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Lower Back Pain

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Old
03-15-2006, 05:24 PM
  #1
Slick
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Lower Back Pain

I haven't been playing hockey that long (2nd month), but I notice I get really bad lower back pains both when I'm playing and for hours after the game. It causes me to get a bench change quicker than I would like. Is this because I haven't been playing that long, or is it due to the way I'm playing. I've been told I crouch down when I play, and I think its because I hold my lower hand down to low on the stick.

Does anyone else have this problem or can tell me what I can do to relieve myself from some of the pain? Is the way I'm holding the stick the whole problem? I'm running out of Icy Hot...

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Old
03-15-2006, 05:46 PM
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Sit ups are good for strengthening your lower back muscles. That is where I would start before changing the way that you are skating or holding your stick.

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03-15-2006, 07:14 PM
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If you're being told to crouch down more, you may be bending your back instead of bending your knees when you skate. This would definitely cause back pain. If that's the case, work on bending your knees more when you skate. Also, you don't need to keep your bottom hand too low on the stick until you are planning/going to shoot.

Hope this helps. To back moose up, situps are a good idea regardless of whether you play hockey or not.

Edit: I just noticed I misread the part about crouching. Still, bending at the waist instead of the knees during skating can cause a lot of back pain. In the pre-game skate, try to check your skating style.

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03-15-2006, 09:51 PM
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sc37
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Well for me...I skate hunched over and use a short stick so I lean and don't really play straight up. My back used to hurt...maybe I've improved my technique or just gotten used it it.

But I do know that I upped my back presses when I'm at the gym. Look for the lower back machine. So maybe it's a combination of that, technique, and familiarity with my muscles.

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Old
03-16-2006, 12:07 AM
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Slick
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I'll start with the sit ups tomorrow....uuughhhh

Thanks for the help guys. I hope things improve. sc, when you say short how short are you using? Chest height?

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03-16-2006, 12:12 AM
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tinyzombies
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Stretching out your legs (quads, hams, calves) before and after games helps. Don't stretch too much before the game, just enough to loosen.

And, yeah, like the other poster says, strengthen your core muscles.

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Old
03-16-2006, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick
I'll start with the sit ups tomorrow....uuughhhh

Thanks for the help guys. I hope things improve. sc, when you say short how short are you using? Chest height?
I think it's mostly your technique, not core strength. I would focus on weezman's advice. Sounds like you crouch over your stick quite and bit and maybe use it as a cruch, which may be why you hold your bottom hand so low. Focus on keeping your weight on your legs and bending your knees to get lower to the ground, not your back. You could have all the core strength in the world but without proper technique your back will continue to hurt.

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Old
03-16-2006, 10:10 AM
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sc37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick
I'll start with the sit ups tomorrow....uuughhhh

Thanks for the help guys. I hope things improve. sc, when you say short how short are you using? Chest height?
I'm 5'11"-6' and use a stick that comes up to mid-neck...Adam's Apple. Pretty much a standard shaft with like 3"-4" chopped off or the end plug removed.

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Old
03-16-2006, 10:36 AM
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triggrman
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I think he's probably bent over too much trying to keep his balance. As his skating improves the pain will go away.

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Old
03-16-2006, 11:35 AM
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Icer
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I used to have the same problem with my lower back. Get yourself a fitness ball and try some of these. Also, stretch out your lower back before you skate. I use a yoga pose called the cobra.

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Old
03-27-2006, 04:24 PM
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Neely08
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Don't mess around with your back!

Listen to the guy that said sit-ups and crunches. Work your lowers too...flutter kicks and raises.

Strengthen your hamstrings.

Definately check you aren't bending foward too much, no more than 40 degrees. If you are, you're not only asking too much of your back, but killing the potential of your skating and developing bad habits as well.

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Old
04-30-2006, 10:15 PM
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night-timer
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Did you overcome this problem? I had the same problem when I began playing. The lower back muscles will get stronger with practice and the pain will eventually go.

I guess skating is an odd posture to get used to. Also remember the importance of bending the knees and ankles rather than merely leaning forward at the waist.

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Old
04-30-2006, 10:32 PM
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Grave77digger
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I had this problem as weel when 1st startting but it went away with practice

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Old
07-15-2006, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raketheleaves View Post
Stretching out your legs (quads, hams, calves) before and after games helps. Don't stretch too much before the game, just enough to loosen.

And, yeah, like the other poster says, strengthen your core muscles.
Definitely - a good exercise to strengthen your core is to lay on your stomach with your toes on the ground and putting your forearms on the ground with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders. You may want to use a mirror for the first time you do this because you need to keep your back completely straight in this plank position and hold it there. For beginners, try 30-45 seconds. When you build up to 90-120 seconds, you'll have noticed a vast improvement in your core without upsetting your stomach via sit-ups or obliques (which are also very good).

Also, when I stretch on the ice, I put one leg up on the boards by the bench and lean into it to stretch the legs. Then for the back, I keep my leg in that position, but my back lean the other way - away from your leg. You'll feel it stretch your groin and back, but just be careful not to over-stretch. This alleviates a lot of back pain I have during games.

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Old
07-17-2006, 09:28 AM
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Hugh Madbrough
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I used to have the same problem. I fractured a vertebrae in 2000 and I know back pain. You have to strengthen you back. I went to the gym and did back exercises 2-3x a week. You also want to stretch your hamstring, a tight hammy will pull on your lower back.

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Old
11-24-2006, 02:37 PM
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Played again this week for the first time since around March. First thing I noticed the day after was the all-too-familiar back pain. I searched to find the thread to remind myself of the tips. I've been going to the gym but haven't concentrated enough on my lower back. I'll give it a shot, and try and correct my posture early on this year before it gets bad again. Cheers.

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Old
11-24-2006, 03:32 PM
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Aeryn
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I don't play (yet ) but I've got to agree with Icer and recommend yoga. Yeah, it's got a chick/new age stigma, but if you give it a try I guarantee you will see (feel) positive results.

Good luck!

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Old
11-24-2006, 04:20 PM
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MikeD
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I would bet that the root cause is strength related. Check out http://back.com/articles-exercises.html for some great work outs to target the core body and back. Sit-ups are NOT a good choice.

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Old
11-24-2006, 06:00 PM
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Hugh Madbrough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeryn View Post
I don't play (yet ) but I've got to agree with Icer and recommend yoga. Yeah, it's got a chick/new age stigma, but if you give it a try I guarantee you will see (feel) positive results.

Good luck!
yoga is awesome, i love it...and yes I am the only guy in my class.

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Old
11-24-2006, 06:11 PM
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Slick
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My girlfriend took a Yoga class, maybe I'll have her teach me something. Plus I get an excuse to watch her stretch. Giggity!

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Old
11-24-2006, 06:30 PM
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Could it be sciatica?

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Old
11-24-2006, 06:37 PM
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Ok guys, I am a massage therapy student, and I know that for low back pain, it isn't neccessarily his abs or muscles in his low back (quadratis laborum, lattisimus dorsi), it could be his legs giving him the problem. Like a few posters said, try stretching and strengthening your hamstrings, quads, and your abductors, and adductors. It could be that you have tight hamstrings, quads ab/adductors.

It could also be how you are bending over at the waist instead of bending at the knees.

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Old
11-24-2006, 06:47 PM
  #23
Slick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoldwell View Post
It could also be how you are bending over at the waist instead of bending at the knees.
I believe this one is the problem. Though I have "chicken legs", I do work them out at the gym and still have the same pain. I really need to get someone to tell me how bad my posture is when playing and go from their, or try and take a more conscious approach to it while playing. I'll be back on the ice next week and go from there.

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Old
11-24-2006, 07:19 PM
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Are your skates on tight?

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Old
11-25-2006, 01:57 AM
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Kritter471
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When I had some back pain issues, my instructor got me to figure out exactly where it hurt.

If it's the small of your back and it occurs 1-2 days after you skate, he said it's most likely that your hamstrings are too tight. Hamstrings cramping/pulling pulls your glutes our of alignment which puts a lot of strain on your lower back.

It makes a lot of sense to me, since there aren't that many muscles in your lower back, but your hamstrings are major muscle groups that you use a whole lot in hockey, especially if you've got your knees bent in the proper position. Your hamstrings are essential to locking you into a skating crouch, and if they haven't been used in a while, it can make your back really, really sore.

Once I started focusing on the strength and, most importantly, flexibility in my hamstrings, almost all of my back problems went away.

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