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Lower back pain due to squatting

Hi all,

I am a 22 year old male, living in San Francisco, California. I am a avid fitness enthusiast and love living a healthy lifestyle.

I suffered a back injury a couple of months ago while squatting in the gym - the symptom was a sharp pain in the lower right side of my back, probably 8/10 for a few seconds, . It was sub-maximal weight and I immediately stopped thereafter, and visited a physiotherapist and spine specialist a couple of days later. Both were of the opinion that it is nothing serious and most likely just a muscular strain, and that I should give about 4 weeks rest before restarting anything. I did, and have slowly begun training and working up with the weight again. I have no issues with weights that I use for warmup, but anything more, and I feel the same pain in my lower right back, and it remains very sore for a few days thereafter. I have been reading up on this and I can most often find references to back strains and herniated discs, for which a primary symptom is listed as shooting pain into the glutes/legs. I have no shooting pain and it is localized to the lower right back, and aggravated if I bend over or curve my lower back (arch forward). 

I had considered that the form of my squat might be the issue, but I have been doing it this way for over 2 years and have never had any back pain. Rather, that can be fixed, what I would like an input on is whether anyone has faced a similar issue, and if I should be worried about this. I don't have this pain during/after doing any other intensive back movements like deadlifts/sumo-deadlifts, it is squats that are the issue.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.



  • Hi arjunmehta94

    Welcome to Spine-health

    You have now been suffering for 2 months, so if your injury doesn't feel like there is any improvement,

     maybe it is time to get further investigation if you cannot manage the pain.

    There are many members on here and lots of information to research.

    To help you, please click on the links below

    Welcome to Spine Health

    All new members should take the System Tutorial




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • Hello arjunmehta94,

    I had the same thing happen to me two months ago. I was doing back squats with lower weights and felt a pop. Pain gradually went down but still experienced discomfort. Went for an mri and discovered I had herniated the disc betweenL4 and L5. Just had a steroid injection today. I hope yours is just a strain. I'm 40 years old and have been lifting my whole life. 

    If I can get back to lifting normal again my sport doc and PT suggested going to a front squat. Lighter weight and better form. Good luck!


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