I went through a long battle between back pain and skiing myself when I was a World Cup moguls skier. It started at the worst possible time which you know if you have seen my TED-talk.
After this, I was in agonizing pain and regularly out of the game for weeks when my back would get stuck. I had been told from different sides that I should quit skiing after I herniated two discs in the lower back. To be honest, I was close to believing that it was probably my only choice. I could just not see my way out. Even sitting on a chair would hurt so much that I sometimes had to be kneeling in stead…
Luckily, I was not ready to accept it though and I kept searching to find a solution to get my pre-injury body back. With the help of great experts, we managed to break the vicious circle that kept sustaining my back pain for years. Fast forward two Olympic finals, a second skiing career on the Freeride World Tour, and a personal trainer certification, I now still enjoy skiing – and help other athletes and skiers win that same battle. In fact I think my back is better today than if I had quit back then. Why?
Because I have learnt how to take care of my back. I know how I can be proactive about not getting in that blocked position preventing me from doing what I love and sustaining my pain.
Breaking that cycle involves specific exercise and loosening and tightening in the right places so as to become aligned and balanced again.
I really hope to inspire you to explore this possibility if you suffer from back pain and you love skiing. Of course, I will always advise you to check with your back specialist, but read along to gain an understanding of what you can do to change that pattern of back pain and skiing.