you bend forward until disc pathology is ruled out. Foam roll posterior chain, see how it goes.


There’s no leg pain now, although there was a bit of tingling right after the injury if I remember correctly. The pain is not there if I’m not exercising. I’m definitely gonna start doing more planks and such, I think posture-wise I’ve been too arched almost constantly, mostly from hip flexor tightness. So I’m working on that.


If you keep having trouble I would get an MRI. I had issues with my low back for years and didnt get it diagnosed until I had an MRI.