I thoroughly enjoy training, but I admit I’m not a fan of back pain after lifting weights. It doesn’t always happen but when it does, it sours the whole experience for me. So I took the time to find out what’s behind it and how it can be prevented.
It’s easy to think that the reason you feel back pain after lifting weights is from an injury. But that might not be the case at all. It’s not in mine, at least. In my case, it’s a condition that is so common there’s even a name. It’s called “weightlifter’s back.” That’s all well and good, but making it go away is even more important!
What’s Behind Back Pain After Lifting Weights?
To start, it’s something rather strange. It doesn’t happen while you’re actually training. In fact, I often feel great while I’m training and for a while afterward, too. I don’t feel achy or sore during the shower after the workout. Not long after that, though, the pain kicks in.
This type of back pain after lifting weights can be blamed on nobody but myself. Why? Because it’s a direct indicator that I’ve let my technique slip. Bad posture or poor technique is the number one cause of weightlifter’s back. It means that the way I’ve been lifting is compromising my back.
This pain should be a direct indicator that you’re doing something wrong. Listen to it. Don’t ignore it. It will help you to prevent hurting yourself later on. The most common types of exercises that can lead to back pain after lifting weights are: dead lifts, clean and jerks, and snatch and squats. See the trend? They’re all stressful to joints and soft tissues. Check out our article on proper weightlifting form for help with this.
Don’t Confuse Injury for Normal Back Pain After Lifting Weights
Weightlifter’s back should ease after a day or two as long as you take good care of yourself and give your body the chance to recover. This can include resting, applying ice or heat (as appropriate), or seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist. Staying hydrated helps in many cases, too. However, it’s important not to confuse an actual injury for temporary posture or technique based back pain after lifting weights.
Signs of a back injury include:
• Painful muscle spasms
• Pain to the touch that feels like a bruise
• Spinal weakness (this may mean something serious)
• Bladder control loss (consider this an emergency and get immediate medical help)