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Old 08-04-2008   #11
JCKeck1's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,471
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The Werner bent-shaft fixed it for me....Haven't had the pain since I switched several years ago.

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Old 08-04-2008   #12
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 20
forearm straps

Over trained many years ago with a graphite wing blade paddle and wrecked my elbows. Ignoring it over the years made it worse and finally my work (I'm a builder) made it so bad I struggled to turn a screwdriver.

Did PT, learned to do simple forearm stretches and after trying different straps settled on the black neoprene. Simple straps were fine, but accidently found these about 4 months ago at a tennis shop and they have worked much better for me.

BandIT Tennis Elbow Strap

Just finished up a project where we hauled 250 cubic yards of dirt out of a basement using 5 gallon buckets. Hard on your elbows and these straps did the trick. A little bulky with the plastic, but they work great. They do make you look dorky but that doesn't matter to me.

Good luck,

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Old 08-04-2008   #13
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Originally Posted by Kimy View Post
Thanks Mike, I read your pulizter-winning Fibark article in the Spray and emailed you separately. Question, since it really got it bad at Fibark, what did you do immediately after. Did you stop paddling for a while or just try and 'relax' your way through it. I've got about 6 days off now, but am headed for 5 days of paddling next trying to settle it down by then. Did you find keyboarding made it worse?? (I better shut up.<gg>)
I wish I had an answer. I did start paddling less but the main thing that seemed to help was adjusting my grip. I was over-gripping the wing paddle badly, so I started releasing the fingers on my right hand every time I took a left stroke. The fact is it did not really go away until I stopped paddling my DR boat so much, so I think time off is probably best. That said, take Advil and go paddling next week. Paddle now, heal later.
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Old 08-04-2008   #14
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 44
If you take enough Ibuprofen eventually your stomach will hurt so much you will forget all about the elbow.
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Old 08-04-2008   #15
phoenix, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 18
I got rid of mine by doing these three things.

first someone already posted on this...relax between strokes. Not always possible on big water..

Second......stetch your fingers backwards.....Its all connected all the way up to your elbow.....

third find a cold a pipe and lean against it and put pressure directly over the painful area. It doesn't have to be a bar but a bar works the best and the colder it is the better..

I know this sounds funky but try it......

a cold bar will work on your calves also. How the heck did I learn this? Well for about 2 months straight I had a knot in my calf...I tried everything. One day I went to the movies and there was the bar railing in front of me and it was cold inside the movie theater...I leaned my calf up on the bar and when the movie was over the pain was completely gone. I had full mobility again. Since then I have done this on any of my aches and pains......Kayaking is great for giving you a workout like no other.
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Old 08-04-2008   #16
vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 26
instead of advil try homeopathic traumeel or arnica, easier on the stomach.
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Old 08-04-2008   #17
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
As others have said, if you haven't tried a bent shaft, I would get one. I've found them to make an enormous difference in stress on the joints.
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Old 08-04-2008   #18
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Anyone heard of exercising?

Originally Posted by Kimy View Post
Hey you beat-up buzzards, anybody have advice for elbow pain from kayaking?
Well, as everybody seems to say bent-shaft over and over like a broken record, I'll chime in with some very unpopular advise: First, take a break, then exercise and lift weights. Most cases of Tennis elbow are the result of overuse on muscles that are, for lack of a better description, flabby and unused. Prep-ing for the season with lifting and regular arm exercise (swimming is excellent) will go a long way. Also, stretching after paddling is key. For your ailment, first extend your arm straight out, then grab your hand and rotate your hand/arm gently to the inside (clockwise for left arm and so forth). This should stretch those muscles. If that's not clear (and I'm sure it's not) then look up stretches online.

Tennis Elbow Exercise

The stretch is the same motion as the Forearm Pronation / Supination listed in the above site, but you want to keep rotating so your thumb points down.

As a disclaimer to lessen then chances that I'll get sued for this advise... I advise no one to ever take my advise (the English language is so fun)!
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Old 08-04-2008   #19
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
DON'T go buy a bent shaft. It will not get rid of the problem. I have had tendonitis with both straight and bent shaft paddles. I've had it in both arms (at different times) with both straight and bent shafts. I am pretty sure the cause of mine has been the use of a stiff paddle, and maybe some overgripping. I've found the best method for dealing with the ailment is prevention through working opposing muscles (pushups, various forearm excercises, climbing, etc). The only time I've had the tendonitis pop up since adopting this has been after paddling 20+ days straight (which is unfortunately rare these days). And the only cure that I know of is rest. Although vitimin A before and after boating along with icing seems to help alot. But aside from repeating what everyone else has already said, my point is getting a bent shaft, from my experience will not alleviate the problem.
Chris Morrison
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Old 08-04-2008   #20
aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1

Besides switching to a bent shaft, what really works for me is a devise called a power ball. it's like a gyroscope inside of a plastic ball. It costs about $25- I got mine at a chiropractor's office. Only use it for 2 minutes per hand twice a day. Good luck!

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