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Lower Back Pain

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

The third week of March my son and I skied for four days at Snowmass.  For three of the four days I used demo skis.  Every day we did lots of moguls, semi-moguls and glades -- so I wasn't just carving.  Although I usually stretch every morning when at home, while at Snowmass we forgot to stretch before starting out.  The second and third day I felt lower back pain in the morning, but both days it went away as the day progressed.  I took no Advil or other pain killers.  

On the fifth day (last Tuesday) we flew home and on Wednesday I went back to the office.  Thursday morning, while doing the simple act of pulling one of our ski boots from a duffel bag, I had an intense shooting pain in my back.  Had to miss work Thursday and Friday: Advil, heating pad, hot showers, etc.  The intensity of the pain has now decreased, but still persists. 

Assuming for the sake of discussion that the later, intense back pain was related to the ski trip* --

1. Did this happen because I didn't stretch / warm up, or was it something in my skiing posture or the type of skiing?

2. Once the pain is gone (hopefully in the next couple days) and I resume exercising, what exercises should I do to prevent this from happening again?

*  {I have no idea whether the later back pain is causally related to my skiing -- other than the fact than the ski boots were in the duffel bag from our trip.  22 years ago, long before I was a skier, the same thing happened to me when I was picking up single tennis ball from the floor.} 

Any thoughts / advice welcome.  Thanks.
post #2 of 5
You just pulled your back out. Could be you were tired and susceptible from the trip - or not. Can happen doing the most seemingly innocuous things, like bending over to pet the dog. Ice first, then heat....
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mom. 
post #4 of 5
 Most incidents of back pain are from the seemingly innocuous movements.  It's generally thought that repeated flexion is the cause of low back pain, and so bending down to get the bootliner out could have been the flexed movement that was your back's "wafer thin mint".  
As for the back pain during skiing - hard to say what the cause was.  Could easily have been your posture; could have been that your hips were a bit tighter because you didn't stretch which leaves your back to do more work; could have been that you spent a lot of time the week before in a flexed position and that set your back up for overuse during your trip; or many other options.

As for what to do - it does partly depend if it's flexion or extension or rotation that is your culprit, but in any case, think about training your core, but when you do think about "anti-movement". That is, stabilize your core - think planks for the anterior core; side planks or anti-rotation presses for the lateral/rotational core and glute bridges for the posterior core.  Also get your thoracic (upper) spine moving better and get your hips moving better. And stay away from crunches and situps!

I wrote a couple of articles on my blog about most likely causes of back pain as well as training tips for prevention that I think you might find interesting:

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
evaino -- Thanks!   I took notes.
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