Back Pain – Will I Still Be Able to Ski?

The ironic thing about back pain is that it is important that you keep active and ensure that you keep your back muscles strong. On the other hand you have to be careful that you do not injure yourself while doing so.

Medical practitioners will recommend that you remain active and take exercise to keep you in shape. It is important that you build your body strength as this will provide the support the spine needs to avoid being injured. However, you have to find the right balance in taking part in an exercise or sport that will not increase the risk of causing more back problems.

There are certain sports that are more risky than others. For example, swimming and cycling are considered low impact sports and less risky compared to gymnastics which involves lots of extreme twisting.

Many people would consider taking up skiing as risky even if they did not have a back problem. Although there are risks in all sports skiing surprisingly is not one of the riskiest in terms of having back pain. This has a lot to do with the skiing stance that is actually designed to protect the spine and back. The main risk that you may injure yourself is if you slip and fall over. Another issue is the twisting movement skier’s use when descending from a slope.

If you want to take up skiing you can follow these guidelines to help you make it safer:

• Always do a warm up first as this will help to relax your body and make your body suppler. The warm also prepares the body for the rigours and stresses that it will experience during the exercise. It will also enable the body to react more quickly to avoid fast appearing trees and other obstacles.

• Prior to taking part in skiing you should condition your body especially your lower body. This means you need to build power and strength into your legs. Focus on building up your thigh muscles as you want them to absorb most of the impact of skiing down the slopes.

• Resist the temptation to twist too often as this will aggravate the spine. What you want to do is to keep your shoulders and hips aligned as much as possible.

• As with any new sport your body will have to adapt to it. Your body will not do this over night therefore, build up the intensity gradually. Getting too far ahead of yourself will only put you at greater risk of more back problems and injury.

Always seek a doctor’s advice if you have a medical condition before doing any form of new exercise.