Returning to Lifting after Pulling Low Back Muscle

Pulled a muscle in my lower back during a squat on November 18. Form issue; figured it out and fixed it. Lots of pain for a week.

First week...
-Moderate pain and limited range of motion
-Tried light weights one day, but decided it was a bad idea
-No exercise the rest of the week aside from light stretching
-Heating pad, anti-inflammatories, rest, muscle relaxers, etc.

Second week...
-Regained range of motion
-Bodyweight and low weight/high rep work along with yoga-ish stretching
-Some soreness, but nothing bad

This week...
-Official deload week, lifting heavier than last week but still light for me
-So far, so good; tiny bit of soreness from time to time, but no sharp pains
-Nervous about deadlifts tomorrow, but planning on sticking to 95 lbs (1RM before was 190 lbs)

Next week's plan...
I'm really itching to start lifting heavy again before I lose strength, so I decided to reduce my 1RM to 75% of what it was before for squats and deadlifts and see how it goes.

I've never hurt myself working out before, so I'm clueless as to how I should proceed. The doctor said not to lift heavier than 10 lbs for a week and then ease back into it, but that's all I could get out of her. Talk about vague.

I'm sick of taking it easy, but I'm nervous about re-injuring myself. I know no one here knows if I'll hurt myself again or not (that's not what I'm asking), but I'm just looking for someone to either say, "no, bad idea, keep it light for __ more week(s)" or "go ahead, you'll be fine." Any advice at all would be great.


  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    A month off to recovery is better than a year off to heal.

    Ego is your worst enemy here. If you're not sure, you're not ready.