Gregg, thanks for your input. I think I'll try the loosening deadlift again as a preventative measure when my back strength and mobility is re-established.
What are your thoughts on the following exercise (also from Pavel's BB) which involves twisting together with bending - also worthwhile, or a step too far?
Deadlift a light KB with both hands. Then slowly lower it to one of your heels. Straighten out and twist to the other side. Perform 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps.