Coasters and Back Problems

OK, something happened to me that I'd like to share with you, because I'm not sure what to make of it.

The weekend after Thanksgiving I was at SFMM to ride some coasters.

A week later, on Saturday I get a really serious pain in my lower back, that leaves me paralysed on my bed on Sunday morning Dec 3rd, so I had to call an ambulance to get me to an ER where I was stuffed with pain medication (getting to the telephone in that state was one of the most painful tasks I had to do in my life so far)

Now, there could be different reasons for this back pain - general stress, the new chair in my office that I got two weeks ago... I don't know what else - it might be just coincidence, but it is somehwat strange.

I am generally in good physical condition, not a complete sports type but I do my 4 miles of bike riding every day to work and back.
I didn't even ride the really rough coasters that SFMM provides, apart from maybe the impulsive Batman and the Hi-Gs of Goliath.

Has anyone else ever experienced a 1-week-later-back-pain-flash like that?

I just pray all of this doesn't mean that I will have to reduce the fun I have with coasters to NoLimits.

P.S. The good news is after taking pain pills and nightly muscle relaxants against the spasms in my spine, I rode my bike yesterday night for the first time again and am feeling almost back to normal already, just 3 days later - which makes me quite happy.

airtime for everyone
Have fun linking week later symptoms to coasters.

I've had some back problems from some coasters but it showed up either imediately or the next morning.


Seriously, you could just sneeze (no joke, its true), and throw out your back.

A week later having this most likely had nothing to due with riding coasters.

Back problems are a common occurance.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
People ask me all the time if coasters give me back issues. I had several surgeries as a kid and my back is still noticeably f'd up. I have more metal in me than Slayer. ;) To be honest I have never had any issues or really "threw" out my back on coasters. In fact, sometimes coasters "loosen" it up as far as the muscles. :)

The only issues I have had is with stand-up coasters, mostly from the TOGO's. I REFUSE to ride those again. If I need the credit, fine. Once is enough. It isn't the coaster itself but the padding. My back can't properly align with them, making it VERY uncomfortable. The B&M's have never given me problems and are a little more comfortable. I am not really a huge fan of stand-ups anyway. ;)

Flat rides like Round-ups and the Scat 2 at Beech Bend I can't do. I rode the Scat 2 once during Rumblerfest and the lack of proper padding made it VERY uncomfortable on my lower back. Otherwise I LOVED the ride, but I will never ride it again. My favorite flat rides are all the Intamin drops, especially Drop Zone at King's Island. However, the one at SFOG puts a lot of pressure on my tailbone the way it's designed.

My biggest issue is headaches, especially on rough woodies like the Son Of Beast. I absolutely refuse to ride it again since it induces headaches easily. Nowadays I carry Ibuprofen with me and pop a couple at any park visit, just in case. ;) At Holiwood Nights I felt headaches coming on all night. The intensity of Voyage plus the heat and exhaustion forced me to take "breaks" so I wouldn't get those headaches with the migraine-like pain. Trust me, they are HARD to get rid of once they are full-blown headaches. Actually I was ticked off that I didn't ride more since I LOVED it! WOW! I was also a little upset that Boulder Dash started to cause headaches. I LOVED the ride. It had the perfect air and speed, but I'll be damned if it didn't knock my head around. I had to stop after the 2nd ride. My temples started to pound.

Old Arrows cause headaches easily and there are some that I can't ride unless it's a credit I need. I won't ride Viper at SFMM or Gasm at Great Adventure anymore. Hell, I have trouble with Vortex at King's Island. I blame it on age (with me AND the coasters!) ;) The older I get the more fussier my body gets. :(

If I go to a park that I have been to before and I know what has caused headaches in the past I won't ride them again. If it's a new park I will try everything once, even if I KNOW it will hurt me (like the TOGO at Canada's Wonderland......OUCH!!!) Then again I thought TN Tornado would hurt and it was as smooth as butter! No headaches at all.

Whether the headaches are directly related to my f'd up back or not I don't know. I think it's usually a variety of things. If I keep properly hydrated and take it easy (I can't power ride unless it's an Intamin, some B&M's, or GCI's) and carry plenty of Ibuprofen and stay well-rest I am fine. I can power ride Phoenix, and coasters like the Pippin, Screechin Eagle, and Thunder Run. I could power ride Thunderhead and Lightning Racer forever. ;) I don't think I have ever had any issues with any B&M, although sometimes I can feel a headache coming on after a long ERT session. Even Raptor has jacked me up a few times. It really depends. I have had NO issues with any Intamin or GCI (except Wildcat at Hershey.)

Now everyone sees why I get so fussy, especially with woodies. ;) It's something I can't control. I can just help prevent it. If it hurts me then it's because it caused the headaches, not because it's too "intense" or I am a wuss. I love intense! If it wasn't for the headache issue I would ride more. :) Until then my love for heights and speed prevail. I would MUCH rather ride X-Scream and drool over the height of that thing than ever ride Manhattan Express again (although it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.) I could ride Speed forever! I will never ride Canyon Blaster again.

The WORST pain I ever experienced was Flight Of Fear when it had the OTSR's. I will never forget my last ride on it before they went to lapbars. I almost literally passed out from the headache.


*** Edited 12/7/2006 6:36:53 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Lord Gonchar's avatar

coasterqueenTRN said:
I have more metal in me than Slayer.

:) \m/

coasterqueenTRN's avatar

And I have never set off any metal detectors except for the wand thingies. That happened at LAX once.
I offered to show them my scars but luckily they believed I had metal rods in me and not an internal bomb or something. ;)

It would just suck for me to walk by a HUGE magnet or something. ;)


Even though I'm 18, I still threw out my back on Phantom's Revenge this past season. The double bunny hops at the end completely made me land wrong after the airtime and it knocked the wind right out of me, leaving me in terrible pain. Ha! Figures.

Anyways, I couldn't even get out of the train my back hurt so bad.


sws's avatar
What you describe would be very consistent with muscle spasms of the lumbar spine given the short duration of symptoms. Frequently it will develop a few days after the incident. It probably will not affect you with future rides but it would be reasonable to stretch out before hitting the parks.
Biking is hard on the back..............
A few years ago I had a spontaneous back spasm that left me unable to stand up. It annoyed me for several reasons. (1) I never had any previous back issues and (2) I was planning on going to Stricker's Grove that day.

After resting for a few hours, I felt good enough to go but my back was still feeling a little funky. I was unsure if I should ride Stricker's Tornado (which is a fairly mild ride but there is one violent moment, especially in the back seat). I nervously rode the coaster and started to worry about the impending violent section. To my amazement, the "violent" section cured me of any residual back pain I had. And I haven't had a back issue since then!

But I should probably also credit the stuff my yoga-teacher wife made me do. :)

rollergator's avatar

coasterqueenTRN said:It would just suck for me to walk by a HUGE magnet or something.

For Futurama viewers only: "A robot would have to be crazy to want to be a folk singer"... ;)

coasterqueenTRN's avatar
Come to think of it Leap The Dips had one of those "violent" moments that caused some discomfort on the spine. OUCH! Little Leaper did as well.


rollergator's avatar
^ Yeah, yeah, tell me ALL about the kiddie credit that YOU got, that *I* made a special trip for only to be *denied*....THEN call me a credit ho! I see how this works... ;)

Oh, and for back trouble, I recommend KG's Hi Speed Thrill Coaster...good for what ails ya! :)

Hey, Little Leaper was my 100th coaster (No Kiddin) That just makes up for that little dipper ride you got at Conneaut that I didn't.

Chuck, who won't even mention Jr Phantom :)

coasterqueenTRN said:

And I have never set off any metal detectors except for the wand thingies. That happened at LAX once.
I offered to show them my scars but luckily they believed I had metal rods in me and not an internal bomb or something.

It would just suck for me to walk by a HUGE magnet or something.


Then we do have something in common, Tina. I have two titanium rods in my back from a surgery when I was younger. I had scoliosis and it was never discovered until I had quit growing. I could have had back braces straighten me out if I had still been growing. Anyhoo, I was told that I couldn't ride any coasters as there would be too much jarring on my back. So, I had a five year hiatus until one day, I just couldn't picture myself never being able to ride again. So, I called my doctor and had a nurse ask him about it. His advice to me was this. Go ahead and try to ride, if you want. If it hurts, don't do it again. If it doesn't, I guess you're ok.

It does sound like a back spasm, but I'm no doctor. I've had two within the previous two years. A massage therapist friend of mine asked me what I was sleeping on and I told him on a futon (except it wouldn't be in the flat position). He told me to cut that out and I have. I'm back to sleeping on a regular bed and so far no more problems.
My dad had a terrible back pain (shot from his legs right up his spine, making him walk with a limp) until a night back seat ride on the Beast shock it out of him.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

rollergator said:

Oh, and for back trouble, I recommend KG's Hi Speed Thrill Coaster...good for what ails ya!

Causing it or getting rid of it? :)

I took a nice jolt at PPP this year riding with my god-daughter. (Tip #1-- DON'T turn to look at people who are standing by the Whip and then hit the bottom of that first dip before facing front again.)

Sometimes I think I'd feel better if I just laid across the tracks instead of in the train.

I've had two instances where I have suffered injuries where the only explanation was a coaster ride taken almost exactly a week earlier. In both cases the injury was a contusion, apparently to a muscle, and both instances happened this summer.

#1) This spring, I woke up one Saturday morning and could barely walk due to severe pain in my left thigh. That is my most severe coaster injury to date, it affected my ability to walk and to ride this entire summer, and the only possible cause for it was the time I got nailed by the lap bar on the Racer at Kings was a bruise to the quadricep, and it didn't start hurting until six days after the incident. It didn't STOP hurting until the later part of August.

#2) In late June I visited Lakeside Park and rode the Cyclone. Not knowing what to expect, I sat in the center of the back seat. At the bottom of the first drop, the train turned sharply to the left, I slid to the right and smashed *hard* into the outboard side of the seat. "That's gonna hurt in the morning," I thought. Much to my surprise, it didn't. It didn't hurt at all, again, for a full week. I noticed it a week later when I was driving down to Santa Monica, suddenly happy that I was driving a Cadillac that day instead of the Oldsmobile I had been driving for the previous ten days... That quit hurting after a day or two.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

I just wanted to thank you all for your replys!
I was a little afraid I would get some rough feeback for creating a topic like this, but it seems coaster fans are on top of their game in this respect as well.

BTW, I am feeling much better, only an occasional strange feeling is left, but it's exactly as the doctors have described what would happen, so it seems like I'm going to be completely back to normal again in a week or two.
I guess I'll just have to take some more care for myself in the future.

airtime for everyone

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