Treating lower back pain from deadlift – 4 simple steps

lower back pain from deadlift

Doing deadlift and being able to avoid deadlift mistakes and doing it correctly, there is a difference. A simple mistake will lead you to suffer from lower back pain from deadlift.

When you perform multi-joint exercises like the deadlift, squats, etc. the positive effect on your body is great but on the other hand, if the execution is wrong you’re likely to suffer from greater negative effects, some of these effects might lead you to a potential injury forbidding you from lifting heavy again.

Now that wrong execution has already occurred and no one can change the past but what you can do is treat lower back pain from deadlift with just 4 simple steps. You need to know it’s important to keep your back in good health I have seen some people that were suffering from lower back pain for at least 3 months just because they couldn’t avoid making simple deadlift mistakes.

Is it a soreness or pain?

First of all, you need to identify is it a muscle soreness that you’re feeling or is it pain because muscle soreness is just a side effect of the pressure that you put on your muscle while working out. It is also known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS for short. It is completely normal for you to experience muscle soreness, you will start to experience muscle soreness after 6 to 8 hours it can last for a day and sometimes more than a day.

You experience soreness due to indulging in a new activity or you change activity this change causes your unused muscle fiber to tears and as the body repairs these muscle fibers your muscle becomes stronger.

While pain is more intense and constant when compared to soreness, it can be a pain without you even moving an inch or it can a sharp pain when a particular movement is done. Pain makes your muscle and joints stiff even if you rest or sit in one place there is a chance that pain won’t go away. So if you’re experiencing pain and not soreness then you need to take care of it.

Is it a sprain or strain?

It’s a sprain when an injury is caused to a ligament (A tissue that connects two or more than two bones at a joint.) You can bet your ligament is stretched/torn if you’re experiencing a sprain. The symptoms of a sprain are pain, swelling, bruises, and not being able to move/use a joint.

It’s a strain when an injury is caused to a muscle or a tendon (A fibrous connective tissue that attaches your muscle to a bone.) tendon serves to move the bone or structure. The symptoms of a strain are swelling, cramps, muscle spasms, and having trouble moving.

Anyone can get a sprain or strain. The amount of time that is required to heal a sprain or strain depends upon the person and the injury. If you try to return to your activities without getting properly healed will only result in your injury in that area again. If the pain continues it is important to see a doctor and get the right treatment.

Healing your lower back pain from deadlift

If you can’t identify is it sprain or strain it doesn’t matter but knowing helps regardless the only cure for lower back pain from deadlift is time. For the first 2 to 3 days you might experience the intense way that will go away gradually over the span of 1 or 2 weeks. Speaking from experience.

While there are some things that you can do that won’t make the pain go away but it will reduce the pain and might fasten your recovery like applying an ice pack on your lower back for 10 to 20 minutes with the gap of a couple of hours and for a change hot pack. This will only help you if you take your time of physical activities and focus on taking rest. If you try to avoid recovery as I said you might experience potential injury or you will have to quit for another 2 or 3 weeks to recover.

Recovery exercises

Some of these exercises can help you get back in the game and also fasten your recovery. Now you can do these exercises/stretches only if you don’t feel pain otherwise its would be like putting pressure on your lower back.

  1. Cat cow

After you experience lower back pain from deadlift your back mobility will be reduced. Moving your back forward or backward can be quite painful but this exercise will be a great stepping stone to get your back mobility and movement back.

  • Get down on the floor and place your hand right under your shoulder and knees directly under your hips.
  • Let us start with a cow pose, take a deep breath, and drop your belly down as you slowly arch your back and at the same time gently look up.
  • Now transit to the cat pose, exhale and bring your back up by rounding towards the ceiling and gently look down towards your belly

2. Hip hinge with dowel

This is one of the important movements/patterns when performing a deadlift so doing this exercise will let you get the feel of getting back in the game and recover your lower back pain from deadlift.

  • Stand with your legs positioned shoulder-width apart and also soften your knees.
  • Now position the dowel in a way so it will be in contact with your head, upper back, and lower back.
  • Keep your core engaged while doing this exercise. Hing at your hips and draw your glutes back as you start to lower your upper body.
  • Now contract your glutes and push your hips forward and return to the starting position.

3. Bridge

As you perform a deadlift your hamstrings and glutes are also engaged so it is good to get them back in shape too. muscles like the quad, glutes and spinal erectors will be worked while doing a bridge. This will be a great exercise to strengthen your core and back extensors.

  • Lie down on the floor and place your hand on the either side of your body to keep yourself balance.
  • Now position your feets at shoulder-width distance.
  • Now keep your core tight and push down through your heels, lifting your glutes off the floor.
  • Keep your back straight and try avoiding arching your lower back.

4. Kettlebell deadlift

This exercise will be your first stepping stone towards weighted deadlifts. As you’re suffering from lower back pain from deadlift so I would advise you to decrease the range of motion so that it would be easier for you. if you don’t have a kettlebell you can use a single dumbbell too. If it is still hard for you try putting a box or plates to elevate the surface.

  • Grab a light weighted kettlebell or dumbbell.
  • Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart and soften your knees.
  • Tightly hold onto your weights and start pushing your hips back so you can engage your hamstrings and glutes.
  • Lower yourself till you can with your core engaged.
  • Now tighten your glutes and push your hips forward to return to the starting position.

When should you deadlift again?

Lower back pain from deadlift is usually caused due to improper execution so being able to do it with proper form is one of the main things you should check before you start deadlifting again otherwise it will lower back pain from deadlift again. You’re ready to deadlift again only when you don’t feel pain while moving or during any particular movement and after all that you should start deadlifting again with light weights or maybe with just an empty barbell.

As you get back again to lifting don’t forget to do after-workout stretching so you can help your muscle recover better. Keep your protein intake high and diet in check too.


Next time when lifting the weight in any multi-joint movement exercise try to do it with proper form to avoid any kind of injury. It’s better to be safe than sorry. This sums up this article on lower back pain from deadlift.

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