If you’d like to learn what does and doesn’t cause low-back pain, how to deal with low-back pain while lifting weights, and what you can do to avoid and fix it, you want to listen to this episode.

You don’t have to read much of the pain literature to discover that back pain is a fairly mysterious thing.

Some people experience regular and excruciating pain for no apparent reason while others experience very little pain despite having severe structural damage.

And this is especially true of back pain, which is can be a truly baffling phenomenon that seems to follow no discernable patterns or rules as far as prognosis and treatment go.

That sucks too because the fact is most everyone will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and sometimes it’ll resolve on its own and sometimes it won’t.

When it doesn’t resolve, many people go see doctors and specialists and do x-rays and MRIs only to find their way back to square one, with no idea why their back hurts so much and what to do about it.

Well, “what to do about it” is what Mark Rippetoe and I talk about in this episode. Whether you’ve been struggling with back pain for years, have only had it a few times in the past, or just want to do whatever you can to avoid it in the future, I think you’re going to enjoy this chat.

In it, Mark and I discuss common questions such as . . .

  • What causes low back pain for most people?
  • How effective is surgery for reducing back pain?
  • Should you keep doing squats and deadlifts if you have back pain?
  • How helpful is stretching for back pain?
  • How long does it take for low back pain to go away?

The bottom line is by the end of this interview, you’re going to know more about back pain than most people ever will, along with some counterintuitive tips about how to deal with it that you probably haven’t heard elsewhere.


6:57 – Why do people experience back pain?

10:50 – Is back pain seen more in mammals that are walking on their two feet than quadrupeds?

11:30 – What is a Q-angle?

13:07 – Why does the degeneration of a disk result it back pain?

22:20 – What do you do if deadlifting or squatting hurts your back?

29:58 – What do you think of foam rolling, massages, and active release therapy?

34:37 – Does yoga positively affect back pain when training?

38:04 – What are some equipment recommendations to help prevent back pain?

39:58 – Are there any substitutes for the deadlift when experiencing back pain?

51:38 – Where can people find you and your work?

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!