Simple answer, yes, in fact it might even be beneficial for your back pain
While the dead lift sometimes brings a lot of fear, especially for those who have had poor experiences and injury with the exercise, the reality is that when used correctly it is a great preventer and cure for low back pain. The latest research assessing the effect of a dead lifting based training program on people with low back pain has shown it can lead to: improved back muscle strength; decreases in pain score and disability measures; and improved quality of life. These results were achieved lifting weights between 6 to 10 rep maxes which shows that we can still lift relatively heavy, even when recovering from a back injury.
While the research overwhelmingly supports the use of dead lifts as a treatment for low back pain, people who already have a sound level of lower back muscle endurance are more likely to benefit from the exercise. The implications of this are that appropriate loading choices and exercises need to be made to obtain the benefits of lower back strengthening on a case by case basis. We also know that the dead lift is a relatively complicated movement pattern which does require coaching to perform the lift safely.
If you are struggling with low back pain and want to use the benefits of dead lifting and other lower back strengthening exercises to return you to normal activity you should seek out a qualified health professional who understands the use of resistance training to recover from an injury.
This blog was written by David our physiotherapist at Health Space Clinics. You can find him at our Rozelle and Burwood clinics and if you would like to make an appointment please call us at 9810 8769.