Lower back pain after deadlift.

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My back began hurting while performing a deadlift he said.   He was lifting almost 300 lbs but this time his back began to ache. After three weeks of the pain continuing,  he visited our office on the advice of his girlfriend. Lower back pain from a deadlift is quite common but the ache should resolve within a few hours or by the following day. Even proper deadlifts will strain the legs, back, hips, and even the upper body.   The strain from lifting will make us stronger the next time we lift providing our bodies function properly with that level of weight. Lifting and deadlifting with poor form can cause a lower back injury. Often, our body can malfunction in ways we don't understand resulting in poor form and eventual injury to the lower back. Can you tell if your form is degrading as you lift more reps or heavier weights?  Unfortunately, many of us cannot.

How much weight is too much?

Most people realize there is a problem when they experience pain.  Post-workout stiffness seems normal but is it? Actually, chronic stiffness and a lack of flexibility are often precursors to pain and injury. Are you likely to experience injury from deadlifts?   Are you physically capable of lifting your desired weight or lifting that weight a number of times? The following simple core function tests may offer some guidance.
  • Squat.  Can you squat, Do lean, or lose balance?   This can mean you have problems with your core or your legs are tight or both.
  • Standing on one leg and then the other.  Are you falling over?  Asymmetry can increase your likelihood of an injury.
  • Can you get out of a chair with the weight of someone's hands on your shoulders?  An inability to do this may mean the legs are tight, the core is dysfunctional or you have upper body problems.
  • Can you touch your toes?   A lack of ability to do this increases your likelihood of a lower back injury.
If you fail one or more of these tests, methods such as foam rolling may help improve how you perform by reducing the tightness of fascia , connective tissue which is needed for proper transmission of forces up the leg, through the arms, and through the core muscles.  This can help reduce the likelihood of a back injury during deadlifts.

When to visit a healthcare professional.

Did the activity injure you or was there a problem developing prior to the activity?  It is difficult to be objective about how we feel and function however, if rest, foam rolling, or other self-help methods do not relieve the pain, it is time to visit a professional. Many weightlifters rely on chiropractors who are trained in the evaluation and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.  Their holistic approach is preferred to medication, symptom relief, and procedures or tests which can be costly and are often ineffective, resulting in your problem becoming more chronic. Chiropractic sports physicians are trained to evaluate and treat these injuries, with the goal of returning to the gym or to athletic activities. Chiropractors are experts at treating sports and other injuries responsible for neck, lower back, knee, shoulder, hip, and even disc problems.  Rather than trying to make the problem fit them, a great chiropractor will take a thorough history and try to understand you and uncover the true mechanism behind the injury. Treatment often begins the same day and includes methods such as myofascial release, manipulation of the spine and extremities, exercises, and foot orthotics if needed.  They are a one-stop-shop for everything musculoskeletal. Chiropractors are the choice for efficient and cost-effective drug-free care of the musculoskeletal system. Get help today.  Book online here for your first appointment.