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#1 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 12:58 PM

Brady
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Regular
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Registered: Fri, Mar 27, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Right

lower back issues

It's a beautiful Saturday in upstate ny & instead of skiing I'm on the floor suffering with severe lower back issues. I've been working out all winter to get ready for the season and I felt strong until Thursday when my back went out. I went to the doctor & he suggested physical therapy and gave me a muscle relaxer. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to how to prevent lower back pain. I've been doing core exercises; but this seems to happen every season and I'm getting so frusterated.  I also wonder if anyone else is doing physical therapy with waterski specific exercises/stretches and what the therapist is suggesting. Thanks a lot for any advice!

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#2 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 2:21 PM

miski
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Slalom Mentor
From: Saline, MI
Registered: Wed, May 21, 2008
Posts: 114
Skis At: Jepawhit, Lyons, SkiTec
Foot Forward: Left

Re: lower back issues

Brady - first, with all of the possible types of back issues, this may not apply at all.

That said, I struggled w/ lower back issues for almost 3 years - no disk or structural problems on MRI's - just always getting misalignment in SI joint, lower lumbar & hips. I did ton of PT, core strengthening and got hip-flexers/soas stretched, but made limited progress. I was still having lot's of pain and required 30-40min stretching & mobilization morning & night.  Then I went slalom skiing for the first time in years and my back was perfect for the next two weeks. I started skiing as much as possible and my back is 95% good! 

Over the winter I go 4-6 weeks w/o skiing, start getting tight and sore, then ski in SC or FL for a day or two, and feel good again. I just skied my first 4 sets in MI this week and right now my back feels strong and pain free!

Like I said at the start this may not apply so do what feels right to you.

Good luck - feel better!

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#3 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 2:45 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: lower back issues

I fully expect that this suggestion to be met with some amount of derision, but you might consider trying one of these:

http://www.teeter-inversion.com/

Roger Teeter, the owner of this company and the originator of the Teeter Hang-Ups, was an avid water skier and partners (with Bill Featherston) in the ski company EP many years ago.  I bought one of these units last year to deal with similar lower back issues and I love it.  It's very effective in relieving lower back pain, and there are a number of exercises you can do while inverted to improve core strength.

TW

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#4 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 4:25 PM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: lower back issues

Thomas Wayne wrote:

I fully expect that this suggestion to be met with some amount of derision, but you might consider trying one of these:

http://www.teeter-inversion.com/

Roger Teeter, the owner of this company and the originator of the Teeter Hang-Ups, was an avid water skier and partners (with Bill Featherston) in the ski company EP many years ago.  I bought one of these units last year to deal with similar lower back issues and I love it.  It's very effective in relieving lower back pain, and there are a number of exercises you can do while inverted to improve core strength.

TW

I concur Dr. Wayne!big_smile

I have the inversion Boots and the Bed. The Beds are Much, Much better then the Boots. Since my Back breakage in 2001 I have to really take care of the 'ol back. Inversion and reg. Hanging and Horizontal stretches really help. I always begin my Gym w/o's and my drive to the lake with a neo band around the Low to mid back for warmth. Most of the time I smell like a Giant tube of Icy/Hot as well!

Most skiers mistakenly shy away from the wgt. rm. thinking they don't want to look like Arnold, much less ski like him! But, the truth is; "IF" being pound for pound the strongest and most fit that you can be is important, then 1 very effecient way to get there is to do a portion of your fitness plan in the wgt. rm.

Are football and Baseball players athletic enuf? Are they Agile enuf? Are they flexable enuf? Do they have great recuperative abilities? Do they have explosive quickness? YES X 5!!! They may "Choose" to get Bigger, (as you may Choose to stay the same wgt.) but that is a choice simply based on their sport and/or position. But, they are all trying to achieve the optimum Lb. for Lb. performance and they all spend a fair amt. of time in the wgt. rm...

Skiers should do this as well. And nothing will put on the core strength like Iron done right! Maybe for some people just droping 10lbs. of useless Fat and replacing it with 10 lbs. of performance,-i.e. Muscle would be Great... Or maybe not even gain 1 ounce of new muscle BUT, get the existing muscle fibers that one already possesses to fire optimally...

Free wgt. squats, Free wgt. dead Lifts, Bench press, over head press, etc... are the Back bone of a proper and solid wgt. rm. plan. I promise, if someones goal is to stay @ a specific wgt. and just get stronger and/or better Balanced and more Athletic then this will be their outcome... Wgt's are NOT the only answer, just a very important part of the whole picture. But, way too many people are insanely ignorant to the above average possibilities derived from the wgt. rm. 


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#5 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 4:43 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: lower back issues

One of my favorite core-building exercises is doing "suitcase walks" with an 80 lb slab of steel that I covered in thick leather and added a handle to.  Very effective use of weight.

TW

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#6 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 4:51 PM

EdJohnson
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Slasher
Registered: Fri, May 8, 2009
Posts: 56

Re: lower back issues

Try the Goode Powervest ---NO LOAD====NO BACKPAIN.   Anyone interested I have a new one XL that I will be listing on Ski-it-Again for just $375......ED

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#7 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 7:29 PM

ChrisRossi
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Pro Skier
From: Orlando
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 506
Foot Forward: Right

Re: lower back issues

Sounds like you have too much upper body rotation from the apex to completion of the turn.  When you do this, you are not in a stacked position when the force of the boat hits your body.  Your spine is twisted and then a load of up to 800lbs is applied to it.  I would suggest some coaching to help out.  Strengthening all of your supporting muscles is also key.  Core is important, but you need strong legs, back, shoulders....actually, you need to be strong everywhere to be a durable skier.

Chris

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#8 Sat, Apr 24, 2010 8:48 PM

Boris
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Pro Skier
Registered: Mon, Feb 1, 2010
Posts: 2

Re: lower back issues

Hello,

I was reading your post and I had to reply.  I am a physical therapist and pro waterskier, and I have figured out a few keys that have helped me with my own skiing. 
First, you have to understand what is happening.  Skiing pulls on your upper body while your lower body gets resistance from your ski.  There's a muscle that is really important that makes the connection between your upper and lower body, the psoas.  This muscle is attached from your leg to your lower vertebra.  As soon as this muscle starts working hard keeping your lower and upper body attached, it gets smaller and smaller and makes your lower vertebra become pulled to the front.  The consequence is that all of the deep muscles in your lower back start to be really contracted and spasm to counter this move forward.  This is where the pain comes from, these deep muscles working hard.  That's why you feel the pain in your back instead of in the front where your psoas is pulling.  A lot of people try to work their back/core, and of course it's really important for skiing, but taking care of the psoas muscle is actually the most important thing you can do.  As soon as it gets tight, it will start an inflammation process that makes everything else hurt.   
There are a few exercises you can do to stretch this muscle 2 or 3 times per day, and you can get massages on your psoas muscle.  The massages are kind of painful if it's already tight, but it will help to more quickly relax the deep muscles. 
The easiest way probably to show you the best stretch is by picture, so send me an email if you have questions, but here is a description:

Kneel on the floor. Move one leg forward, with your knee bent at 90 degrees, and rest your weight on your foot. Move the other leg back, so that its foot, shin, and knee rest on the floor. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the hip of the rear leg. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and switch legs. This is a deeper psoas stretch.  To be really effective, you can also try to push the top of your back foot into the floor, and you should really feel it stretching. 
Sometimes it's tough to find the right stance for this stretch, you should really feel it in your stomach right inside of your hip bones, under your abs.  Keep adjusting until you find the spot that burns!  Most importantly, don't arch your lower back during this stretch because you move your vertebra instead of stretching the muscles!

Let me know if I can help you more,

Boris Laval
montecarloskis@aol.com

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#9 Sun, Apr 25, 2010 6:05 AM

Brady
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Regular
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Registered: Fri, Mar 27, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Right

Re: lower back issues

Guys, thanks so much for the replies.  Checked out Teeter-Hang-Ups and it looks like a great tool - anyone have any feedback with respect to which model is best?  I saw this on T.V. a while back and I thought about checking it out, but never did.  Boris, thanks a lot for your help!  What you describe is exactly what I am feeling.  I'll e-mail you for the picture of the specific psoas stretch if you don't mind, but your description is right on.  Thanks a bunch.

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#10 Sun, Apr 25, 2010 7:25 AM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: lower back issues

I think I do the same stretch that Boris describes. Boris, can you upload a pic. or diagram?

I got so carried away with my above post that I failed to mention one of the most Common causes for Low back pain and inflexability.

Stiffness in the Hamstrings in particular as well as thru the knee joint and into calves. But, the Hamstrings are the major cause for the majority of people. This tightening and inflexability begins with aging alone. But, trying to accel at Athletic activities while having less then ideal Ham flexability will put the hurt on the Low back and skiing is a very good example of a sport that demands strength and flexability especially in the Hams, hips and Lower Back...

I'm sure Boris can better explain how Ham inflexability transfers the Load directly to the Low back thru mis-alignment much like the psoas/Lowback example...

Chris has it right, "you have to be strong all over to be a DURABLE Skier"...

Last edited by h20dawg79 (Sun, Apr 25, 2010 7:28 AM)


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#11 Sun, Apr 25, 2010 11:13 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: lower back issues

Brady wrote:

Guys, thanks so much for the replies.  Checked out Teeter-Hang-Ups and it looks like a great tool - anyone have any feedback with respect to which model is best?  [...].

After some fairly diligent research I bought the EP-950 model.

TW

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#12 Mon, Apr 26, 2010 5:24 PM

miski
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
From: Saline, MI
Registered: Wed, May 21, 2008
Posts: 114
Skis At: Jepawhit, Lyons, SkiTec
Foot Forward: Left

Re: lower back issues

Boris wrote:

As soon as it gets tight, it will start an inflammation process that makes everything else hurt.     <<< TRUE

You can get massages on your psoas muscle...  the massages are kind of painful if it's already tight  <<< TRUE, VERY TRUE!

The massage is also kind of awkward depending on therapist! But, if you sit a lot at work and have lower back pain, figuring out stretch for psoas is huge help for pain and keeping your hips up to handle!

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#13 Tue, Apr 27, 2010 5:03 AM

Brady
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Regular
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Registered: Fri, Mar 27, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Right

Re: lower back issues

Thanks again guys. Had first physical therapy session yesterday; second one is today at 3:30. The therapist agreed with Boris'thoughts on the psoas and H20Dawg's focus on the hamstrings. My hammys have always been tight and this seems to be a major factor in my chronic lower back pain.

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#14 Tue, Apr 27, 2010 5:59 PM

Boris
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Pro Skier
Registered: Mon, Feb 1, 2010
Posts: 2

Re: lower back issues

Sorry guys, i have been out of town for few days, give couple of days and i will post pictures and exercices for chronic lower back pain.
Boris Laval

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#15 Fri, Jul 9, 2010 6:12 AM

Lt Dan
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Local
From: Loveland, OH
Registered: Wed, Jun 3, 2009
Posts: 8
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: lower back issues

BUMP....would really like to see these exercises....will look on YouTube I guess...


Struggling yet still smiling

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#16 Thu, Jul 22, 2010 8:16 AM

arturo
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Regular
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Registered: Wed, May 27, 2009
Posts: 11
Skis At: Bullards Bar Reservoir
Foot Forward: Left
Website

Re: lower back issues

Thomas Wayne wrote:

One of my favorite core-building exercises is doing "suitcase walks" with an 80 lb slab of steel that I covered in thick leather and added a handle to.  Very effective use of weight.

TW

I kind of do the same thing to get that sort of action going but, instead, I use manageable (for me, 25lbs.) weight dumbells combined with a deep lunge.  Holding the dumbells down at my sides, when my back knee comes to the floor, I hold the position, and simultaneously raise (controlled swing forward from side up to chest level) the dumbells, one in each hand parallel (like I am now holding the tow handle) to the floor using resistance to intensify the movement.  Promotes my overall balance and core.  I also do the reverse sit-up on a machine to strengthen the lower back, as well as side bends.cool

http://www.ehow.com/video_2365368_do-ba … rcise.html

Last edited by arturo (Thu, Jul 22, 2010 8:20 AM)


**ACS**

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#17 Thu, Jul 22, 2010 11:34 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: lower back issues

The "suitcase walk" uses a heavy wait held by one arm only.  Core workout is achieved by trying to walk normally with an 80lb. weight hanging off of one side of  your body.  Of course, you alternate hands to work your core symmetrically.

http://www.menshealth.com/men/fitness/m … 0013281eac

TW

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Thu, Jul 22, 2010 11:35 AM)

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#18 Thu, Jul 22, 2010 10:42 PM

arturo
Karma:   
Regular
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Registered: Wed, May 27, 2009
Posts: 11
Skis At: Bullards Bar Reservoir
Foot Forward: Left
Website

Re: lower back issues

Thomas Wayne wrote:

The "suitcase walk" uses a heavy wait held by one arm only.  Core workout is achieved by trying to walk normally with an 80lb. weight hanging off of one side of  your body.  Of course, you alternate hands to work your core symmetrically.

http://www.menshealth.com/men/fitness/m … 0013281eac

TW

That's a lot more intense of a core workout.  I'll try it out.  Great tip!


**ACS**

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