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post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
My fellow skiers!

I know you are all familiar with the topic of back pain. Also being that many of you take your fitness seriously, I have a question that I'd appreciate your feedback on....

I've had my bouts with lower back pain, generally during ski season, mostly after a day of skiing bumps, yes Pinhead, HARRRRD Eastern bumps... It comes and goes, nothing new. I've always been under the impression that the best cure for minor back pain was just time....

Just last week, I wrenched my upper back/ neck. Very painful. Not being familiar with this area of my back being injured, I sought out the help of a chiropractor. He took x-rays, and showed me that my neck was straight, not normal, not good. He did a few quick adjustments, and sent me home to ice it. He reccomended that I start seeing him 2-3 times a week until we could correct my neck position.... Gradually my neck has improved, but remains sore I'm sure more from what he did then the original injury.

My question to you is this? Have you used a chiropractor before? Did you feel he/she helped your situation? Did you feel you became reliant on the adjustments you recieved? Have you continued to use a chiropractor, and do you feel your back is better off because of it?

I know these may be vague questions, but I'd appreciate your insight, because I know many of you have definitely gone through this before.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 38
post #3 of 38
Exit 154, I went to the Chiro's for back pain and got TEMPORARY relief. Things changed for the better when I went to a PT, got stretching exercises, and did them on a regular basis. Very good results.
post #4 of 38
I’ve tried it twice with mixed results.

First time I tweaked my lower back on mis-sized mtn bike. I was hurting for 3 weeks. Did all sorts of stretching, ice and heat, the spa, massage and tons of ibuprofen. Finally broke down and went in for an adjustment. The first one really helped take away the pain. Came back a few days afterwards and got a second adjustment and I was good to go.

This spring I tweaked the back lifting. Waited for about 3 days before I saw the Chiro. First adjustment took the edge off the pain, second adjustment made it worse. Saw her partner for the third adjustment, she did something different and about a week later I was fine. Probably could have done that with stretching, the hot tub/ice and ibuprofen.

I’m still pretty skeptical, especially when we start talking about going in for multiple visits etc or doing anything not directly related to lower back pain (herbal supplements, illness originating from the spine yada yada ya.).

My opinion – acute problem sure, but go in with open eyes.
Chronic problems – start looking at yoga classes… [edit] (with your doctor's approval...)

Good links Todd.


-DS-<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dirtsqueezer (edited August 20, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 38
Thank you everyone for saying what fitness pros are not allowed to say. Please follow their advice.

Is it okay if I ask you some questions? What is your alignment like , right now as you read theses messages? Is your head more foward than it needs to be? How ergonomic is your desk and keyboard? Wen I taught for Lotus, we used to make people sit at the computer on a stability ball or a dyna disk for one hour a day.

When you ski, is your head foward in what Todd would call "Stevie Wonder" alignment. If this is your general alignment, that could cause problems. I have found that people who use chiropractors and then return to the same postural habits continue to have problems.

Please read Pinheads thread, Kegel What?

To test your transverse abs, try this. Take your 3 middle fingers. Place one on your belly button, one just below it and one above it. Bend down to pick something up. Which finger feels an indentation, which feels a "podding out" which stays the same?

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #6 of 38

I just went through a problem with my lower back. I went to my PCP and got myself a referral for an MRI and a bunch of visits to PT. I think this is the way to go. Not only is it real medicine, but it's covered by HMOs. The MRI was the big diagnosis. None of this "your backs isn't curved cirrectly" stuff. The MRI showed that I had a vert. slightly out of alignment, a slightly bulging disk and an enlarged blood vessel. The PTist was able to take this information and show me how to do stregnthening and stretching exercises that eliminated the pain, and hopfully, will actually push the disk back where it came from.
post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 
Todd- good links-very interesting reading.

Gonzo- Wish I had, or could dig up an xray of my neck from a few years ago to be able to compare....

DS- Sounds like you had mixed results, I appreciate the response.

Lisamarie- Thanks for the post, I had a feeling I'd hear from you. I've already centered my computer on my desk, and raised it up about 6 inches so I wouldn't be bent over looking off to the side when I'm using it. My posture? Well, I think it's pretty good, I don't really feel as if I'm overly forward. But I do catch myself slouching in my chair often.....Trying to make an effort to correct that. Can't really make heads or tails out of the test you gave me, my beer gut may be getting in the way....

This whole situation has caused me to take a different look at my physical condition. It's really amazing how much you take good health for granted....

Still so far everybody I've asked has been very cautionary regarding chiros.

I can tell you it just does not feel too natural to have your back tweaked like this....Still skeptical....
post #8 of 38
My girlfriend has used them twice with good success on recommendation from her orthopedic surgeon. I think it all depends on what your problem is. If it's something that can be corrected by manipulation, a chiropractor isn't voodoo.
post #9 of 38
But GS, how do you really feel about chiros? Don't hold back.
Seriously, if Gonzo hadn't already pointed out the foolishness on which the entire field is based I would have said the same thing.
Go see an ortho and hopefully find out what is really wrong; don't waste time and money (and your body) on very questionable treatment. I had a partially torn disk several years ago and the PT seemed to help (although I still get pain occasionally), but what probably did the most good (ironically) was getting very sick and being forced to lie down and rest my back for about a week.
post #10 of 38
Chiropractors have a very narrow, focused accepted medical purpose which is correcting sublimation of the spine. Beyond that everything they practice is without medical basis (and I'm sure a stiff neck is one of them). I have seen a lot of people duped by the common parlor tricks they use to feign a diagnosis (i.e. applying pressure to a nerve thus limiting your ability to lift your arm then claiming its a spinal alienment problem).

You are better off seeing a physical therapist or taking up yoga. I guarentee you're neck injury won't go away seeing a chiropractor until your wallet is empty.
post #11 of 38
I have chronic back/neck/shoulder/hip problems..... real bad auto accident.

I have had mixed results with the MD's and the bone crackers. The one I use now tries to feed me the "line of s---".... three times a week for two weeks. Generally two visits puts things back in place.

The most remarkable thing he did was for my hip. I had lost my front kick on the right side.... karate... Post accident, I couldn't get it above chest height. After two years with another chiro I thought it was gone forever.... this (new) guy put me on my side and gave a wrenching push...... The next morning my kicks were back at head height.

Another thing is to examine what you do during the day that will put things out again. In my case, it's jumping down from ladders with a heavy bag of inspection gear on my right shoulder....... do an "inventory" of things that you do......like posture while driving or computer "slouch"....... or carrying that briefcase on overload.

The one I use tries to use all of the snake oil tricks too........ I just ignore the BS. His wife got in on the game now and she is a "low pressure" specialist. I let her work on me once when hubby wasn't in and she was totally useless.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by yuki (edited August 20, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 38
My other half, mr. twoKiwis does muslce repair as a hobby. His view is that you should stay away from chiropracters.

His view is that in a lot of cases the joints stiffen up to protect itself. This is the bodies natural mechanism to support itself (a necessity back before modern medicine existed). Muscles provide support to the skeletal system, if the muscles are damaged or are pulling the skeletal system off balance then the joints will lock up to protect itself and the spinal cord.

A visit to the chiro frees up the joints, but the source of the problem has not been addressed.

Suggest you need to

1. Repair the muscle through massage (breaks down scar tissues and restores flexibility to the muscle). Look for someone who advertises 'sports massage', or 'deep tissue'. A LOT of back pain is caused by msucle injuries in your glutes (your rear end) and the hamstrings. Make sure the masseuse works these areas as well as the back muscles. An injury in glutes and hammies can pull the back out of alignment, and therefore cause the back pain.

2. and then you need to look at what caused the muscle damage in the first place to stop it happening again - this is where Lisamaries suggestion comes in - core conditioning, TVA, posture etc.

They key to prevent recurring back and neck pain is to find the source, and not just keep fixing the symptons. Chiros only fix the symptons and make lots of money out of it because you have to keep going back. You need to find the source.
post #13 of 38
What everyone else says...

Get GOOD physio, follow through on the recommendations and exercises, keep your appointments, and then work on specific exercises to strengthen the area. Worked for me, and I haven't had any back pain for years now.
post #14 of 38
Chiropractic manipulation helps my problem. My Sacral Iliac joint locks up a few times per year, and a readjustment sets everything into place again. I stretch and excercise regularly (as per instructions by my Physiotherapist), but the SI joint will still flare up.

Chiropractors aren't for everyone, and the best way to find them if you need them is through a referal from massage or physiotherapists, or recomendation by a friend.
post #15 of 38
Try finding a DO, that also understands the "correct" manipulation techniques.

Two other things to keep in mind. The bumps, if skied aggressivly, will eventaully tear up your knees and back over time.

Strong abs, and legs [ both the quads and the hams ] go a long way in protecting your back.

Your choice: ski the bumps harder now, and hang up the boards in your forties, or ski the bumps sensibily and one day those lift tickets may be free !
post #16 of 38
exit 154

Here's the other side of the coin...

According to most here, Chiropractors are just voodoo - wonder how many here have actually had enough pain for enough years and enough visits to 'real' doctors to have tried alternative medicine?? 20+ years ago I used to do a lot of cliff drops, hard landings, full body impacts. I went from 5' 11" to 5' 10 1/4" in five months. The result was plenty of back pain, and worse, constant headaches. I did the 'real' doctors route and none... NONE of them were able to lead me to the path of relief. PT helped my posture for sure, but the problem was my vertebrae were out of line slightly and by the time my posture was corrected, them bones were happy where they were.

Enter Chiropractor. After the first session of snapping my joints into a new spot, my headaches were gone for the first time in 2 years. After 3 weeks my back had little of the deabilitating pain which had restricted my motion for those two years.

Witch doctors? Maybe. But one thing i've learned over the years is, someone who's good at what they do doesn't need a degree next to their name to back it up.

BTW - my dog has severe spinal arthritis and was to the point of not being able to stand. I tried all the Vet's inflamatory meds (remedil, etc) on him and thought he was done until I gave chiro/acupuncture a try. He's got a new lease on life now because of this QWACK MEDICINE...
post #17 of 38
... hey further on this. In the past twenty years I've had a few other injuries and reason to go back to chiropractors. I've seen them all... people who use stupid little actuators, drop tables, prescribed diets, deep massage, etc. and none of this stuff worked for me a bit.

But whenever I went to someone who basically just pinned me down and twisted till a loud, heart-stopping snap occured, I would get INSTANT and LONGTERM relief. Maybe it's just my physiology and not for everyone, but I could really care less what the "scientific basis" is for this form of healing as long as it works.
post #18 of 38
I used to get a sore lower back after skiing. Once I started a strength training program I no longer have the problem.
post #19 of 38
i crunched myself, but good, on a mtn bike a couple years back. After about a month of pissing and moaning I went to the chiro to get checked, my curvature was not right. 3-4 weeks later the witch doctor had me all straightened out, I am sure that it was the other treatments beyond the simple manipulation that helped in the recovery, ultra sound, heat therapy, etc.,
The Witch doctor did just fine by me. I think that just using physiotherapy would have taken longer for the injury to recover, at least in my case.
post #20 of 38
Cheap Seats,
I guess the problem is that it is not a form of 'healing'. If it were, someone would be able to validate the results from this sort of treatment. Of course everyone's body is unique, but the fundamentals of tissue and bone structure are the same, which is why medical treatments can be evaluated scientifically and deemed either effective or ineffective. If the techniques used by chiropractors were effective then they would be used by MDs.

I'd rather ski hard when it's possible to do so, score free/cheap passes when I can, and use those senior days for gliding around on the groomed.
It doesn't matter how you ski when you're young, by the time they give you a lift ticket for being old you're not going to be skiing very hard.
post #21 of 38
No, I didn't think you were laying it on thick. I was just noting that you have a way of making it clear where you stand.
I'm actually with you 100% on this one (who'd a thunk it?). I've seen chiro brochures discussing how spinal 'realignment' is necessary to transfer energy around your body, or through your body, or some crap like that. They're idiots, at best, and real con-men at worst. They should never be allowed to present themselves in court as 'experts'.
post #22 of 38
Wow - that's the first time I've ever seen ANYONE diss a chiro. Most people I know go to them first and only. Must be something in the air up here.
post #23 of 38
Welcome, skis and snow. What's nice about Epic ski is the fact that we have a pretty educated bunch of folks here, who are not apt to fall for any sort of quackery.

post #24 of 38
Oh, no quackery involved, Lisamarie - it's me. I just decided I was tired of the same old nom and thought something new was appropriate.


post #25 of 38
Skis & Snow - were you serious? First time you've ever heard debate about Chiro's? Thats kind of frightening!
post #26 of 38
Thread Starter 

You guys are great. I certainly appreciate all of the feedback , opinions and experience. Thanks for sharing with a relative newcomer!

I have not gone back to the chiro. My neck has improved remarkably. I stretch every morning, and need to improve my physical shape. Unfortunately I'm not 18 anymore....

As far as skiing bumps, I'm a firm believer in my fathers theory. The human body has a finite # of bumps it can handle before breaking down.....

Every time I ski I try to take a run and imagine I'm 80 years old, ie. try to ski as smoothly and quietly as possible...It's quite relaxing actually....

Thanks to all the people who responded!

Allen<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Exit 154 (edited August 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #27 of 38
Ski Heil ????

That does not sound right. Or am I just paranoid?
post #28 of 38
One of my friends has a bump and skiing theory. "You need to use what Mother Nature gave you before Father Time takes it away."
post #29 of 38
There are plenty of chiro's that market some extraordinary claims. Thumbing through the yellow pages I see references to allergy treatments, herbal remedies and of course workers compensation. Pretty questionable advertising. My chiro called me at the end of the year wanting just to check up and remind me to make sure I didn't leave any unspent funds in my medical flex plan at the end of the year. Totally unprofessional.

But chiro's are successfully used by many people. Anyone ever here of the US Postal Service cycling team? One the most cutting edge squads in terms of specific training goals. They have a chiro on staff as do most pro sports teams.

Has anyone ever had their physician prescribe antibiotics for a viral infection? A useless waste of money and scientifically indefensible, but it happens regularly. IMHO chiro's have their place in medicine. But be it a chiro, a physician or voodoo priest, ask the questions, understand what they are doing and be skeptical. It's your body and money.


post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Tom B-


Fortunately that word has been around alot longer than the other thing your thinking of.

I grew up as a member of a ski club which was formed by many 10th Mt Divisions skiers.
One of these members hand cut a large tree trunk to fit over the fireplace with this phrase carved in it. To the members it stood for skiing as freedom, salvation or a an uplifting process.... Never actually looked at a direct translation....

But it means nothing more than the spirit and feeling one gets from the sport that we all love.....
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