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Relentless Low Back Pain Ruining My Progress

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  • Relentless Low Back Pain Ruining My Progress

    Hello, I have been dealing with low back pain since late March after a botched deadlift session that aggravated an old tweak I had in the fall. Due to life and Covid getting in the way, I took almost 2 months off, which greatly interfered with the rehab process. Upon my return to training, I restarted the load of my lifts and modified as needed. Rack pulls and trap bar for deadlifts and SSB for squats. After a month of slowly revamping the load, I can safely low bar squat in the upper 200's without greatly increasing symptoms. I have deadlifted in the low 300's but whenever I do, I get increasingly nervous about performing the lift (most likely due to past tweaks regarding the lift itself). This has greatly ruined my aggression with hesitation and fear. As my sciatica-like symptoms mostly have been declining with random flareups, my back pain has seemingly become more bothersome. I just expected the pain to slowly diminish as the load increased. My pain during training is BEARABLE but I am not actually feeling much more improvements in terms of how I PHYSICALLY feel outside the gym. I will note however, that my nerves when performing DL modified exercises create an increase in anxiety and anticipation of pain. I just don't know if the training altogether is exacerbating my pain and that I should just do a temporary hiatus altogether? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    You should not need to take a hiatus, but you may not have made sufficient modifications to your deadlift training. You would likely benefit from a wider variety of both unilateral and bilateral movements, adjusting rep ranges, tempo, and other variables in order to rebuilding confidence with moving your back in a variety of ways.

    For example instead of training the regular deadlift, trying movements like a singe-leg RDL, dumbbell suitcase deadlift, lateral lunges, posterior medial tap, seated good mornings, etc. You don't necessarily need to do all of these, but a wider variety of movements at lower intensities will likely be beneficial, before reintroducing some ramping deadlift rep work.

    We discuss examples of how to implement this in our pain content. If you would like more specific/individualized guidance on how to implement this, a consultation with our rehab team would be beneficial.
    IG / YT


    • #3
      Thank you very much for the reply Austin. Since this post, my sciatica symptoms have completely disappeared and I have now begone alternative exercises such as swimming in conjunction to lifting weights. I've also began working on conventional deadlifts off the floor while remembering the psychosocial factors of pain and that has helped tremendously in the fear aspect of performing the lifts.
      Last edited by Jeffrey Gomez; 08-31-2023, 05:44 PM.