Is Skiing Bad for Your Back?

Skiing is not necessarily bad for your back, just like other athletic activities aren’t bad for it either. But if you already have a bad back or are dealing with injury or weakness, skiing can worsen the problem or put you at greater risk. 

I’m Christine, and I created this blog to help other skiers get all the information they want to know about the sport. I’ve been skiing most of my life, and my back is strong and healthy, but I’ve done some research to come up with the information here. 

This post will explore if skiing is bad for your back. I’ll provide some information about back injuries and skiing and give you some things to consider if you are dealing with back issues but still want to ski. 

Let’s get after it.

Key Takeaways

  • Skiing isn’t any worse for your back than other athletic activities. But it is a high-impact sport with a risk for back injuries and other issues. 
  • If you already have a bad back or another back injury, skiing will most likely not be the best activity for you. Skiing places stress and impacts the lower back area, and there is a risk of worsening it. 
  • If you are in good physical condition with a healthy back, your chances of injuring your back while skiing is not high. But accidents happen, and it is always possible. 

Is Skiing Bad for Your Back? 

In general, skiing isn’t completely bad for your back. Back injuries and other issues are possible while skiing, but being out in the snow isn’t any riskier than other athletic activities. But skiing is a high-impact sport that can cause complications for previous back injuries.

I’ve been skiing nearly my entire life, and I have not experienced any back issues resulting from being on the mountain. I’ve had my fair share of other injuries and issues caused by skiing, but a back problem is one of them. 

That is just my personal experience with things, but I think it shows that even if you ski often and aggressively (like I do), you aren’t at a huge risk for back issues just because you participate in the sport. 

Back injuries are certainly possible while skiing, just like other injuries. It’s a high-impact sport that can be risky and dangerous, no matter how much experience you have. But shoulder and knee injuries are more common than back problems while skiing. 

If you already have a bad back, then skiing probably isn’t the best thing you can do for it. Skiing involves using your back a lot, absorbing shock from all the impacts, and twisting and turning. All of this can cause stress to a back that’s in bad shape. 

Skiing with Herniated Disc

If you are dealing with a back issue like a herniated disc, your chances for further back injury are more prevalent while skiing. You need to be careful doing anything if you have a disc issue, and skiing can make things worse. 

You should always check with your doctor or another healthcare professional if you have back issues and want to ski. You don’t want to make things worse or experience setbacks, so sometimes taking time away from the mountain is a good idea.

Upper Back Pain After Skiing

It is common to feel some soreness or pain in your back after skiing, especially earlier in the season when you aren’t in skiing shape. This is also true for anyone new to the sport who is just learning how to do it. 

Like any other physical activity, you use muscles while skiing that you probably don’t in the rest of your day-to-day life. This includes your back muscles, and all the twisting and turning can make you feel sore after skiing. 

But if the pain doesn’t get better or sticks around for a long time, you may have injured yourself. Take it easy for a few days to see if the pain improves before attempting to ski again. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to if skiing is bad for your back. 

Can I ski with degenerative disc disease? 

It is risky to ski with degenerative disc disease, and the impact and compression caused while skiing are likely to worsen the issue. Always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional if you have this disease and want to ski. 

How do I strengthen my back for skiing? 

A general strength training plan is a great way to strengthen your back for skiing. Many exercises can help with this, such as squats and deadlifts. But strengthening your core muscles will also help you develop a stronger back for skiing. 

Final Thoughts

Skiing can be difficult on your back if you already have back issues or don’t have much strength in that area of your body. But if you are generally in good shape and don’t have any back issues, then skiing is totally ok. 

There is always a risk of injury while skiing, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your time in the snow. 

Have you ever injured your back while skiing or doing another athletic activity? Let me know in the comments below.

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