accommodating a bad back in rafting - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-06-2008   #1
 
Davis, California
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accommodating a bad back in rafting

so my wife hurt her back this year and finds the typical foward/backward leaning motion painful. was wondering if anyone has any tips on modifying her paddle technique to alleviate some of the pain , it was a lower back injury. twisting normally doesn't hurt

thanks

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Old 03-06-2008   #2
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Baytopia, Colorado
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Wow sorry to hear that. I'm not a doctor but play one on the buzz and any doc would say don't try to row with a bad back. Set up a lounge chair in the back for her and you do the rowing (on nice mellow rivers of course).

Now if she still insists on rowing - a high back seat would certainly help since you can push with just your arms (pulling would be problematic). hope this helps.
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Old 03-06-2008   #3
LSB
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Huson, Montana
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How about one of the back support straps like the old guys at home depot wear. I have a ruptured disk in my lower back and sometimes wear one pushed way down and snugged real tight. Its uncomfortable as hell but it helps
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Old 03-06-2008   #4
 
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Icebox, Colorado
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bad back

I have three buldging discs, L3 to S1. I find sitting up super straight and rowing hand over hand works alot. When i consistently do rehab every night on and off the rivver that helps a ton as well. Hope this helps... Bad Backs Suck.
ian
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Old 03-06-2008   #5
 
Westminster, Colorado
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I actually did my master's thesis on back pain in raft guides. A couple things that I gleaned from that:
- Stay active. If she can row without pain - do it. Do lots of stretching & physical therapy.
- Don't overrely on supports - i.e. belts / braces / etc. Don't let the muscles weaken.
- Watch out for sudden, jerking motions. A controlled stroke probably won't do damage, catching a rock with the oar in a rapid might.
- Be careful with full flexion (i.e. leaning way forward) with a load.

Good luck to her,
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Old 03-06-2008   #6
 
Davis, California
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she is more concerned with paddling, no rowing for her yet, but thanks for the advice so far
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Old 03-06-2008   #7
 
Westminster, Colorado
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paddling kayaks or rafts?
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Old 03-07-2008   #8
 
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Bozeman, Montana
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build your core muslces to help take some of the stress of your back that way your muscles support the weight of your upper body and lots and lots of stretching and exercises. everyday is key to get it to feel better.
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Old 03-07-2008   #9
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yoga

My wife is a yoga instructor, and she suggests starting to take yoga classes for the back, with a skilled and experienced instructor in your area. The daily/weekly yoga will help heal the back and build core strength, so that paddling will be less painful.
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Old 03-07-2008   #10
 
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Golden, Colorado
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My backs screwed and I still guide, try this. On the forward stroke just lean forward a little but get full extension with your upper arm and about 3/4 with your lower, be sure to keep your elbow below your shoulder or you'll have another problem. Then push down with your upper arm, with the elbow low, pulling down and back with the lower arm. At the same time rotate from your waist. It's a shorter stroke but you still get good power when you drive the paddle down as you rotate. Hope that helps.
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