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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old July 17th, 2007, 01:52 AM   #1
Aaron
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Default Questions From A Beginner About Back Pain

First and foremost, hello everyone. I am not totally new to inline skating. I skated off and on for a few months, but that was almost 2 years ago . Anyways, I recently picked up a pair of skates which I am more than pleased with. They are the Crossfire II's by Rollerblade. They are the first pair of skates to fit my foot perfectly, no pain at all and they are super comfortable.

Now for the past couple days I've been outside on a tennis court practicing for about an hour. Just skating trying to get the correct technique and balance (Nose-Knees-Toes). Ive been skating on one foot and holding it for given durations, and feel I've been making pretty decent progress. One thing thats bothering me a bit is my back. Not always, just every once in awhile I get some pain in my lower back. I keep my knees bent most of the time (every so often i catch myself with them at a little more of an angle than they should be).

So my question I guess is, should my back be bent slightly, not bent at all, or hunched right over? It seems that when i'm bending my knees and I let my back slump lower, the pain dissappears. Naturally that would lead me to believe I should keep that position, but it just seems so low. I am kind of a taller skater (6'2"), so I was also wondering if they are any additional tips out they're that might help me?

Thanks very much for your patience and help.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 04:14 AM   #2
MANY_SkatingDave
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Default It takes time, Upper body stretches.

Hi Aaron,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
First and foremost, hello everyone. I am not totally new to inline skating. I skated off and on for a few months, but that was almost 2 years ago . Anyways, I recently picked up a pair of skates which I am more than pleased with. They are the Crossfire II's by Rollerblade. They are the first pair of skates to fit my foot perfectly, no pain at all and they are super comfortable.

Now for the past couple days I've been outside on a tennis court practicing for about an hour. Just skating trying to get the correct technique and balance (Nose-Knees-Toes). Ive been skating on one foot and holding it for given durations, and feel I've been making pretty decent progress. One thing thats bothering me a bit is my back. Not always, just every once in awhile I get some pain in my lower back. I keep my knees bent most of the time (every so often i catch myself with them at a little more of an angle than they should be).

So my question I guess is, should my back be bent slightly, not bent at all, or hunched right over? It seems that when i'm bending my knees and I let my back slump lower, the pain dissappears. Naturally that would lead me to believe I should keep that position, but it just seems so low. I am kind of a taller skater (6'2"), so I was also wondering if they are any additional tips out they're that might help me?

Thanks very much for your patience and help.
Sounds like you are doing good, going through the growing pains.
BTW, depending on age pains become more uncomfortable.

Eventually you will think you where born with skates on your feet.
Yet you have to do the growing. I know, I know you are not some young kid.

I am an engineer and I do understand your analysis, which is good, yet I have got to tell you, you need more time in the saddle to know this new horse you are riding. Your posture should be like sitting back in a chair ever so slightly. As a new beginner you can't do this SO you sit back furthur and this is part of what makes your back hurt.

As you skate use some exercises with your arms over head to relax your back muscles.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Dave
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 02:45 AM   #3
Aaron
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Hey thanks for the response! Good to hear i'm going in the right direction. I'm only 20 years old and actually am taking electrical engineering right now (in my last year), which is part of the reason im getting into skating . School keeps me too busy, so I really dont have much time to get out. But I plan on changing that this year. I've actually noticed that the last couple times I've been out, the back pain issue has gotten better...not great but better. Im thinking once my leg muscles build up more I will be able to sit in that chair position you were talking about comfortably without relying on my back as much. Again, thanks a bunch for your reply, it was encouraging
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 06:35 AM   #4
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Default Join the IEEE, Still think about on the fly stretching.

Hi Again Aaron,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
Hey thanks for the response! Good to hear i'm going in the right direction. I'm only 20 years old and actually am taking electrical engineering right now (in my last year), which is part of the reason im getting into skating . School keeps me too busy, so I really dont have much time to get out. But I plan on changing that this year. I've actually noticed that the last couple times I've been out, the back pain issue has gotten better...not great but better. Im thinking once my leg muscles build up more I will be able to sit in that chair position you were talking about comfortably without relying on my back as much. Again, thanks a bunch for your reply, it was encouraging
I don't know where you are going to school yet I would advise joining the IEEE (www.ieee.org) as you go forward with your EE career. One sub-group or society is called GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) and they have different kinds of meetings (social) than the rest of us, which is good and fun for your age group.

Yes back pain should get better with skating experience, yet still think about using upper body shoulder stretches AS you skate. I can kind of remember the last time I had a slight back pain or discomfort for some reason. I believe I was hunching forward and these on the fly exercises set things right.

Good Luck with skating and your EE career.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Dave
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Old August 21st, 2007, 05:56 PM   #5
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I can only second the advice you've gotten in regard to posture while skating. It's a very odd thing at first to learn to sit back in your stance, it can feel like you are ready to fall backward.

One issue I've noticed is that when I get in that correct posture, sitting down as it were, then the pressure moves - it goes from mostly in my back to mostly in my thighs - and the pain almost completely goes away.

Now, granted - this transfers the issue to your quads. You aren't going to be used to using those muscles so much at first, they won't be developed and you won't be able to hold the position very long. That is why you so often hear people saying "time on skates, time on skates" because you need to develop these things. I've gotten back into serious skating after years off, I've been skating about 6-7 weeks now and I'm still working on developing muscles - it takes awhile.

You can alter your position slightly to help out, move a bit up, move a bit down, find ways to relieve the load both in your back and in your thighs. Sometimes you just have to stand up, so go ahead, then rest and get back into position.

The truth of the matter is that some discomfort is always going to be an issue with the back, but it won't always be like it is now. You can learn to do things like support your legs with your hands and as I said, stand when you need to.

It all gets better the more you skate and the more you refine your technique. Hang in there and good luck!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:03 PM   #6
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Several folks have advised you to stand up occasionally, with or without arm movement. I get some relief from that.

YMMV, but I find I get more relief from stretchning out the back muscles than from compressing them by straightening. I stretch the back by bending over and touching the toes just as one would off skate, holding that position for about 15 seconds. If you are a competent enough skater to glide in that position, you may want to give it a try.

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Old August 22nd, 2007, 05:50 PM   #7
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Default Try This

Hi there, in respond to the topic "back pain/ache", try putting all your weight on the skates/feet. How? Use both your shin to push the tongue of the skates down/forward.simple =) this way you will tug your skates under you most of the time to prevent them(the skates) from "shooting" forward and thus making you fall backwards. Try it =) bear in mind to stand on the center edge on the wheels. Not leaning on the inner or outter edge =P
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Old August 24th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #8
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Default Thanks for adding

Hi Tdellaringa, Aaron, , ,


Quote:
Originally Posted by tdellaringa View Post
I can only second the advice you've gotten in regard to posture while skating. It's a very odd thing at first to learn to sit back in your stance, it can feel like you are ready to fall backward.

One issue I've noticed is that when I get in that correct posture, sitting down as it were, then the pressure moves - it goes from mostly in my back to mostly in my thighs - and the pain almost completely goes away.

Now, granted - this transfers the issue to your quads. You aren't going to be used to using those muscles so much at first, they won't be developed and you won't be able to hold the position very long. That is why you so often hear people saying "time on skates, time on skates" because you need to develop these things. I've gotten back into serious skating after years off, I've been skating about 6-7 weeks now and I'm still working on developing muscles - it takes awhile.

You can alter your position slightly to help out, move a bit up, move a bit down, find ways to relieve the load both in your back and in your thighs. Sometimes you just have to stand up, so go ahead, then rest and get back into position.

The truth of the matter is that some discomfort is always going to be an issue with the back, but it won't always be like it is now. You can learn to do things like support your legs with your hands and as I said, stand when you need to.

It all gets better the more you skate and the more you refine your technique. Hang in there and good luck!
Thanks for adding and adding so well with detail. It has been a long time since I can remember all this new skater growing pains. Mostly now, I am whopped and my knees feel weak the next day after a hard skate. My back isn't even an issue anymore, yet I do agree that the quads get a work out.

So I guess we agree that stretching or as you say standing erect is helpful.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Dave
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Old August 24th, 2007, 01:25 PM   #9
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If you've been sendentary, you will have muscle pains. Once they get strong it wont be a big deal. My lower back hurt when I first started skating. Just ease into it until your muscles get strong.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #10
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I'm kinda new also, I had some muscle pain in lower back, but now I dont seem to get it . Must have strengthen over time. My lower disc are herniated (3 of them), I just keep active & stretch. It actually felt good to have had the muscle pain , cause I know it is new unused muscles getting a workout to help support my back even more when they get conditioned. I wish I could get another MRI to see what disc look like now. My wife said I'd have to give up surfing & dirtbikes. NO WAY!!! So I worked hard at healing up cause I could barely walk before, and cant afford to be down. Gotta support the family. So as everyone else has said, about the sorness, it'll go away with time.( if muscle, dont push it if it is grinding disc pain)
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Old August 26th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #11
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Default Stretch/Relax the Quads too as you skate

Hi Bork, RD, , ,Aaron,

Before this tread disappears into the great down line of past treads I thought about what else helps when skating for long timers.

Not too sure what long skate-time (in hours) In-Liners do yet after awhile with Quad skating lots of leg muscles that you are using get tight. A few of us go down into the shoot the duck position to make sure your leg muscles get a little relief. We probably should do some Quad, Ham, surrounding muscle stretches every so often to balance the muscles.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Dave

P.S. Bork Good Fortunes. According to what I have read in the B.Globe's Health/Science section about back repair in comparison to surgery you are doing good for yourself.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #12
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I should also mention that Chiropractic adjustment can help you greatly. It has done wonders for me. Now I realize Chiro can be a real holy war subject, the truth is that each person needs to find out for himself if it works for them or not.

It also depends on if you get someone who is good, so it's best to get a recommendation if you can.

It's worth noting that many, many (some say the majority) of pro endurance athletes get some form of Chiropractic care.

I was a big doubter until I found my current guy. I would simply not be able to skate like this before - I always quit skating due to back pain, but not anymore.

For people in the Chicago area my guy is here:

http://www.skypointchiro.com/index.htm

The site has some useful info even if you are not from around here. In fact, check out this page with athletes talking about their Chiro care - including Lance Armstrong.

http://www.skypointchiro.com/celebritytestimonials.htm

Tom
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Old September 9th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dja View Post

YMMV, but I find I get more relief from stretchning out the back muscles than from compressing them by straightening. I stretch the back by bending over and touching the toes just as one would off skate, holding that position for about 15 seconds. If you are a competent enough skater to glide in that position, you may want to give it a try.
this is exactly what Alex Bont, of renowned Bont skate company advises, and he has been a world class skater and coach.

everyone goes through the back pain phase, some achieve a level where it is all but gone, and some never get over it. Some things that will make it worse are incorrect posture, like leaning over your toes too far. I never had a lot of luck with the strategy: just skte more and it will go away.
For me, i had to target that area and declare it public enemy numero uno for a season or two to finally get it off my most wanted list of skating hinderances. I found that i had to overwork that area to build it up even stronger than the workout it was getting during normal skating in order to make it pain free while skating. I did this with gym exercises, ab workout, land drills, etc.

I have found to be invaluable: the workout called "Abs like Juan" on the Bont website (search for it, it's there, and it is not possible to post a dierect link, i think), and back extensions at the gym as well as what i believe is called the dead lift with a bit of weight on the bar. Also land exercises like those on the Bont Site, also called plyometrics, especially the duck walk.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #14
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+1 to what OI just said. The Juan workout is tough, don't kid yourself, but working up to something like that is going to have great benefit.

I've only done it once so far, and my problem is my gut is in the way. I can't do half the stuff correctly, and it hurts my back because the muscles are not as strong as they need to be. But I'm working on it.

The trouble with a gut is there is no way to directly target it, it's just the last thing that goes. I'm getting close to where I can try that workout again though and if you are still having back problems (and you don't have a big gut in the way!) then you might give it a shot.

Back raises are good too, but make sure you do them correctly because you can hurt yourself if you don't.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #15
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I've only done it once so far, and my problem is my gut is in the way. I can't do half the stuff correctly, and it hurts my back because the muscles are not as strong as they need to be. But I'm working on it.
Actually, most of the crunches are not full sit-ups at all, the shoulders only come off the matt by about six inches or so. And before this past winter, i just used to do a few crunches, maybe while watching the evening news or something, figuring a few sets were better than none.

Quote:
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The trouble with a gut is there is no way to directly target it, it's just the last thing that goes. I'm getting close to where I can try that workout again though and if you are still having back problems (and you don't have a big gut in the way!) then you might give it a shot.
Like i said, it's unlikely that a gut is going to be in the way of crunches, seriously. And if it is, you can always do the sit-ups on the big gym ball- works great too!
But i never said target the gut in terms of weight. I am targeting the muscles in the core area. Not the excess weight. The muscles. The exercises i recommend are resistance training to strengthen your core, and may do absolutely nothing about trimming a gut. That's a different topic, and for that one, the advice to skate more is actually perfectly appropriate.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #16
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And by the way, TD, nice updated avatar showing off the noticeably smaller gut. You've made a lotta progress.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #17
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And by the way, TD, nice updated avatar showing off the noticeably smaller gut. You've made a lotta progress.
Thanks Bill! I'm amazed you can notice on that small pic. I've still got a ways to go though Skating does burn those calories... especially when I'm chasing the main pack all practice long!
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #18
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i suffer many aches and pains during skating but thats just coz my body's so screwed up from years of horse riding accidents.

just 4 a couple of hours of light indoor laps at my local rink i have to wear a back support brace, a knee support and an ankle brace
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Old October 10th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #19
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Posting at work makes me feel guilty, but then again life is not fun without something to be guilty about. Back pain, while doing distance, seems to be my greatest skating companion and it does force better posture and such. All the info above is great and makes total sense. I do one additonal thing and that is the arm(s) behind the back. It helps to improve posture and relieves back pain.

Phil
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