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Debunking The Truth About Lower Back Pain After Deadlift

Lower Back Pain After Deadlifts


In the fitness world, deadlifts are often hailed as the king of exercise. They are fantastic for building strength, targeting multiple muscle groups, and helping you achieve that coveted V-shaped physique. However, with great benefits come potential risks, and one common issue that many weightlifters face is lower back pain after deadlift exercises.

If you have lower back pain after performing deadlifts, seeking help from physical therapy in Elkhart can aid your recovery and prevent future injuries.

In this article, we’ll delve into deadlifts, explore the causes of lower back pain, debunk some myths, and provide essential tips on prevention and treatment.

Understanding Deadlifts

Deadlifts and their variations, when performed with excellent care and compound movements utilizing heavy weights, are highly effective in building strength in the upper body, lower body, and core. Understanding their impact is crucial to avoid injuries and to comprehend their relation to conditions like sciatica.

Explanation of what a deadlift is

Before exploring lower back pain details, it’s critical to grasp the basics of a deadlift and its variations. This compound exercise is essential for core strength, which entails hoisting a loaded barbell or weights from the ground to a standing position and maintaining a neutral spine. It mainly works the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps muscles.

The muscles involved, particularly the lower back

When performing a deadlift, using your body weight, the lower back and abdominal muscles, along with the areas around the lumbar spine and shoulder blades, are essential for stabilizing the spine and supporting the lifting motion. Hence, experiencing soreness or pain in these areas post-deadlift sessions is common.

Common Myths about Deadlifts and Lower Back Pain

Common Myths about Deadlifts and Lower Back Pain

Unraveling these myths is essential for a better understanding of how deadlifts affect our lower back and the true nature of their relationship with lower back pain deadlift.

Myth #1: Deadlifts always cause lower back pain.

Fact: Deadlifts, when performed with correct lifting technique, have been scientifically proven to strengthen the lower back, potentially reduce pain, and alleviate muscle spasms while also minimizing the risk of severe injuries.

Myth #2: Pain is a sign of progress.

Fact: While some muscle soreness is expected, severe pain is not a sign of an effective workout. It underscores the importance of differentiating normal muscle soreness from signs of overexertion or injury.

Myth #3: Deadlifts worsen sciatica and knee pain

Contrary to the myth that deadlifting is harmful to the back, proper technique in deadlifting can reduce mechanical low back pain (MLBP) and significantly alleviate knee pain and function in individuals with chronic knee problems.

Causes of Lower Back Pain After Deadlift

Understanding the common reasons behind lower back pain after deadlifting is crucial for identifying the right approach to address and prevent this discomfort.

Let’s explore the specific factors that can lead to lower back pain following deadlift exercises.

Incorrect form and technique

Incorrect deadlift form can lead to injury pain. Improper deadlift form overburdens your spinal extensor muscles (lumbar paraspinal), which are meant to stabilize during deadlifts, not to bear the entire workload.


Overtraining or not alloting sufficient time for recovery between deadlift workout sessions can also lead to lower back pain. To prevent lower back pain following deadlifts, it’s crucial to prioritize rest and recovery.

Pre-existing conditions

Sensitive health issues, such as pre-existing lower back problems, can make individuals more susceptible to experiencing pain after deadlifts. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before engaging in intense lifting routines if you have such conditions.

Preventing Lower Back Pain After Deadlift

To effectively prevent lower back pain after deadlifting, it’s essential to delve into the key strategies that can make a huge impact.

Next, we’ll examine the crucial steps and methods that can effectively help prevent lower back pain from deadlifting.

Importance of proper form and technique

To prevent common deadlift injuries and lower back pain after deadlifts, focus on mastering proper form and technique, as it is an excellent exercise. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs rather than your back. Consider working with a licensed trainer to ensure your form is impeccable.

Appropriate weight selection

Elect an appropriate weight for deadlift variations, especially when starting with lighter weights. Select a weight that helps you improve strength without compromising your form. Gradually increase the weight as your strength significantly improves, but always prioritize good form over heavy lifting.

Importance of rest and recovery

Allow your muscles to recover adequately, especially considering deadlift lower back injury recovery time, to minimize the risk of injuries and support your overall physical activity. Incorporate rest days and consider other recovery techniques, such as foam rolling and stretching

Dealing with Lower Back Pain After Deadlift with Freedom Physical Therapy and Wellness

Dealing with Lower Back Pain After Deadlift with Freedom Physical Therapy and Wellness

Understanding the proper steps to take when dealing with lower back pain after deadlift exercises is essential for recovery and continued strength training.

Now, let’s dive into the specific methods and treatments that can effectively address lower back pain caused by deadlifting.

Treatments and therapies

If you’re experiencing lower back pain after deadlifts, it may be linked to sciatica, which often causes knee pain. Consider consulting Freedom Physical Therapy and Wellness to understand what helps knee pain from sciatica. We offer targeted treatments for pain relief and healing.”

Rehabilitation exercises

Rehabilitation exercises often involve targeted routines designed by physical therapists to improve movement patterns and functional health.

These exercises highlights strengthening the lower back and enhancing flexibility, which not only aids in quicker recovery but also minimizes the likelihood of experiencing future pain:

Pelvic Tilts: This exercise strengthens the posterior chain core muscles and stabilizes the lower back by arching and flattening it while lying down.

Bird-Dog Stretch: Improves balance and lumbar stability in a spine-neutral position by extending one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously from a hands-and-knees position.

Bridges: Strengthens glutes and lower back muscles with glute bridges by lifting the hips while lying on the back, creating a straight line from knees to shoulders.

Cat-Cow Stretch: Enhances spinal flexibility and mobility, helping to alleviate tight muscles through alternating arching and dipping of the back from a hands-and-knees position.

Partial Crunches: Strengthens core muscles with minimal pressure on the lower back by performing mild crunches with bent knees and feet shoulder-width apart.


In conclusion, lower back pain after deadlifts is a common issue that can be prevented and managed with the proper knowledge and approach. Remember that deadlifts, when performed correctly, can be an excellent addition to your fitness routine. Prioritize proper form, rest, and consult a healthcare professional if you experience persistent pain.


Q1: How long does a hurt back deadlift take to heal?

A1: The healing time for a sore back after deadlifts varies depending on the severity of the injury. It can range from a few days to several weeks. Consult a healthcare professional for a personalized assessment.

Q2: What stretches are bad for your back?

A2: Stretches that involve excessive bending or twisting of the spine can harm your back. It’s essential to perform stretches recommended by a qualified trainer or physical therapist.

Q3: Should I sit or lay down with lower back pain?

A3: Both sitting and lying down can relieve lower back pain. Experiment with both positions to find what works best for you. However, avoid sitting or lying for extended periods, which can worsen the pain.

Is your back supposed to be sore after deadlifts?

Some soreness in the lower back after deadlifts is normal, especially for beginners. However, excessive or sharp pain is not normal and should be addressed promptly.

How can I prevent lower back pain after deadlifts?

To prevent lower back pain after deadlifts, focus on proper form and technique, choose appropriate weights, allow for sufficient rest and recovery, and consider consulting a fitness professional for guidance.

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Dr. John DeVries

Freedom Physical Therapy and Wellness

We help those frustrated with their current physical status get back to doing the things they enjoy.