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Back Problems, should I switch to goalie?

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Old
12-11-2007, 08:00 PM
  #1
GHCHambone
 
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Back Problems, should I switch to goalie?

Hi everyone, I've been looking for a good place to ask this question and I think I've found it.

Recently, I had to have back surgery. Now I don't think hockey was fully to blame for the injury but I think it was part of it. The doc said I would be able to play in a few months.

Of course I don't want this to happen again, but I love playing hockey. I don't play check hockey, but there still is contact and I'm not so good yet so I still fall on occasion. I've been thinking about switching to goalie, but I was thinking it might just have it's own problems as well. Here are some of the pros and cons I've come up with to switching to goalie:

PROS
  • Less contact with other players
  • No risk of falling and sliding into the boards

CONS
  • Goalies seem to bend forward a lot, could cause back problems as well.
  • Dropping to knees to make saves, could hurt back
  • Pads are a lot of money
  • Would it be as fun to play goalie?

What do you guys think?

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12-11-2007, 08:28 PM
  #2
Hank Chinaski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHCHambone View Post
Hi everyone, I've been looking for a good place to ask this question and I think I've found it.

Recently, I had to have back surgery. Now I don't think hockey was fully to blame for the injury but I think it was part of it. The doc said I would be able to play in a few months.

Of course I don't want this to happen again, but I love playing hockey. I don't play check hockey, but there still is contact and I'm not so good yet so I still fall on occasion. I've been thinking about switching to goalie, but I was thinking it might just have it's own problems as well. Here are some of the pros and cons I've come up with to switching to goalie:

PROS
  • Less contact with other players
  • No risk of falling and sliding into the boards

CONS
  • Goalies seem to bend forward a lot, could cause back problems as well.
  • Dropping to knees to make saves, could hurt back
  • Pads are a lot of money
  • Would it be as fun to play goalie?

What do you guys think?
Hmm...how tall are you?

I've known alot of taller goalies (and heard about alot of taller goalies in Jr./Pros) that have had some pretty bad back problems. Couldn't give you an exact scientific explanation for why that is, but probably has to do with the crouching/awkward movements being harder on big guys.

But yeah, if you say that most of your back woes are caused by falling...maybe goalie is right up your alley. You're doing more "controlled falling"

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12-11-2007, 08:33 PM
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I love playing goalie on occasion, but prefer skater, I play checking league. It depends on your age, if you under 13, you could probably learn, if your over 14 and never played goalie before, your PROBABLY gonna suck. But who knows, I didn't play goalie for 4 years, and then played one game against the 13-1 team (my team 9-5) and won 4-1 (thanks to your truly). Maybe it was luck, I haven't played since so I don't know if it was me or my d (was a lot of shots though). I gotta try again soon though. And not to brag but if I might add, the two league leading (and one tied for fourth) scorers were on the other team. Also if you have good reflexes you'd probably be pretty good at goalie.

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Old
12-11-2007, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verbalkint View Post
Hmm...how tall are you?

I've known alot of taller goalies (and heard about alot of taller goalies in Jr./Pros) that have had some pretty bad back problems. Couldn't give you an exact scientific explanation for why that is, but probably has to do with the crouching/awkward movements being harder on big guys.

But yeah, if you say that most of your back woes are caused by falling...maybe goalie is right up your alley. You're doing more "controlled falling"
I'm about 6' 1", so I don't know if that is considered tall for a goalie.

My back problems were herniated discs, I'm afraid that a fall into the boards might do it again, but if I stay safe and try and build my core muscles that might help.

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12-11-2007, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHCHambone View Post
Hi everyone, I've been looking for a good place to ask this question and I think I've found it.

Recently, I had to have back surgery. Now I don't think hockey was fully to blame for the injury but I think it was part of it. The doc said I would be able to play in a few months.

Of course I don't want this to happen again, but I love playing hockey. I don't play check hockey, but there still is contact and I'm not so good yet so I still fall on occasion. I've been thinking about switching to goalie, but I was thinking it might just have it's own problems as well. Here are some of the pros and cons I've come up with to switching to goalie:

PROS
  • Less contact with other players
  • No risk of falling and sliding into the boards

CONS
  • Goalies seem to bend forward a lot, could cause back problems as well.
  • Dropping to knees to make saves, could hurt back
  • Pads are a lot of money
  • Would it be as fun to play goalie?

What do you guys think?
One word. Yoga.

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Old
12-11-2007, 11:14 PM
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sc37
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I think personally goalie does cause more wear and tear if your playing butterfly which means dropping to your down on your knees, etc to make a save. But if you play standup, it might be a little easier on your body.


Last edited by sc37: 12-12-2007 at 03:45 PM.
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Old
12-12-2007, 06:43 AM
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Hambone - I'm a goalie and a center, and goaltending is far harder on the back than skating out. The stance and movement demands all focus on the lower back and core. Any sort of butterfly or downward movement requires a strong core to stay upright. The demands are continuous. Switching to goal to ease your back won't work.

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12-12-2007, 07:28 AM
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Jill Sandwich
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Yeah, doesn't being a goalie require a lot more going down, getting back up and leaning over and around..?

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12-12-2007, 06:03 PM
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MikeD
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Taking on goaltending is going to increase the chances of aggravating the back problem you have, increasing the severity and/or adding more herniations to your existing disc problem. Its the most physically demanding position to play!

The drops of butterflying aren't a major concern with pads that have good landing gear. Most made after 2004 have that area covered well. I think it would bother for an injury/herniation located in the sciatic region of the back. Any fall backward onto your butt would be killer for the sciatic,also.

You didn't mention where the herniation was but if located in the Lumbar region it would NOT be a good idea unless you bring your core interior and anterior spinal muscles into solid condition.

Playing stand-up wouldn't reduce much stress. In fact, it might increase. You would end up reaching for low shots with the gloves and such. The twist, flops, drops(other than a direct downward b-fly), recovery and such would be VERY hard on your back. Did you know that there are TWO current NHL goalies who are under age 35 who require chiropractic care after every game?

Bottom line, Goaltending is the one position you DON'T want to play when a back injury is involved. Even bringing yourself into a strong core conditioning, inexperience will lead you to some sort of maneuver that could devastate your back.

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Old
12-13-2007, 12:51 AM
  #10
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess I'll stick to forward but be more careful when I start back.

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12-13-2007, 06:04 AM
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Find yourself a trainer and get your back in shape, then you won't have to worry so much.

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Old
12-13-2007, 08:12 AM
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vivianmb
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use a longer stick. it will help your back.

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12-14-2007, 05:05 AM
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clefty
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Skaters (like me) sometimes forget to keep low with a nice knee bend and tend to lean forward and arch their back. Just try and keep your knees bent and your back straight.

Also, they suck, but squats are your friend.

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12-14-2007, 07:13 AM
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Boris Le Tigre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clefty View Post
Skaters (like me) sometimes forget to keep low with a nice knee bend and tend to lean forward and arch their back. Just try and keep your knees bent and your back straight.

Also, they suck, but squats are your friend.
i think that's good advice... skating can be hard on the back... maybe you should work on strengthening your core, and keeping posture...

i'm long retired but when i played at the first of the year, after longer practices, my low-back would always ache like crazy... i'd never properly prepare myself, and it was pain similar to the first time you've worked out your legs in a while, but localized in the low-back. as the season wore on, i'd get in shape and it'd go away.

i didn't have a serious injury like a herniated disc... but anyhow, my 0.02

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Old
12-14-2007, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHCHambone View Post
Hi everyone, I've been looking for a good place to ask this question and I think I've found it.

Recently, I had to have back surgery. Now I don't think hockey was fully to blame for the injury but I think it was part of it. The doc said I would be able to play in a few months.

Of course I don't want this to happen again, but I love playing hockey. I don't play check hockey, but there still is contact and I'm not so good yet so I still fall on occasion. I've been thinking about switching to goalie, but I was thinking it might just have it's own problems as well. Here are some of the pros and cons I've come up with to switching to goalie:

PROS
  • Less contact with other players
  • No risk of falling and sliding into the boards

CONS
  • Goalies seem to bend forward a lot, could cause back problems as well.
  • Dropping to knees to make saves, could hurt back
  • Pads are a lot of money
  • Would it be as fun to play goalie?

What do you guys think?


Not unless you want to play goalie like a "Shooter Tutor" Seriously, get your back in shape and then slowly return to the game and play in a league that fits where you're at physically.

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Old
12-14-2007, 08:38 AM
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Take it from someone that has played both out and in goal for years and has a sciatic nerve issue I have to stay on top of - playing in goal is not the solution for back problems.

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Old
12-14-2007, 05:28 PM
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MikeD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clefty View Post
Also, they suck, but squats are your friend.
That would depend on the location and severity of the herniations. If he has any impingement, the compression from squates could cause some serious problems. they are not ideal for increasing the core body strength particularly during any but the latter stages of a rehab. Core stabilization/strengthening can be done with ZERO WEIGHTS and ZERO IMPACT.

For some of these he can check out www.back.com

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Old
12-15-2007, 05:54 PM
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You don't have to use weights to squat. I never have.

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Old
12-15-2007, 07:48 PM
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MikeD
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true, but how are these squats supposed to increase core strength? For core anterior or interior spinal musculature, its nearly a total waste of time. The mucles that would be involved in hte core region are engaged incidentally, not directly.

Believe me....I spent a little under a year and a half battling my way from no feeling below the waist to returning to the ice 100% PLUS. Squats are not the friend of those who are dealing with recovery from disc injury.

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