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Upper part of the quad sore at the end of the day

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello. Looking for any advice or input on the following issue:

 

A bit of history: This is my 2nd season skiing. I have snowboarded prior to that for about 5 years. This season and last I have skied at least every weekend from Nov-May, sometimes 2-3 times a week and always at least 5-7 hours at a time or more. Always stayed in good skiing shape, and never was sore next day after skiing. All of last season and first half of this season I have spent learning and improving on-piste. I have gotten decently confident on just about any blue and black diamond groomed runs. After the initial period of a couple of month, I have stopped getting sore quads from riding in the back seat. Second half of this season, I wanted to concentrate on exploring more of the mountain and spent majority of my time skiing off piste.

 

Issue: My last 3 times skiing, towards the end of the day (last hour-hour and a half), my upper quads have been starting to burn. 2 of those 3 days were typical Pacific Northwest powder days, where the powder is wet and very heavy. The 3rd day was a 65F bluebird sunny day, with nice and slushy spring snow. 90% of the time on these 3 days were spent off piste on black diamond and blue runs. The soreness is exclusively on the upper quad, from the pelvis down to about mid quad. Lower quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings are not affected at all. But upper quads are burning when skiing during the last hour, where I have to take 2-3 brakes per run. The following day upper quads stay nice and sore also.

 

My question is: does off piste skiing, especially in heavy snow, require that much more muscle effort than say carving on piste? Or is it that I get in the back seat on steep off piste runs? My boots and skis have remained unchanged, so that leads me to believe that equipment/alignment is not an issue. (boots have been worked on by a boot fitter when I first got them)  When I was first learning to ski, my trigger for being in the back seat was the burn in the lower quads, just above the knees, which settled in fairly quickly (a run or two). This went away after a while, and never came back, even during 3 day-all day ski trip. So is there some technique error that loose snow skiing may bring up, or is it just the extra effort or new stimulus to the muscles as a result of skiing in loose heavy snow? Thanks in advance for the help!

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Issue: My last 3 times skiing, towards the end of the day (last hour-hour and a half), my upper quads have been starting to burn. 2 of those 3 days were typical Pacific Northwest powder days, where the powder is wet and very heavy. The 3rd day was a 65F bluebird sunny day, with nice and slushy spring snow. 90% of the time on these 3 days were spent off piste on black diamond and blue runs. The soreness is exclusively on the upper quad, from the pelvis down to about mid quad. Lower quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings are not affected at all. But upper quads are burning when skiing during the last hour, where I have to take 2-3 brakes per run. The following day upper quads stay nice and sore also.

In those conditions described I would bet most people will feel the burn at the end of the day, so it's pretty normal, especially in your second year where technique may not be the most efficient at least your seem to be challenging yourself and having FUN!

 

A reason that the upper quads might be sorer is in heavier and cruddy snow our balance is constantly challenged and sometimes thrown around so you could be back seat or your upper body is being bounced around and the upper thigh is helping to stablise it.

 

 

 

Quote:
My question is: does off piste skiing, especially in heavy snow, require that much more muscle effort than say carving on piste? Or is it that I get in the back seat on steep off piste runs? My boots and skis have remained unchanged, so that leads me to believe that equipment/alignment is not an issue. (boots have been worked on by a boot fitter when I first got them)  When I was first learning to ski, my trigger for being in the back seat was the burn in the lower quads, just above the knees, which settled in fairly quickly (a run or two). This went away after a while, and never came back, even during 3 day-all day ski trip. So is there some technique error that loose snow skiing may bring up, or is it just the extra effort or new stimulus to the muscles as a result of skiing in loose heavy snow?

 

Off piste skiing would require more muscular effort than on piste but it would also depend on speed, turnshape.  I would argue that if you were doing really fast GS turns you would expend quite a bit of energy and feel leg burn too because you are resisting much higher forces.  Without seeing you ski I wouldn't comment about how you ski, but when you say you are back seat, that would be pretty common for a 2nd year skier, also turn shape, and amount of effort.  Some people really tense up and fight the snow when its crud but sometimes we have to move with it, you still need to resist with the outside leg though.  Another one would be skiing more fall line to take advantage of gravity.  Turning too much or too fast are common mistakes that can waste energy in crud/powder. 

post #3 of 10

Even allowing for heavy powder or slush, there's a really good chance you're skiing in the back seat, but without seeing video or photo evidence it's all speculation.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jthski View Post

In those conditions described I would bet most people will feel the burn at the end of the day, so it's pretty normal, especially in your second year where technique may not be the most efficient at least your seem to be challenging yourself and having FUN!

 

A reason that the upper quads might be sorer is in heavier and cruddy snow our balance is constantly challenged and sometimes thrown around so you could be back seat or your upper body is being bounced around and the upper thigh is helping to stablise it.

 

 

 

 

Off piste skiing would require more muscular effort than on piste but it would also depend on speed, turnshape.  I would argue that if you were doing really fast GS turns you would expend quite a bit of energy and feel leg burn too because you are resisting much higher forces.  Without seeing you ski I wouldn't comment about how you ski, but when you say you are back seat, that would be pretty common for a 2nd year skier, also turn shape, and amount of effort.  Some people really tense up and fight the snow when its crud but sometimes we have to move with it, you still need to resist with the outside leg though.  Another one would be skiing more fall line to take advantage of gravity.  Turning too much or too fast are common mistakes that can waste energy in crud/powder. 

Certainly have been having a lot of fun! My first powder day on skis (this February) happen to have an unusually dry for PNW, light snow, so that made learning that much easier, and SO much fun.  I did not want to leave the mountain that day. I love carving, but groomed runs did not look the same to me since that day!  Unfortunately all powder days that I was able to enjoy after that had much heavier, wetter snow, so I had a little harder time from there on espesially on 70mm underfoot skis. Thanks for the advice jthski!

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Even allowing for heavy powder or slush, there's a really good chance you're skiing in the back seat, but without seeing video or photo evidence it's all speculation.

Thanks JayT.  This speculation abotu the back seat is based on the symptoms, or years of experiense, or both?

post #6 of 10

Just guessing - as you get tired later in the day you're more likely to fall back there even if it's not your normal technique.  Something I think most people have probably experienced to some degree.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Just guessing - as you get tired later in the day you're more likely to fall back there even if it's not your normal technique.  Something I think most people have probably experienced to some degree.

 

Certainly getting sloppy towards the end of the day is possible.

 

OP, I'm also curious -- is it your quads (front of the leg) that are sore/hurting, or your hip flexors (outside part of the upper leg), or the lower part of your abs?  You don't really have a specific "upper quad" muscle.  If it's your flexors/abs, you may need to do some gym work to target those specific muscles and build them up.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Certainly getting sloppy towards the end of the day is possible.

 

OP, I'm also curious -- is it your quads (front of the leg) that are sore/hurting, or your hip flexors (outside part of the upper leg), or the lower part of your abs?  You don't really have a specific "upper quad" muscle.  If it's your flexors/abs, you may need to do some gym work to target those specific muscles and build them up.

Mathias, it's the muscles on the front of the leg. Not abs.  I circled the affected area in black on the picture for reference

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

 

 photo.

post #9 of 10

Google "pain in the upper thigh" to get some interesting stuff that might apply to your situation. 

Closest I could find was a tear in the upper quadriceps; another possibility is iliopsoas inflammation.  

There are more options but I stopped there; you can find what matches what you're feeling better than anyone else.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 5/14/13 at 5:32pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Google "pain in the upper thigh" to got some interesting stuff that might apply to your situation. 

Closest I could find was a tear in the upper quadriceps, and iliopsoas inflammation.  

There are more options but I stopped there; you can find what matches what you're feeling better than anyone else.

 

My armchair-Internet-physician analysis would be that in that spot it's likely to be some kind of minor tear or strain (either tendon/ligament or muscle).  But I must emphasize my total lack of being a doctor as well.  wink.gif

 

I also just noticed this:

 

Quote:
...I love carving, but groomed runs did not look the same to me since that day!  Unfortunately all powder days that I was able to enjoy after that had much heavier, wetter snow, so I had a little harder time from there on espesially on 70mm underfoot skis.

 

(emphasis added)

 

If you're not very, very precise on narrow skis in really heavy snow ('crud', 'sierra cement', etc.) you can easily wind up putting a lot of strain on your muscles and ligaments.  While 'learn to ski better' is in some sense the "best" solution, wider skis (and possibly somewhat softer, depending on what you're on now) will help a lot in those conditions and make mistakes far less punishing.

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