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Twisted body due to asymmetry...


Guest swisspete
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Guest swisspete

Hey...so i've have been snowboarding for 15+ years now and have had to put my fun on hold, as I have noticed that my body is twisted, as if I was on a snowboard. Basically, if I relax all my muscles while standing, my upper body will slowly but surely rotate to the left (I am regular). Which means that whenever I stand straight, i need muscle action to stay straight vs. rotating to the left.

The only way I figured out to solve this is to ride goofy every other time. I have done that, and it's ok, but I do not have the same sensations and skills as when riding my natural side.

Anyone experienced this too? Any other suggestions as to solutions other than giving up on carving?

Thanks...

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Guest swisspete

John, rotation is there all the time. Injuries could have worsen it for sure, perhaps the rotation was there before already. But it is there now, and I have a dull pain in my left hip.

I am guessing some strength differences in the hamstrings, psoas and other hip muscles are at play.

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Now I have another reason to tell people not to face the nose.:biggthump ;)

...Yeah, there's this guy, he faced the nose so much that he can't walk straight anymore. He now looks like Quasimoto...

Seriously, though, besides my belief that it can be a detriment to riding, riding all twisted up just seems so unnatural.

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Guest swisspete

Well, riding twisted up is natural on a snowboard, in my definition of twisted up at least. If your toes are aligned along a line, but your feet are turned 50+ degrees to the left, your body will be twisted up...there is no escaping that. Your hips will turn to the left. Try walking straight with your feet at an angle...also since your weight is not exactly centered, one leg will be working more than the other. Another imbalance, which can cause twisting in a neutral position.

Now, yes, I think the body adapts, also because on my regular side, I can stay for ever on one edge (for instance on a catwalk), but riding goofy...i hurt big time and get very sore.

As far as stretching and strengthening, that's what I am trying to figure out, question is, which exercise stretch the right muscles (probably left psoas) and strengthen the right ones (probably right psoas)...but there are so many other muscles and it's difficult to find the right poses/exercises that will do just that. So any tips would be great!

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Sorry, man, I meant no harm. I was referring to the age old Bomber flame war of "face the nose vs. face the toes". This refers to where your upper body is facing when you are in your "neutral" stance. I assumed from your post that you are a "face the nose" kind of guy.

Well, riding twisted up is natural on a snowboard, in my definition of twisted up at least. If your toes are aligned along a line, but your feet are turned 50+ degrees to the left, your body will be twisted up...there is no escaping that. Your hips will turn to the left. Try walking straight with your feet at an angle...also since your weight is not exactly centered, one leg will be working more than the other. Another imbalance, which can cause twisting in a neutral position.

My riding stance is a very neutral and comfortable one, even at 65 degrees, but then, I face the toes. I feel more like I am in an athletic, or "ready" position when I am on my board. I do not feel like I am twisted up at all.

Whenever I work with a new student (new to hardbooting AND/OR new to me) the first thing that I do with them is make sure that they are able to get into a neutral position. That may mean that we work with bindings and boots, or it may mean that we work with their body position - or both. IMO, that is the best place to start riding, whether you are on softboots at -15, +15, or you are on hardboots at 50, 65, etc. I believe that once someone is in a "neutral" position, they are a clean slate. In this position, there is no input on the board except the input that they choose - positive or negative. From a good "neutral" position, the only thing that should be twisted up is your neck as you turn your head in the direction of travel.

If you truly feel twisted up, maybe it would help to have someone look at your stance? Maybe there are some adjustments that can be made to help you.

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Try walking straight with your feet at an angle...also since your weight is not exactly centered, one leg will be working more than the other.
.

Sorry, I missed that part.

The idea that I am talking about is facing your body toward your toes, so that your feet are not turned 50 degrees relative to your body. It is almost more like being in an athletic stance with one foot a little in front of the other.

IMO, if you are riding efficiently and as effectively as possible, you will not feel one leg working more than the other because you will be using both legs to work the whole board.

As I write this, I realize that if someone does not ride like this, these last two posts probably make no sense at all.:o

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i agree with phil in being in the most efficient neutral position,it where your the most comfortable .I was generalizing about muscle imbalances and sports.coming for a cycling background(use to ride pro,and put on 20000km a year at times)you develop a few problems even in the most natural position. add a few hit and runs as well as a few crit crashes and you get a clearer picture.

Yoga has done wonders in releaving alot of the problems.good teachers have a critical eye in spoting poor posture and correcting it.

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Asymmetry, psoas troubles, periformis troubles... this is something I've been dealing with for years and only now am I beginning to understand what is going on.

In my case the problems are compounded greatly by the fact that I sit on a chair at a desk all day for work. I'm regular footed and my right psoas and periformis are tight most of the time, which rotates my right femur outwards, and makes my right leg effectively shorter than the left. Two chiropractors and an MD told me there was a femur length difference. An X-ray says it ain't so.

I've found someone who is both a massage therapist and an Egoscue method coach. The combination seems to be helping quite a bit where chiropratics did not. I'm one of those people who heals best when I am the one taking the most active part in the process which is where the Egoscue method comes in. The massage, mostly helps get me over the rough spots.

I was seeing chiropractors for a while but my body was fighting back - hard - against the adjustments. Chiropractics soon after an acute injury seems to work for me but my body sdoes not seem to respond to that method of retraining for chronic issues as well as it responds to daily exercise.

You can learn about Egoscue here at their website... www.egoscue.com... simply put, the idea is to do relatively simple exercises that awaken muscles that are dormant due to underuse and compensation, and regain symmetric use of the body. The clinics are $$$$ but sometimes you can find someone locally, as I have who is knowledgable about it and can coach you. It is possible for someone who is athletically gifted, into yoga, etc to learn from a book but it's also very easy to make mistakes and precision is the key the results. (Then again if you are good at Yoga you probably have your basis covered anyway) The exercises borrow from things like yoga and most of them are not strenuous at all, it's all about technique.

I'm looking forward to seeing how my riding changes this season...

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Ya Im with Phil on this one. When I am racing my stance is 55 front 50 back and my upper body is always facing nearly 90 degrees to the front of the board. I have to admit it is a blast to set a super Wide GS course, put my angles super steep and just euro carve the crap out of the course. But, I usually have to ice my front hip down after a couple runs when I do that. I have some pretty sweet footage of Some EC on a course I will put up. Whenever I ride with my upper body facing the nose of the board as soon as I lay a heel side down I usually have some serious cramp issues with my front hip. Unforntunate to hear about your quagmire. :confused:

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I thought this was a joke at first. I remember someone suggesting the possibility of asymmetric development due to riding, but...a real world example? phew!

hell...my left hip hurts often, too...is it from snowboarding?

Hey D-Sub,

At first I thought this was a joke, then the 2nd read and now the 3rd :lol: :freak3::smashfrea:flamethro

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Hey...so i've have been snowboarding for 15+ years now and have had to put my fun on hold, as I have noticed that my body is twisted, as if I was on a snowboard. Basically, if I relax all my muscles while standing, my upper body will slowly but surely rotate to the left (I am regular). Which means that whenever I stand straight, i need muscle action to stay straight vs. rotating to the left.

The only way I figured out to solve this is to ride goofy every other time. I have done that, and it's ok, but I do not have the same sensations and skills as when riding my natural side.

Anyone experienced this too? Any other suggestions as to solutions other than giving up on carving?

Thanks...

I see this a lot in practice and I wouldn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that its snowboard related. I see it in all kinds of non snowboarders. It is a spine related issue. The spine compensates for injury and fixation by relaxing ligaments elsewhere in the spine. this can result in all sorts of weird posture changes. If you drop me some contact info and your location I can see if there is a decent Chiropractor in your area. It is very difficult to give you clear answers without doing an exam and seeing some xrays but feel free to contact me directly for a Q and A session if you would like.

IF it is snowboard related it is likely due to a wreck rather than repetitive use.:biggthump

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I'm regular footed and my right psoas and periformis are tight most of the time, which rotates my right femur outwards, and makes my right leg effectively shorter than the left.

Two chiropractors and an MD told me there was a femur length difference. An X-ray says it ain't so.

...

there are two different kinds of leg length difference. Functional and structural.

Structural leg length differences are usually femur injuries in the growth plate resulting in a shorter bone.

Functional leg length difference occurrs when the pelvis and /or spine is misaligned pulling one side higher than the other.

Functional leg length differences that don't respond to Chiropractic care usually require a custom soft orthotic designed to stabilize the arches of the foot resulting in more pelvic stability as opposed to the old school idea of a lift to support the "short" leg.

Structural leg length deficiencies require a lift if they are recent injuries. If you have had an undiagnosed structural short leg for years your spine has adapted and probably shouldn't be lifted. Disturbing old compensations with a lift on the short leg can cause all sorts of instabilities and symptoms.

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Functional leg length differences that don't respond to Chiropractic care usually require a custom soft orthotic designed to stabilize the arches of the foot resulting in more pelvic stability as opposed to the old school idea of a lift to support the "short" leg.

I thought it was structural for years. But recent evidence suggests that it is functional... mostly, the fact that it is disappearing as my pelvic posture improves.

I do use soft orthotics for the purpose you describe (www.footform.com - ion the way home from work - also does my bootfitting, fantastic fellow, highly recommended) but they alone were not enough to stabilize my pelvis. The Egoscue exercises seem to be the straw that's final breaking the camel's back so to speak. I'm not dissing on chiropractices here... IMHO it's simply a matter of the Egoscue method being something that I do every day. It's good stuff. Hopefully one day when my job gets less intense I will have time to take up yoga which might work out even better.

BTW, is it standard for chiropractors to not work with their patients on at-home exercises to supplement their treatments or have I simply been unlucky? It seems to be that many would benefit from doing posture-correcting work at home in betwwen their adjustments but my past two chiros, when asked, did not offer up anything.

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IT would depend on the DC in question certainly. I would like to think that most would at least refer out to a PT if they don't do that kind of work themselves.

I would have to say you were unlucky. If your chiro says come back when it hurts you are in the wrong place.

I recomend and teach many core stability techniques to all my patients. I also encourage walking, swimming etc. Cross tracking type exercise is good for the spine.

Current thinking and the push towards wellness based practices is teaching patients to use massage yoga pilates tai chi etc. to help develop healthy body balance.

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Guest shrederjen

Perhaps, try a cyropractor (my spelling sucks) or a physical therapist. I found out this week, I was twisted 5 degrees. Most probably due to keeping the weight off my bad knee. The therapist tweeked me this way and that, then went "crunch". Said I was rotated forward, again.

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I never treated my body well when I was younger. I was a mogul skier until I started snowboarding in 1986. Pounding through moguls is hard on your spine and knees. When I went to snowboarding, I was just as hard on my body jumping cliffs and stuff. About 4 years ago at SES I took a bad fall and my back hasn't been the same since. The MRI indicate degeneration in certain vertabrae. The doctor indicated that it was most definitely a result of my prior abuse in the moguls and riding a snowboard.

My Chiropractor blames it on the unuilateral sport of snowboarding, indicating that our bodies are meant to face forward and that we should ultimately use both sides equaly. He also says that everyone eventually develops problems as a result of unilateral activies such as getting in and out of a car. The best one is taking my daughter out of her car seat. Ouch, that hurts.

I attended a camp for the US national team in the spring of 2006. There was a med student or physical therapy student there doing a motion study on snowboarders. She checked hip motion on all the team athletes. Every single one had dramatically more range of motion in one direction than the other. The difference was on the order of 20 to 30 degrees in hip rotation.

The best advice I've heard is augment your unilateral activites with bilateral ones and if possible do something that strengthens you in the opposite direction. My back is better but I still have some problems. The best thing I've found is a bit of strength training on the home gym system I have in the basement. Whenever I'm hurt, I find that lifting does way more than rest. Maybe you should take up skateboarding in the summer and ride Goofy.

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Intriguing stuff.

I can see how a twisted body could impact your riding. I'd never really thought about body symmetry until earlier this week. I discovered that my right knee is displaced inward a full 4 degrees. This may have resulted from an ACL replacement and two subsequent tuneups including some grinding of the bone surface to prevent knee lockup. It occurred to me that some of my problems with carving might be attributed to this and that I should look into canting. This discovery was made when I was being fitted for new ski race boots. The first photo shows my normal left leg, the second shows how far out of whack my right leg is and the last shows the correction by putting a 4 degree shim under my right boot.

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I tried to bring this up before and Jack, Bordy and I wound up going a few rounds over suggesting that development-aged children should ride equal duck for a few seasons (along with a progression that would have them riding left as much as right foot forward).

Thinking that imbalances are created in riders who are out only a few times a year, recreationally, is probably a reach. To think that someone who has ridden directionally 100+ days a year is tweaked, is not. Especially if you are old-school enough to remember a stance with a flat back foot, while being encouraged to face the nose, as was the flavour of the day.

In the summer, I skate goofy, while I snowboard regular. On my MTB, I pedal right up to the corner and start the turn with my outside foot forward, moving down to 6 o'clock at the apex. Both took a long time to figure out. The most rewarding is the MTB cornering. I rarely coast and now I don't have a preference for one foot over the other, unless I'm jumping.

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