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Deep Water Start Back Injury - It pays to stretch

ozskiozski Posts: 1,566
I've done at least 60 - 80 starts over the last few weeks without problem. One week ago I felt a sharp pain in my lower back on take off and thought nothing of it until I got to 2 ball and thought better of it. I dropped the handle and by the time the boat got back to me it was a real issue to even get my ski off. Getting into the boat was a real problem, walking hurt, sitting hurt. 3 trips to the Physio in the last week and I can now move around and sit at my desk. I have a relatively minor back injury (muscle spasm) that causes major pain, requires serious levels of pain relief medication and is very restricting. Skiing cold water probably has a bit to do with it but lesson learned, I'm going to pay a lot more attention to my lower body stretching, legs, glutes, lower back. This is something I would not wish on anyone, very possibly my worst ever skiing injury.
'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum


  • mrpreussmrpreuss Posts: 130 Baller
    If it's muscle look into or try a tens unit or a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator.

  • alex38alex38 Posts: 454 Baller
    I struggled with spasms for a couple years, so my 2 cents; first I got PT-amazing, they taught me how to engage the front of my core to protect my back. Then core training, all core training. Never looked back, heal well.
  • ralral Posts: 1,691 Mega Baller
    @ozski, not only stretching is usually accountable. Driver technique is a major factor in waterstart injuries.
    Rodrigo Andai
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,566
    @ral - In this case I'm not going to blame the driver, his starts are always exactly what I ask for. I'm putting this one down to bad luck, cold water and a general lack of flexibility. I aim to come back stronger...
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum

  • bogboybogboy Posts: 694 Baller
    @ozski, try stretching before or after the other exercising that you like to do. That way if you stretch almost every day, then mussel pull, or injuries will be less likely.
  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
    @ozski Being a big guy, (6 foot 7 and 250 pounds) I have learned a couple of simple stretches that have helped me tremendously when I don't have a lot of time to do my full stretching and warm-up routine. I also have a double boot system so I am truly doing a deep-water start each time. Here is what I do for my back and the rest of my body--especially the lower back, when I don't have much time. It literally takes less than a minute. First, I grab a vertical bar and then squat as low as I can. I try to even drag my ass on the ground. I spread out my knees so I get a good groin stretch and then I bow my head down to the ground and I pull back as hard and as far as I can feeling the deep stretch in my entire back. Next, I turn sideways and simulate crossing the wake by stretching my lats and my lower back as I pull away from the pole. I switch to get both sides. Then I simply do a spread leg hamstring stretch and honestly, if I am in a hurry, that has worked great for me.

    As soon as I have my usual OTF, that finishes the stretching process for me as I usually wrap my head around my ass---great yoga move if I could patent it! :)
    I ski, therefore I am
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 327 Baller
    One thing I've found is that this new generation of swim trunks plays a factor in getting out of the water. When you have shorts that hang down to your knees they tend to act like a drag chute. Talk about back strain. I wish they'd keep that crap in the NBA where it belongs and bring back normal sized swim trunks. Not speedos, just normal "shorts".
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 4,013 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 2013
    The stretch for the piriformis muscle in this thread is the most important for slalom skiers!
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - Owner at Still Water Lake Estates
  • BoodyBoody Posts: 613 Baller
    I did the same thing on a deep water start in Florida in May 2009. Damaged my SI joint. I was able to ski a couple weeks later but its still messed up. I got injections last year which really helped.

    I actually did stretch, but my back was hurting from my sleep the night before. I was only awake an hour or so before I was on the water. I should have warmed up, loosened up my body more.
  • raynrayn Posts: 362 Baller
    A lacrosse ball is your friend. It hurts like all getout. But it allows you to roll the pain right out, even better than a foam roller(which is also great). Stretching is for after exercise. Active warm up before
    Ray Newmark -
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,566
    Most injuries are pretty easy to gauge and deal with, a back injury is so unpleasant that in the early stages I started to wonder if I would ever get back on the water. The pain is something you don't want to experience. I've seen people go down with back spasms before and now I know why they went down and stayed down.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum

  • bogboybogboy Posts: 694 Baller
    @HR6Hurricane, I know what you mean about those long shorts with tie strings. Try the speedo rally volley, style number 7840110. Good quality elastic waist, not too long, not too short.
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