🚨 DEADLIFTS FOR LOWER BACK PAIN?👇
✅ Probably the last thing that would come to your mind would be deadlifting when experiencing any sort of back pain related to strength training. And I get it, I understand where you come from.
🚨 But.. what if I told you that they might actually be your best choice to treat it?
When performed well, deadlifts are one of the greatest exercises to strengthen your back muscles.
Welch et al., published a study looking at the effects of a 16-week free-weight resistance training routine on patients with lower back pain for greater than 3 months in duration. They included a lot of exercises we would traditionally see in strength & conditioning programs (and much less frequently seen in physical therapy and chiropractic clinics) such as deadlifts, goblet squats, lunges, planks, and step ups.
They also had individuals lifting loads between their 6 and 10 rep maxes (YES!!! No 2lb ankle weight leg lifts, useless clam shells, or TA activation work). Any psychological beliefs around pain were also addressed in this study.
So what did they see? Significant improvements in fatty infiltrate of the lumbar muscles, a 72% decrease in pain scoring, 76% improves in disability measurements, and increases in quality of life assessments!
Another study conducted by the University of Waterloo set out to determine how much low-back flexion deadlifting caused, and thus how much strain it put on the vertebrae and lumbar ligament (as there were many claims that the lift put these things under tremendous strain, which could lead to injury).
Researchers used real-time x-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) to watch the spines of elite powerlifters while they fully flexed their spines with no weights, and while they deadlifted over 400 pounds. With the exception of one trial of one subject, all men completed their deadlifts within the normal range of motion they displayed during full flexion. Ligament lengths were unaffected, indicating that they don’t help support the load (since muscles are responsible for it), but instead limit range of motion.
While bad deadlifts are BAD, proper deadlifts SHOULD be included when treating lower back pain.