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Low Back Spasm After Deadlifts

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  • Low Back Spasm After Deadlifts

    Hey Barbell Medicine Team,

    I've only been training since April but I've run into an issue with my low back. I'll provide some training context. I'm 26 years old, male, 5'7", no history of injury or illness. That said, I've always been overweight, and I also have a difficult time sleeping, though my sleep hygiene could be better. Probably 5-6 hours of quality sleep per night. 4L water per day. Currently my waist is 45" and I'm trying to cut it down a bit. I haven't bought a belt yet since I didn't want to invest in one until my waist is below 40".

    April 2018 to July 2018 (about 14 weeks) - SSLP

    Calories: 3000 - 3500/day
    Weight: 245lbs -> 229lbs
    Deadlift: 5x155lbs -> 5x265lbs
    Squat: 5x135lbs -> 5x215lbs
    Bench 5x115lbs -> 5x165lbs
    Press 5x65lbs -> 5x112lbs
    1-2 conditioning days per week, always lap swimming.

    Currently on week 1 of GPP Endurance. Lowered calories to 2300-2500 calories per day. My last MFP log was 186g protein, 188g carbs, 100g fat. All conditioning is lap swimming. I know this is the low stress week but it's feeling pretty heavy. Maybe I should lower the weight on my 'belted' sets since I'm not using a belt? I used the RPE chart and percentages to give me a top set to aim for while learning RPE.

    On to my main question. For the last 2 to 3 weeks of SSLP, as well as this first deadlift session on GPP Endurance, my low back has tightened/spasm while I sleep. During training it feels fine, just some fatigue. The tightness is quite painful but goes away within 5-10 seconds. No lingering pain, minor stiffness in the morning but I think that's just training soreness, not from the spasm. No issues moving around. It hasn't prevented me from training, it's just been an annoyance that I'm not sure how I can resolve. I'll provide the lifts from my last deadlift session:

    5 min stationary bike
    2 sets x 5 reps x empty bar - RDL
    5x95lbs Deadlift (bumpers plates)

    Top Sets
    5x235lbs @ RPE 6
    5x242lbs @ RPE 7
    5x249lbs @ RPE 8
    5x249lbs @ RPE 8.5

    I don't do any other form of recovery. I do have foam rollers, heating pads, etc, but I rarely use them. Is there any advice you have to deal with my lower back tightness moving forward? Thanks in advance, and for all of the quality content you produce.


  • #2
    I wouldn't do anything about 5-10 seconds of back "tightness" that resolves spontaneously.
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