Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Deadlifts?

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Deadlifts?

September 12, 2023

If you’ve ever developed lower back pain after a deadlift workout, you know that it’s no laughing matter.

Low back pain can cause issues with so many things, such as daily activities like prolonged standing and sitting, to driving, to even working for many of us with desk jobs.

On top of that, it can sometimes seem like it’s impossible to squat, deadlift, or lift in general when dealing with low back pain.

Sometimes the pain stays just in your low back, sometimes it radiates down into your glute(s), and sometimes it can even radiate down your entire leg!

If you’re currently dealing with this pain in the butt (no pun intended) situation, you may be asking yourself “Why does my back hurt after deadlifts?”

Unfortunately, there’s no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and in most cases there are a number of reasons why your back hurts after deadlifting.

Today, we’re going to cover three common reasons why your back may be hurting after deadlifts.

  • Issues With Your Training Program

One of the most common reasons why we see our clients experience low back pain after deadlift workouts is due to issues with their lifting program itself.

This typically means that you’re training with more volume (number of sets and reps) and/or intensity (amount of weight you’re lifting) than what you can recover from.

One of the easiest things to do is to reduce how many sets you’re doing and decrease the weight a bit on your working sets of deadlifts. A general recommendation that we give our clients is to reduce volume by about 25% and intensity by about 10-20% and see if that helps reduce how much pain you’re having.

  • Issues With Other Life Stressors

An often overlooked part of pain and injuries is what your stress looks like outside of the gym.

Are you going through a busy period at work or in school and therefore not sleeping as much?

Are you not eating appropriately to fuel your body to reach your training goals?

Are you going through a big life event that’s been stressing you out more than normal?

All of these things can increase your injury risk in the gym and make you more susceptible to having low back pain after deadlifting.

Take an inventory of what’s going on in your life outside of the gym and see if you can make some changes there!

Doing things to reduce these stressors (changing around your schedule when able, doing breathing drills, meditating, going for leisurely walks) can all have a big impact on your overall stress levels, and your injury risk.

  • Lifting Technique

Unlike what most people think, your technique while lifting probably isn’t the biggest thing when it comes to your injury risk, although it is still a part of it.

How you move while lifting will change how much load/stress is being put on certain parts of your body, and if that amount of load/stress is more than that body part can handle, your injury risk goes up.

When deadlifting, you want to brace your core as hard as possible and keep a relatively unmoving spine to lift in the most efficient way possible.

Doing these will decrease the stress/load on the low back and reduce your risk of experiencing low back pain.

If you’re currently dealing with back pain and are looking to get back into the gym, enter your information below to talk to one of our experts!

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