Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Sciatica and Deadlifts
Are you getting some sciatica down your leg doing deadlifts? My name is Dr. GrantElliott with RehabFix here to show you how to deadlift and avoid sciatica or low back pain! Many individuals out there with low back issues have sciatica and approximately 80% of those in my low back program start the program with sciatic nerve pain and will graduate without it. These symptoms are quite common and a lot of the time we're told even if we're healthy that deadlifts are not good for our low back. That we shouldn't do deadlifts and a lot of people with low back issues are certainly told, "don't deadlift, you're going to make things worse!". And really that's just coming from individuals that might not be well informed about strength and conditioning or rehab and are not really knowledgeable about deadlifts and really what they're meant for. And that's okay! That is what I am here for, to explain why deadlifts are helpful for low back issues, but also how to get back to doing them in a pain free way!
So I'm going to show you a super simple modification that you can make so that you can continue strengthening your low back without triggering that sciatica. So as you bend over to deadlift, you may notice the further you bend over the more your low back pain or sciatica starts to get triggered. You may find it difficult to bend all the way over to the bar from that sciatica pain being triggered. So the further forward you bend, the more your sciatic nerve is going to stretch. An irritated nerve doesn't like to be stretched, so we need to reduce the amount this nerve is being stretched so you can still strengthen your low back without triggering the nerve!
Less Nerve Tension!
All we are going to do is elevate the bar a little bit as shown in the picture on the right so that we don't have to bend as far forward. Simple right? Effective right? Now, you might set this up a different way, but I'm just going to bring the bar over on an elevated platform. So now I don't have to bend forward as far to grab the bar. I'm a little bit more upright here, right? So now I'm not stretching the hamstrings as much, aka the nerve, to get the bar. That means I'm not pulling the nerve as much! This will most likely result in less sciatica!
Big Picture for Long Term Relief
This is a simple yet phenomenal way that you can keep deadlifts in your routine so that you can maintain your strength. This way you can keep strengthening your low back and you're not going to trigger any sciatica because you can just go from an elevated platform. Now of course over time we want to actually address what the issue of your low back is. You know, this isn't going to fix your low back, just avoiding things that trigger it. That's not a long-term solution, right? This is just meant to be a way that you can keep your back strong and you can keep deadlifts in your programming. Also, here is my personal deadlift warm up before I deadlift 500lbs! But at the end of the day obviously low back strength is not the reason for your sciatica, something else is. This method is focused on just keeping you in the gym to stay strong because you don't want to have both a sciatica issue and get weak. So in order to make sure we address the actual root of the issue you and I need to talk and figure out why that's happening and how we can resolve it quickly just like I do with clients around the world.
True Sciatica Relief
Addressing these issues the right way will help you stay strong in the gym and feel like you can keep your activities. Let's face it, a lot of people are told to stop deadlifting and to stop their activities. This is not a solution. We want you to find ways to stay in the gym, to stay active, and to ultimately have the right plan in place for your low back, disc, or sciatica issues. A proper low back program designed by someone you trust is needed so you can stop guessing your way through low back pain. I am passionate about helping individuals with these issues that have struggled to find relief around the world through my online low back program. All it takes is motivation and commit but I promise there is relief. Let's get this good info out to the masses and learn how to fix your low back!
What is the Next Step?
This can vary from person to person but in my experience with online clients around the world there is a similar pattern among many individuals with disc herniations or sciatica that is commonly missed. The majority of my clients in the RehabFix Online Low Back Program have had low back issues for years and have tried Chiro, PT, medication, injections, orthopedists - you name it! It seems like they all were missing some key components..... First I would recommend my free low back e-book that discusses multiple factors that contribute to lower back pain!
Then if you still feel like you are
missing out on your life at 100%
wasting thousands $$$ on interventions that aren't producing results
working with someone you feel does NOT care about YOUR GOALS
worried about this leading to drugs or surgery
Then it's time to take action! No time to waste!
✅ Ready to ATTACK Low Back Pain or Sciatica?
✅ Are you sick of guessing your way through this low back pain?
✅ Want to prevent drugs or surgery?
Thanks for reading! -Dr. Grant Elliott