Deadlifting: A Surprising Solution to Low Back Pain

Ever feel like low back pain is your personal villain, always there to spoil your day? You’re not alone. In fact, low back pain is so common that it’s almost like the plot twist we see coming in every other episode of a popular TV series. Did you know that low back pain affects around 570 million people globally? It’s the leading cause of years lived with disability since 1990 and remains a significant public health concern​ (CFAH)​​ (IASP)​.

But what if I told you there’s a plot twist of our own—an unexpected hero that could help you defeat this pesky pain? Enter deadlifting. Yes, you read that right. Deadlifting, often seen as the domain of hardcore gym-goers, could be the game-changer you need. Low back pain is a widespread issue affecting millions of people worldwide. While there are various methods to manage and alleviate this discomfort, one surprisingly effective solution often overlooked is deadlifting. Often associated with muscle-bound gym enthusiasts, deadlifting is a versatile and functional exercise that offers numerous benefits for strengthening the lower back and relieving pain.

My name is Jon Arconati, and I have delved into the science behind deadlifting to conquer low back pain (so you don’t have to 😊)

Strengthening the Muscles

Deadlifting is a compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the posterior chain, which includes the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and even the core. Engaging these muscles through deadlifting helps build strength and stability in the lower back region. As the muscles grow stronger, they provide better support to the spine, reducing the strain on the vertebral discs and joints. This can be especially beneficial for those with chronic back pain, as a stronger musculature can help prevent future injuries.

Improved Posture

Deadlifting encourages proper lifting mechanics and body alignment, teaching you how to lift objects from the ground while maintaining a neutral spine. This newfound awareness of body mechanics can translate into better posture throughout your daily activities, reducing the risk of developing or exacerbating low back pain. Proper posture not only alleviates existing pain but also prevents the onset of new pain by ensuring that the spine is aligned correctly during all movements.

Enhanced Spinal Health

Deadlifting is a weight-bearing exercise that encourages bone density and overall spinal health. Regular deadlifting stimulates bone growth by putting stress on the spine, prompting the body to fortify bone structure. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions such as osteoporosis, as stronger bones are more resilient and less prone to fractures. Moreover, the load-bearing nature of deadlifts helps in maintaining intervertebral disc health by keeping them hydrated and pliable.

Core Activation

A strong core is essential for supporting the lower back and maintaining a healthy spine. Deadlifting engages the core muscles to stabilize the body during the movement, leading to improved core strength over time. This enhanced core stability not only reduces the risk of low back pain but also contributes to better balance and overall functional fitness. Core stability is crucial for all types of movements, making daily activities easier and less painful.

Increased Blood Flow and Healing

Engaging in deadlifting, like other forms of exercise, boosts blood circulation throughout the body. Improved blood flow delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and tissues of the lower back, promoting faster healing and reducing inflammation that can contribute to pain. Enhanced circulation also helps in the removal of metabolic waste products, further aiding in recovery and reducing soreness.

Mental Health Benefits

Exercise, including deadlifting, has been shown to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. These endorphins help improve mood and reduce the perception of pain. Regularly incorporating deadlifting into your routine can not only help alleviate physical pain but also enhance mental well-being, contributing to a more positive outlook on your rehabilitation process.

Precautions and Proper Form

While deadlifting offers numerous benefits, it is crucial to perform the exercise with proper form to avoid injury. Incorrect technique can lead to increased strain on the lower back and exacerbate pain. Here are some key tips:

  • Start with a light weight to master the form before progressing.
  • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the lift.
  • Engage your core to provide stability.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Seek guidance from a fitness professional or physical therapist, especially if you are new to deadlifting or have existing back issues.


While it might seem counterintuitive to lift weights when experiencing low back pain, deadlifting, when performed correctly and with proper guidance, can be an incredibly effective tool in your arsenal against discomfort. By strengthening the muscles, improving posture, enhancing spinal health, activating the core, and promoting healing through increased blood flow, deadlifting offers a holistic approach to alleviating and preventing low back pain. As with any exercise regimen, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional or fitness expert before incorporating deadlifts into your routine, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or concerns. With dedication, patience, and a well-structured approach, deadlifting could be the missing link to a healthier, pain-free back and an overall improved quality of life.

Just like the surprise twist in your favorite TV series, deadlifting might be the unexpected hero you need to tackle low back pain. Embrace this powerful exercise to strengthen your back, improve your posture, and boost your overall health. So, give deadlifting a try—you might just write a happier ending to your back pain story. An Axes physical therapist can incorporate deadlifts into a personalized and safe routine – prescribed for your unique goals and pains.

You can trust Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis for top-notch physical therapy services at 20 locations (and growing) – all conveniently located for those living and working in the Greater St. Louis region. Embrace the convenience of Direct Access—start your therapy at Axes without a prescription, while we still collaborate seamlessly with your physician. Our professional yet friendly approach ensures a personalized experience tailored to your unique needs.

Schedule your free injury assessment online today. Your mobility matters, and we’re here to help you achieve it.

Good news! Thanks to Direct Access now in Missouri – patients no longer need a prescription for physical therapy. Axes can see you within 24-48 hours – without a prescription. 

To schedule an appointment with Jon, or any of our expert physical therapists, request an appointment online today.