A few weeks ago I talked about prehab as injury prevention. Since then I had a couple of slips and falls causing intermittent sharp lower back pain and spasms. I tried my usual stretches, exercises, yoga, and rest to recover. It helped, but my low back still hurt. I came back to Connecticut to rest and seek medical advice.
Today I visited an orthopedic doctor. After a lower back x-ray, he discovered I have spondylolisthesis. Which means my lower lumbar vertebrae is slips forward over the sacrum. He also noted my scoliosis (see 11/10/10 post) is virtually gone. Not bad for 52.
The doctor said spondylolisthesis probably resulted from a fracture I received as a child. As I age, the space between the vertebrae will continue to degenerate (arthritis) and compress putting pressure on my disc. Most of the time I don't even know there is a problem, but with the stress of a few recent slip and falls the area is aggravated, causing my intermittent low back pain.
His advice is basically what I have been doing. I may ski, but if it hurts back off and/or rest. No moguls until it is better. He prescribed Indomethacin ER, which is a drug similar to Ibuprofen but lasts for 24 hours to reduce the pain and inflammation. I start physical therapy tomorrow to strengthen, stretch and stabilize the muscles that support my lower back... safely.
My core is strong, but what I found out is hyperextention of the back can aggravate the condition. In my yoga practice I do back bends that hyperextend my back, this aggravates not helps spondylolisthesis.
I am very curious to meet with the PT tomorrow morning to find out what I am doing right, what I should avoid, and what new exercises I should add. I know if I want to continue playing hard I have to put in the time to keep myself strong safely.