How do back problems effect kayaking? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-23-2004   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 89
How do back problems effect kayaking?

Ah, I threw out my back bad. It hurts so bad that I could barely walk a few days ago. It's feeling a little better now, but it hurts to miss kayaking season.

Anyone have any idea how much you use your back kayaking? It doesn't hurt to be in a kayaking position.

The strange thing is that I lifted something just the wrong way last Sunday and felt a tinge. I boated fine on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday morning I woke up in extreme pain. Strange that it would take more than two days for the pain to set in.

Any ideas how long I should give it a rest? I want to get back on the water ASAP.

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Old 05-23-2004   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 13

I'm a big believer in Chiropractics, but then my back problems stem from allignment. He gets me back in shape, usually same day, in order to play softball. I usually have to go back the next day after my game, to get put back in line, but I'm telling you, same day relief. Between the popping, therapy and ice, I usually feel like a new person following treatment. Sometimes he has to give me natural muscle relaxants, but they don't make you tired and stupid like prescrips.

If I'm not too bad, or don't have a game, I take ibuprophine, stretch and ice. It reduces swelling and I naturally get back in line over the course of a few days.

Good luck. Nothing makes me madder than being laid up due to my back or neck, so I can relate to your frustration.


P.S. Use ice, not a hot tub or heat. My chiropracter tells me hot tubs are his best referrals.
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Old 05-23-2004   #3
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 20

depends on what kind of kayaking you do. Class III river running doesn't work your back too much, but playing is the worst.

I have a good bit of back problems. I find that when I injure it (not quite to the point that you did) I need to stretch well about 3 times a day and take about 5 days off of kayaking (if I always stretched, I'd probably never injure it!).

After that, your back will be sore, but go kayaking. The next morning it will still hurt some, but keep stretching. It should be 100% in a week or two.
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Old 05-23-2004   #4
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12
After a severe lumbar strain & weeks of PT. I tried pilates and hamstring stretches. It works! My back will never be the same again but at least I can boat & ski like I used to (though I am a lot more careful). Try it!
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Old 05-23-2004   #5
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Lakewood, Colorasta
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 843
Unfortunately, we use our backs heaps while kayaking. Having good form while paddling is key, along with stretching, pilates, yoga, swimming (I find this most helpfull with staying loose). Stay forward in your boat and paddle with your whole body, not just your arms.

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Old 05-24-2004   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 163
I threw out my back out once my first season and twice last year kayaking. Been okay so far this year. Seems the spasms take longer to subside than the minor injuries to my back itself.

A couple suggestions are to do alot of stretching but be sure you left enough time for it to heal. Sit-ups, crunches or other ab exercises. Dead lifts are the best I've found for kayak specific back exercises (start really light and have perfect form for the dead lifts or you'll do more damage than helping yourself).

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Old 05-24-2004   #7
Monroe, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Back Excercises

I had back trouble for at least 30 years until I discovered these ab excercises on a paddling page abt. 5 years ago or so. I have them on my website at (don't type any letters ,www etc. just the numbers) click on fitness page then on back pain excercises I think. There is a link there to the orginal article too. Never had back problems since I started doing these and I only do 1 rep. each morning. Instead of the 3 they recommend. Takes about 10 min. per day. Best 10 mins. I've spent because I'm without pain the rest of the day. Email me if there are questions. Ron.
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