Help with "Falling Repeatedly on your Butt" Injury

Dealing with aches and pains--and better yet, avoiding them--and fitness related to snowboarding. This is also the place to talk about helmets, safety pads, and goggles.

Help with "Falling Repeatedly on your Butt" Injury

Postby Pipisongo » Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:56 pm

I live in Puerto Rico. I had never tried snowboarding because we don’t get snow. Since I like to surf and ride long skateboards, snowboarding had always appealed to me. So a year ago, on Dec 2005, I went to Hunter NY to learn the sport. I bought a cheap 3 day learning pass and did not know when, and if, I would be able to ride again after those 3 days were over. So I gave it 110% during those 3 days. When the 3 days were over, I was linking turns consistently. I fell completely in love with the sport. The silence. The views. It is as spiritual as surfing; a dance between you and mother nature. When I got back to PR I was seriously considering moving to Colorado or Utah for a while. I had tasted it and now wanted more. I finally decided against moving... for the time being.

Now the sad part:
In learning to snowboard I fell on my butt so many times (and I mean wayyy too many times) that I have been suffering lower back pain during the entire year. The pain comes for 3 weeks, then leaves for another 3 weeks. I’ve had all the tests imaginable done and nothing seems wrong with my back or general health. When the pain gets bad sometimes my legs feel numb. But the lumbar MRI shows nothing. No herniated discs or anything. I’ve also had an MRI of the brain and nothing was out of order thank God. I’ve been tested for MS, Cancer, HIV, and other stuff than can cause loss of feeling and still nothing. Ironically, my first visit to an orthopedic will be this week. But I’ve been going to a neurologist, chiropractor, acupuncture, and physical therapist.

The neurologist I visited thinks that these symptoms are unrelated to my snowboarding trip but I disagree. I started feeling the symptoms after my snowboarding trip. In the beginning I only felt pain in the lower back if I jogged or swam. But after 5 moths of inactivity to give the injury time to heal, I went to physical therapy and the pain got a lot worse. And my legs started to go numb. That is I why I ended going to a neurologist and she had me tested for all sorts of things. I never went to an orthopedic because the first thing I got was a lumbar MRI and the chiropractor said it looked OK.

Can anybody on these boards tell me if they’ve experienced injury from falling too many times on their butts? What were the symptoms? Did you get better with time? How much time? It’s been a year now for me and the pain is the same.

Now that the season is here I’m dying to book another trip to the US to snowboard again. But I with all the back problems I’ve had this year it would be pretty foolish to go snowboarding again. Still, after riding for only 3 days in my entire life, I can’t let go of that feeling…


PS- Being a rookie the only protection I was wearing while learning to ride was a helmet. And it saved me from what would have been a life-changing head injury. I fell backwards on ice and hit my head as hard as I’ve ever hit it. I was stunned on the ice for a while. If not for the helmet I don’t think I would be the same person today.
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Postby John » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:53 pm

It's good that you were wearing a helmet. On the other hand--and I will say that I'm no medical professional--I don't know of anyone who has suffered a severe injury on the bunny slopes. Perhaps you simply suffered a concussion. Not a pleasant thing, of course, but as far as I know, not (if it's an isolated incident) a life-changing event.

Your neurologist may be right, that the problems you have are simply coincidental with the fall. Beware the "post hoc" logical fallacy. (Rooster crows, sun rises, rooster causes sun to rise.)

I did bite an edge once, on my second day out. I too fell hard. And I wasn't wearing a helmet. When I realized what happened, I said "Thank you, God, that I'm concious and can still move, and you know what? I'll buy a helmet now."

I also bought impact shorts. I'd recommend something, especially if you are on ice. RED (a Burton line) is widely available. There are also things online:

http://www.skeletools.com/torso.html
http://www.ski-racing.com/dns_impshorts.html
http://www.tactics.com/crash-pads/coolm ... t-body-pad
http://www.azzpadz.com/

I've also heard of people using hockey pants.

Though I have progressed to the point of occasionally teaching snowboarding, I still wear padded shorts. That's because I can still fall, and when that happens, I'm glad that there is something else to fall on than what my genetic and lifestyle history have provided.
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Postby Kamikaze Kid » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:38 pm

I've gone through the same problem during the beginning. What I did was I inserted 1" foam padding lined into my pants. It did cut down the injuries but it didn't get rid of of the aches and pains.

One thing that greatly help was, from my hockey pants, I removed the thigh plastic shield, then glued the foam over the shield, and placed into my pants. Ever since then no more sore butt or back injuries.
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skateboarders padded underwear

Postby petpaintings » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:32 pm

dense-foam-padded underwear made for skateboarders and inliners really helps, I wouldn't ride without them. Be sure there's a pad over the coxyxx (sp?) TAILBONE. Before I bought them, I too stuck a folded towel across my butt. (This froma female with some amount of natural padding already...)

Even WITh the paddded undies I took a hard buttplant last year which was a horrid bruising on one cheek, it swelled up even with ice treatments and took 3 weeks to walk normally again. A year later I still have slight residual weird feeling/ sort-of numbness. So sorry about your pain which is surely worse, wish I could help more...

Then there was my friend a woman my age (50-plus) who is excellent skiier most of her life. She was intrugued by snowboarding, I gave her an hours-long very slow-paced basic starter lesson going at the rate of learning she seemed to need.

She liked it enough to enter a group lesson, but without personal attention from the instructor she proceeded to lose her balance on the flat before they even got started, reached back to catch herself (which I had coached her NOT to do, oh well) and she broke her wrist. Which begs the question, why don't they REQUIRE wrist guards in lessons??
petArtistWithPeaches– (readers wanted!)
blog on horses, pets, painting on computers, website design and sunsets in New Hampshire.
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