My chiropractor sat me down this morning
and suggested I seriously consider giving
up wakeboarding. I almost cried.
He wasn't kidding.
I have been plagued with back problems for
the last 10 years and even had one minor surgery
about 2 years ago. I have been able to do
anything I wanted but lately it seems I can't get
my back to feel good for any extended periods.
I recently gave up toeside jumps becuase I found
they were causing problems. Casing the wake
also compresses the disk instantly sending a pain
shooting through my back.
I have also resorted to mostly wakeskating
to lower the impact.
But my most recent pain stemmed from a wakeskating incident a few weeks ago. I went riding with a neighbor who doesn't
wakeboard but has done some foiling in the past.
He gave me [possibly] the worst pull I've ever had. His starts were too slow and the opposing force of the boat and the water yanked me out of whack.
I really love this sport and have an enourmous
amount of money, time, heart and energy invested butI have to consider my future. I will not ride
for the rest of the season to try to heal what
is damaged and see how I feel next year. But,
there is a huge possibility I will never have
the strength I need to continue riding.
How depressing. : (
What can someone say to that?
I broke my femur about 7 yrs. ago riding was not able to walk for 6 months. Being in that position makes you realize that you need to be lucky for what you do have.
Of course, my doctor looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I was riding again.
|I feel for you. I can't stand it when I cant ride for 6 months, let alone facing never riding at all. But have a go at wakesurfing when you feel better.|
|Thats sucks! I had a friend who had to give up almost all sports because of back injuries from a car wreck. After the original DO, the first chiropractor, he went to a real doctor and not a quack after your money, and got real advice. With the help of the MD and a physical therapist, and a year of exercise with low stress he is pretty much back to normal. Playing raquet ball, bball etc. I would have to guess that wakeboarding is much more stressful than raquet ball and bball, but what do I know? I'm not even a chiropractor after your money! |
Good luck, and get better!
|I wish it was about the money, I'd just give it |
to him. My wife is a massage therapist and works for him. He treats me for free. I could tell he did not want to have the discussion.
|Just another thought... |
Wakeskating creates more drag than wakeboarding which may be more strain on your back. But, on the other hand it may be easier for you to refrain from doing bigger tricks where the risk of injury to your back may be greater.
I have had MANY bitter feelings towards this sport in the past and the mistakes I made that led to my injury, but now I have come to terms with the fact that their are limitations on my riding and that I should be grateful for what I can do.
Good luck bro.
|Sorry to hear that! I faced a similar experience when I dislocated my hip and cracked my femur. The surgeon told me that night that there was a chance I would never wakeboard again. Luckily I avoided necrosis and I can ride again (although I have permanent arthritis). |
What kind of back problems are you having? My boss has been plagued with back problems for years and was about to undergo a spinal fusion I think. He found this doctor in PA that told him not to do it and he went for a surgery with him and it has completely solved his problems. He swears by this doctor and basically the doc salvaged the rest of his life! If you would like I could get his name and number for you. Certainly worth a shot.
|Can anyone say "Second Opinion"? |
Try seeing a sports related Orthopedist who understands your desire to get back to Wakeboarding and see what they have to say - Chiropractors are great, but ultimately they are limited in the treatments that they can offer. I understand that you trust this person, but until you get multiple people telling you that you can't do something anymore, you really should seek a second opinion from a more qualified source.
|I've been both routes. |
Like I said I've already had one surgery.
The results weren't that great so, I will not
go that road again. They say the chances
of success on a second back operation are far
less than those of the first. Just not worth it.
The problems are disk bulges. The one
I had fixed was a bulge that had torn (herniation)
Basically as soon as one heals I do something
to cause another one. It has a lot to do with
muscle strength. After favoring one area of your
back you make other areas prone to injury. If
I really want to heal properly, I have to stop
doing anything strenuous. Thus, I must stop wakeboarding. With some luck and rest I may
be able to ride next year. But, I won't know
til I do it and see if I re- injure.
|Sandy, how ironic. I just got back from my Doctor for lower back pain. |
Please, go see a Doctor or an Osteopath.
Turns out my L5 has shifted. Nothing unusual, just part of the aging process. A week long subscription of powerful anti-inflammatory and a couple muscle relaxers for a just in case and I'm set to go.
Also, if you're getting herniation, or ruptures, fusing the vertebrates are a possibility.
Foil for awhile and let the back heal a bit.
|Sandy, have you tried wakesurfing yet? If not, I really suggest trying it. It is one of the lowest-impact activities I have ever done. What's really nice is the fact that surfboards are much bigger which makes starts quicker and softer. I hope this helps.|
|Im an adrenaline junky, so going huge on wakeboards is a freakin blast. Ive been plagued with minor injuries since last summer, and I kept reinjuring myself behind the boat. I find wakeskating very boring since Im not good at it and there is no immediate rush. So, I tried something else, kiteboarding. WOW!! what a cool sport. I had a back injury as a child, so Ive always fought back problems. Kiteboarding is so easy on your body compared to wakeboarding. Your board skills transfer very easy, you just have to learn some kite skills. Now Im just as addicted to kiteboarding as I am to wakeboarding. I dont know what level rider you are, but even the most advanced tricks can be done on the kite and the posibilies are endless. You can go much higher and land much softer. it requires you to learn to be equally solid regular and switch. So, when I get behind the boat, I feel better than before I was hurt!! |
Just a suggestion on an alternative while you let yourself heal.
Have you considered an aggressive physical therapy program? Working with a top-notch therapist can 'sometimes' make a difference. One of my friends is a physical therapist for team sports. His specialty is getting the athletes back on the field with the quickest possible (but safe) recovery. I've seen him work miracles.
I'm sure you had therapy after your surgery, but the average therapists lean more toward immobilization during recovery instead of keeping the muscles moving which is what an athlete needs. They also usually prescribe therapy once a week, which is useless for muscle rehab and restrengthening your core.
Sorry to hear about your back. I go nuts when I canít ride. I canít even imagine being out of the game permanently. Good luck to you.
|Have you ever heard of prolotherapy? It's where they inject glucose solution into tendons or ligaments to invoke a reaction and help them heal or tighten them up. |
I don't know much about it but it sounded interesting when I read about it. I'd imagine that the long-term instabilities could be from ligaments as well as muscles. Maybe something to check out?
|Sandy, after a pretty serious car accident a few years back, I was forced to give up my football career and also any weight training due to an introverted bulging disc in L5-S1. Every now and then I can feel it shift and "graze" my spinal cord, sending a shooting pain down my legs and back and it got so bad once that I could not move my legs for a while(what a weird sensation). 6 months of physical therapy and 3 months of specialized spinal therapy, combined with the number one sports training therapist in the country... I'm down to a low level of pain and very few relapses. Should I be wakeboarding? according to the orthopedic surgeons that I worked with, no. Have I taken precautionary measures to minimize the risk of injury, yes. Is there an inherent risk of injury that comes with wakeboarding, yes. Am I in pain after wakeboarding, yes. Would I ever give it up, NO. I got sick of doctors telling me that I was not able to do things that I enjoyed because of my condition, so I found a set of doctors that would work with me towards my goals, not protect themselves by telling me I couldn't do it. |
My advice, see a set of doctors that specialize in working with professional athletes. They are used to getting athletes built back up to peak condition in order to minimize risk of injury. I can't stress how much a single sports trainer helped me(his clients included people such as Pete Sampras, and about half the falcons football team). He was incredible, try to find someone like him.
look up a guy named Lynn Teachworth. He lives in Orlando and has helped many a wakeboarder. 8 doctors told Darin Shapiro that he would never wakeboard again and that he needed surgery.....Lynn fixed him without surgery. He works out of a place called Graham Chiropractic.... it's on Sand Lake rd. My wife has been having back problems and he is the only person that has helped her. He works on people like Shaq, Grant Hill, most all pro wakeboarders in the Orlando area. He also used to live with Shaun Murray and Dean Lavelle... you know he has seen a lot of wakeboard injuries..... hope you find someone that can help.
|Thank you guys! |
I feel better already!
I really didn't like what the chiro had to say
either. His position was that if I were a pro
wakeboarder he would not be telling me this.
But, since I only ride for recreation he felt
I should find something lower impact
(Already have the landlock!)
Yes, I'm sure I could find some doctors that
would be more possitive. But, I'm also
not 20. I'm 37 and have to look very carefully
at where I am going and how I will get there.
Yes, wakeboarding is very important to me.
So is my future. I plan to lay off the board
for this season and see what happens next year.
I'm hitting the gym and closely modeling my
workout to what I learned in PT.
I need my back to be well. My wife and I have
plans to buy some income houses and I need
to be in good shape for maximum benifit of
accomplishing my finacial goals. In otherwords
I have a lot of hard work in front of me and I
need to be able to do it.
Sometimes it sucks to be an adult.
|What Alex said. |
also "glucosamine" is great! But I'm not sure if it would apply in your case.
|Heck son, I'm 45. Ski, foil and board. I only do inverts at the end of the season when I'm feeling like I'm 35 ;)|
|Yo sandbag, very sorry to hear about your back, I too have had injuries. I am new to wakeboarding, but rode snowboards every day for a few winters. I managed to mess up my back and blow a knee, but have recovered from these. I stopped boarding for a while to go back to school, and the injuries healed up. When I was injured, I doubt I stayed off the board long enough to let things heal, so it was like constant reinjury. Consider taking a bit of time off, even though that sucks. I remember riding injured, and it's no fun holding back and riding scared. Hopefully some time off and some rehab will fix you up and you can get back to your old self. GOOD LUCK.|
I work for a Medical company in Arizona, they have a new drug in the final stages of human clinicals (testing) it was created for just your problem amongst any other knee or cartilege damage or deterieration. It is called Chrysalin. The results have been phenominal in chimps and rats. It goes in and surrounds the injury site ( in yor case the deterierated disc) and rehuvinates growth. This drug will revitalize orthopeadics forever. The only downside it wont be on the market until late 2005 an 2006. We also make and produce bone growth stimulators that help fused vertebrae heal properly and quickly. Ask your specialist about Orthologic's Spinalogic Bone Growth Stimulator, and chances are your insurance will pay most if not all the cost.
|Sandy, just wanted to know if you smoke cigarettes. If so, quit. Smoking causes the fluid in your disks to dry up. |
|Have you thought about accupuncture?|
|I feel for ya. My old college roommate was a hell of wakeboarder, waterskiier, and barefooter, at about age 28 he basically couldn't take the pain after boarding all day and quit, he had already had a few back surgeries, now he just goes out on the boat and rides motorcycles, damn shame, occasionally slaloms, but just for a bit.|
|hey sandy, |
im 35, soon to be 36 (in august). i had a motorcycle accident at 18 that caused chronic back-problems for years afterward. my back would often "go out" and leave me laid out on the floor for days at a time. i've worked with multiple chiropractors and love them. and i've always been physically active playing ice-hockey, surfing, etc.
in 1999 i had some time off work and decided to work out and get in better shape and to specifically work on strengthening my back and abs. bottom line? i haven't had any problems since - and in the past couple of years i haven't even worked out all that regularly (i no longer have a gym membership - just do sit-ups, push-ups, etc.).
although just keeping the body in shape may not be the answer for everyone - it did wonders for me. i can now drive in my car for 20mins and not have my lower back ache! and i have no problem wakeboarding, including doing inverts, double-ups, etc.
Been in the gym for 4-5 months. Its been a great
help. I just prolly need to take the summer
off to get it all healed. Then take a serious
look at how jumping and landing are effecting
the disks. I'm also very active, so I can't
really say that the impact of wakeboarding is causing my problems, but my wife and Dr seem to think it is.
I'm just now reading all of this, and I'm bummed...man, that really sucks!
I imagine there may be a lot of things you could do to prolong your wakeboarding career, most of which would improve your day-to-day life as well. However, since wakeboarding is an impact sport, there is always some risk of injury. The goals of bigger air and better back health may be mutually exclusive.
Keep at what you're doing, and if you have the opportunity, seek out a local Orthopedic M.D. who works with athletes (not a surgeon?) to get his/her input.
In the mean time, just chill and spend the summer wakesurfing with your friends.
|Good luck Sandy. Getting into the gym is the smartest thing you can do for back problems, keep it up. I've also found Yoga or a stretching program is a nice compliment to hitting the iron. A lot of back problems are caused by hamstring or hip flexor flexibility issues. |
(Message edited by ralph on June 21, 2003)
|What Darren said is right.Doctors told me the same thing,that was about 8 years ago.I built my back up again useing free weights and proper stretching technique.I managed to do all kinds of things again including,kick-boxing,kenpo,and most recently,brazilian jui jitsu. |
Although I don't do this anymore(no time)I still train,because I know it will start hurting again if I don't.
Don't give up!!!Good Luck.