If you are here, odds are that you are in a great deal of lower back pain and realized that you messed up. Squats and deadlifts are two of the best exercises for building sheer strength, but they are also high-risk movements. As a lifter myself, there is nothing better than grinding out a new PR on deadlifts, or repping out a new 5-rep PR on squats.
Throwing out your lower back from deadlifts can be demoralizing (especially when you are built like a truck) - but I promise you hope is not lost. There are two key steps I'm going to share with you to 1) get you out of pain as soon as possible, and 2) get you back to confidently lifting heavy again.
Lower Back Pain From Deadlifts - Why You Hurt
Here comes the uncomfortable truth of why you hurt yourself from squats and deadlifts in the first place. The reason why lower back pain from squats or deadlifts exists is because there was a load placed on a muscle(s) that the muscle(s) was not conditioned to handle. This does NOT necessarily mean you are weak. In fact, this probably means you are very strong in some areas and lacking in a few key ones, potentially one of the following:
Insufficient strength in stabilizers (QL, multifidus, obliques, etc.)
This was a concept that took me years to wrap my head around. If your body spasms or locks up under heavy load, it does not mean that YOU are weak, but rather it means you likely have a FEW WEAK LINKS in an otherwise strong chain. Spinal stabilizer muscles can be overlooked because they do not hypertrophy or look sexy like other muscles, but they are what save your back in times under heavy load.
Another very overlooked concept: muscle stamina. Here is a fact: the least amount of football injuries happen in the first quarter. Most lower back lifting injuries don't happen because of a lack of brute power, but because of fatigue and lack of stamina. Be honest - when is the last time you took the time to do a 4-minute plank, 2-minute side plank, or bear crawl for 100 yards? Odds are - never, but these exercises build serious endurance in the muscles that protect the lower back in times of fatigue, particularly in the last sets of squats and deadlifts.
How To Relieve Lower Back Pain From Deadlifts
Step 1 after blowing up your lower back from squats and deadlifts is to get your muscles to release and calm down. Barring a freak event, most of your lower back pain can be muscle induced by muscles locking up in spasms, knots, and trigger points. Step 1 is to rid specific muscles of all knots and tightness to stop the pain as soon as possible.
To do this you are going to want to apply targeted, effective deep-tissue massage to a few lower back and upper glute muscles (QL, spinal erectors, and Gluteus Medius). This can be done by a trained physical or massage therapist, but I highly recommend using a purposefully made tool on your own time like QL Claw. QL Claw was designed specifically to relieve muscle-induced lower back pain for cases like this. Check it out at the link below and take some time working the Quadratus Lumborum (QL), lower spinal erectors, and Gluteus Medius to get out of lower back pain as soon as possible.
How To Prevent Lower Back Pain From Deadlifts
Step 2 is to build strength and endurance in your little spinal stabilizers so that you never fall back into lower back pain from deadlifts again. A forewarning - this involves some boring, non-glamorous foundational work so be prepared to take a small step back.
You can attempt to do this on your own by building up your plank, side plank, bird dog, and hyperextension numbers but chances are if you messed this up once you will mess it up again. If you'd like a program specifically designed to get people just like you back in the gym lifting heavy again - check out Back Of Steel, my lower back pain prevention program. Back Of Steel is a 15-minute per day, 3 day per week supplemental program designed to build serious strength and endurance in the areas that need it. Check it out below:
These 2 steps are exactly what I used to get out of lower back pain and stay there. My purpose in writing this article is to spread the knowledge I've shared and to help other people with the exact lower back problems that I used to suffer from. Hope you found some value in this, check out my YouTube Channel @Back Muscle Solutions for some more free lower back pain bits.