The other day I was doing deadlifts and as I started the movement (brought shins up to the bar) and did a legdrive movement, I felt a pain in my lower back. I immediately stopped and for the last two days, my lower back has been sore/hurt. I mean that I am still able to function and the pain is more of a dull one, but it hurts at times to stand up, and of course, bending over hurts too.

What should I do about this? I know something was probably wrong in that instant with my form (although I have practiced safe form for a long time and this is my first deadlift related injury!). It does feel better from yesterday but what else can I do to help with it?

  • Also, sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question!
    – user166712
    Jul 4, 2015 at 17:37
  • I suspect I might had pulled a muscle. I was not able to get the weight off the ground when I felt the pain, so it was not that I had followed through and then felt it.
    – user166712
    Jul 4, 2015 at 17:39
  • There's no way anyone here can diagnose your problem. I would suggest you try the typical response of stretching, pain meds, ice, and rest. If that doesn't help, you need to contact a physician.
    – rrirower
    Jul 4, 2015 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


This might get closed as off topic, it's a bit subjective as to whether this is a "go see a doctor" type of response. But as a guy who's been deadlifting for a while, I'd offer up this feedback. This is based in my own personal experiences and discussion with my doctor.

  • My doctor hates deadlifts because she has several patients a week coming in with back injuries from them. She's amazed that I (and really anyone) is capable of deadlifting big weights for years on end without problem.
  • My initial problem with deadlifting was that I started mix-and-matching my cleans form in. With cleans, you want your butt a bit lower because you need a lot of leg spring. With bigger weights (the kind that you deadlift, the kind you can't clean), you really want to have a neutral spinal position.

I suffered a herniated disc, complete with sciatica, several years ago because the form that I thought was good was actually bad (butt too low, spine hyperextended).

With a spinal injury like that, the pain is amazingly fast and pronounced. It's not dull: it's fast-car-accident pain that literally puts you on the floor. You wouldn't be able to tie your shoes, get up from a chair without major effort, etc.

It sounds more like you have a muscle strain (pulled muscle). The good news is that that will heal quicker, usually in the form of days instead of weeks.

You'll want to wait for the pain to become "dull", then ramp up your lifting stopping well clear of "ouch" pain. Another thing to consider is that muscle pain can often cause your form to suffer, as you favor muscles that don't hurt which can in turn load you up in bad ways. So if it hurts in a bad way (good vs bad pain), stop immediately: you will go backwards.


In my own experience, the following three items really helped me to deadlift better and not feel it in my lower back.

Consider doing ab and glute exercises specifically, as isolated assistance exercises in this department make it easier to concentrate on engaging them in compound lifts.

  • +1 like the "fast car accident" pain vs "dull" pain distinction.
    – FredrikD
    Jul 10, 2015 at 9:23

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