T Nation

Slipped Disk? Deadlift Related


Hello fellow T-Nation members,

I don't post here often, but when I do, it's usually because I know I'll get educated opinions.

A little background: I've been lifting seriously for about 3 years, I'm currently 21 very healthy, I have a good diet and supplement myself very well (multi, zinc, fish oil, vit D). I'm currently 6'0 205lbs sitting at around 12% BF.

I've never had any serious injuries, had a wrist injury from curls when I was around 16-17 but it healed up and never reflared, hurt my shoulder from dips (too much ROM), but it was back 100% after a week and never had any more issues and something similar with a knee, back to 100% within a week.

All in all, every ''injury'' I had wasn't serious/healed quickly. I've been deadlifting for about 2 years and I know the right form, etc. I had one lower back incident about a year ago, my ego got in the way and I hadn't eaten enough / slept enough. It healed in about 2 weeks, but I took a month off and I was back 100%. Obviously, because I made the same mistake in May.

I was doing a set of 3 with 415 (my 1RM is 450, so that's fairly heavy for me) and on the third rep, my lockout was sloppy and I heard my back ''crack'' when I locked out, kinda as if a disk slipped, but I'm not fully sure. I was very worried, but there was no pain (still isn't), it just felt ''tight''.

Now I'd say that in about 2 months it seemed tobe back to 100%, I did a lot of foam rolling, stopped deadlifting completely, stretched my spine, etc. Then I started working a job where I have to bent over and frisk people like 1500 times 3x a week. It flared back.

There's times where it's 60%, others where it's 90%, but never quite 100%. Usually it's bad during/after work and after waking up (might be my sleep posture), but on an off day I feel okay, around 90% and I think it would go back to 100% if I stopped working that position. I'm going to see an oestheopath this week and see what happens.

Should I basicly quit in order to prevent this? (This is a great job, I get along with the staff, has a lot of perks, etc.) Or will it just keep aggravating my injury? I honestly can't squat or even think about deadlifting because my joints (knees + back) are always sore.

I've never had an injury for that long, it always places itself eventually, could there be long term damage?

Anyone who went through something similar, I'd love to hear some feedback.

Sorry for that long post, I just wanted to be as specific as possible.


are you able to squat down and frisk people instead of bending over?


I dont think anyone can tell you what you've done over the internet, you're doing everything right by getting checked out by a professional.

I'm afriad I cant offer you any great advice as I'm not trained in anything medical, but what I can tell you from experience is that sometimes things take a long time to get back to 100%

I had a bike crash and injured my right shoulder. It took a year and a half for it to get to 95% and I didnt even break or dislocate anything.

Have you also been stretching hips, glutes and hamstrings? That could help with some low back discomfort.

Best of luck on the ost. appt. and remember a couple of months isn't a long time for full recovery.


As someone who has had slipped disks on 3 occasions (though not specifically by Deadlifting) I can offer this advice:

First of all if you really had badly slipped a disk you would know about it, its pretty damn sore and leaves you almost immobile. There were days that it took me about 10 minutes just to get out of bed and stand up straight.

My squat/dl numbers aren't spectacular but I can do them fine.

I agree with above posters about learning to use glutes hams & quads when moving/working.

If you haven't read them check out Mike Robertson's articles on this site about stretching, posture and hip/back mobility etc.

Only a professional can really advise you but I'd guess its fairly minor and wont be a long term problem.

Other than that, be more aware of your posture in general and stretch everyday.

Good luck!


Thanks for all the replies so far. Also, a little update, when I went to bed I was at about 85-90%, now that I just woke up I'm feeling very stiff, maybe 70-75%. I'm not sure what's causing that.

I did that, it only seemed to help my back a little, but it was killing my knees - I'm wearing non flexible dress pants, so I basicly have to squat ATG on one leg, it's really not ideal.

I've been doing hips and hamstring stretches for 2 months now, once every 2 nights for roughly 10 minutes. I also stretch my spine with movements on the floor and by staying vertical on my dip station (sometimes cracks my spines, feels awesome).

Thanks for the tips man. Like I said above, I try to stretch as much as possible, but I might take it up a notch. I'm also going to see a professionnal tomorrow, I really hope it's nothing serious. But I still feel like he'll tell me that the frisking is not helping at all, so it's kind of a lose/lose situation for me.


If your flexability is not great, I personally benefit more from regular stretching. If you're stood about it takes nothing to get a hip stretch done, or hamstring stretch.

I went for a 3 times a day, 10 minutes each session stretch routine. Before every workout I did hip mobility work before the stretching, then did ART/Self release on my glutes, hips, IT band, quads, calves and worked out my feet with a hockey ball after my workout when my muscles were warmed up and had plenty of blood in them.

Give it a try, it's free and you have nothing to lose. Havn't had back pain in a long while now.