Deadlifts for Chronic Low Back Pain

Deadlifts for Chronic Low Back Pain

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of an acute deadlifting session on chronic low back pain when compared to aerobic exercise.

  • We expect that you will be in this research study for an estimated total duration of 4-5 hours, including remote follow-ups.
  • You will participate in three separate laboratory visits over a period of 72 hours apart but < one week apart. You will be asked to complete online surveys 24 hours following each of the laboratory visits.
  • You will be asked to avoid strenuous exercise, such as heavy strength or endurance training, 24 hours prior to laboratory visits.
  • Time commitment is as follows, Visit 1 will last approximately 1.5 – 2 hours, Visits 2 and 3 will last approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour, and the 24-hour online, remote follow-ups will last approximately 15 minutes each.
  • The follow-up surveys will be conducted online with Qualtrics. You will be emailed the links and told exactly when you complete the questions. In order to participate, you must be willing to share your email address with UCF researchers so that you can gain access to the online survey.
  • You will be asked to visit the UCF Wellness Research Center on three (3) separate occasions and complete a 24-hour remote follow-up following each visit. You will visit the lab three times and perform various interventions and complete post-measures along with completing a 24-hour remote follow-up following each visit.
    • Visit 1 will consist of measuring your height and weight, familiarization with the study procedures, and instruction on deadlift form and stationary cycling on the Spirit CU800 Upright Bike. Initial measurements for pressure pain threshold, rating of pain, level of perceived disability, and pain catastrophization (assuming the worst of your pain) will also be taken. Pressure pain thresholds will be conducted at various muscles in your back and bottom.
    • Visit 2 will consist of pre-measures, the initial intervention (deadlift or stationary cycling), and then post-measures. Pressure pain thresholds will be performed within 1 minute following performance of intervention.
    • Visit 3 will again consist of pre-measures, the second intervention (deadlift or stationary cycling), and then post-measures. Pressure pain thresholds will be performed within 1 minute following performance of intervention. You will complete the online, remote survey at each 24-hour follow-up.

You may be at risk for muscle strain and delayed muscle onset soreness when performing deadlifts. Delayed muscle onset soreness presents as physical discomfort in the muscle groups used during resistance training. The study team will educate you on how to properly conduct a deadlift repetition, in order to reduce muscle strain and delayed muscle onset soreness. If you experience soreness, it should resolve itself within 48-72 hours. There is also a risk of lightheadedness, and physical/mental exhaustion associated with cycle ergometry. This will be minimized by including a five-minute warm up/cool down session and having you perform your 30-minute cycling session at moderate intensity. There is a risk that lower extremities will be sore after cycle ergometry. This should subside after 38-72 hours.

Inclusion Qualifications:

  • Age between 18 and 45 years.
  • Have had nonspecific low back pain for more than 12 weeks.
  • Current level of back pain must be at least 4/10 on the 11-point numeric pain rating scale.

Exclusion Qualifications:

You may not participate in this research opportunity if any of the following applies to you:
  • Any medical condition contraindicating resistance training including:
    • Acute low back injury
    • Pregnancy
    • Sciatica (pain that goes from your lower back down a leg)
    • Lower limb motor deficit (issues with leg movement)
    • Current disk herniation
    • Major structural abnormalities
  • Psychiatric and mental deficits (formally diagnosed/receiving treatment)
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Experience of major joint pain/discomfort of the upper limb (hip, knees, ankles, feet), lower limb (hip, knees, ankles, feet), back, or neck within the previous six months
  • History of major musculoskeletal injury or surgery
  • Neuromuscular disease (e.g., Parkinson’s, MS, ALS)
  • Metabolic disease (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disorder, metabolic syndrome)
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Trouble using or controlling your muscles
  • History of cancer
  • History of stroke
  • History of heart attack
  • History or arthritis
  • Use of an assistive walking device or mobility aid within the previous six months
  • Use of anabolic steroids within the past six months
  • History of convulsions, seizures, or syncope (fainting)
  • Certain medications (e.g., Beta Blockers, ACE Inhibitors, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs), Direct Renin Inhibitor (DRI), Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs), Nondihydropyridines, Nitrates and Nitrites, Anticoagulants, Antiplatelet Agents, Anticholinergics, Benzodiazepines)
  • Lack of transportation to and from the laboratory
  • Any response of “Yes” on the PAR-Q

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UCF IRB#: STUDY00005163
PI: Matt S. Stock, Ph.D.
IRB Expiration February 15, 2024
Please consider subscribing to get notified about future research participation opportunities
Recruitment End Date:
November 27, 2023
Education Complex and Gym
12494 University Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32816
Time Commitment:
Number of visits: 3
Expected time per visit: 90 minutes
Type: $25 Amazon gift card
Point of Contact:
Rebecca Turner
Faculty Advisors:
Matt Stock
Associated Units:
Physical Therapy
Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitation Science
Short URL:

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