Now, maybe you are wondering just how much you can kayak without causing too much damage to your back. This can be on your mind if you experience back pain from time to time! Well, the good news is that kayaking does not cause any damage or pain in your back, provided you exercise certain precautions. In this article, we will share with you all the information you need to join the dots between kayaking and back pain? Want to know more about it? Let us get started.
The Connection Between Kayaking And Back Injury
You have to understand that your back comprises of parts like muscles, ligaments, and vertebrae. All of these come into play when you indulge in an activity like kayaking. Some kayakers may experience a sprained back, but that is either because they are just starting or using improper postures. Back injuries can also occur when you push yourself to the limits, you should remember that your muscles undergo fatigue, and is important to give them time to recover. With a little caution, you can prevent nasty back injuries.
Performing certain exercises to strengthen your back is a good way to eliminate the chances of back pain. You may experience discomfort in your back because your spine is out of alignment, which can worsen if you indulge in too much kayaking.
Can You Build Strong Back Muscles Through Paddling?
For regular folks paddling may look like it’s a walk in the park, but it is so much more than that. You should know that one has to put a lot of effort into moving the boat in a forward direction. Paddling engages all the major muscles in your body, particularly your back. This is a lot like dumbbell rows in the gym. With kayaking, you can expect to pack on some lean and strong muscle mass in your body but it will take some time.
How To Eliminate Or Manage Back Pain During Kayaking?
Kayaking involves your back, shoulders, and upper arms, but the pain is experienced mostly in the lower region of the back. This part of your body is responsible for managing the weight of the body.
Here are some ways to manage your back pain better while indulging in kayaking.
Home Treatment for Muscle Soreness
Sometimes too much kayaking can cause sore muscles and this is not uncommon. This can be treated or managed following some home remedies. For example when you are at home try not to lie down or sit too much, try to be a little active. You could try doing exercises such as planks and bridges. These exercises prevent your back muscles from becoming stiff.
Try An Alternate Position
If your kayaking route is a long one you could end up paddling for hours together and this can take a toll on your back. So, do consider taking a break and making stops near the shoreline, from time to time. Get out of the boat and take a few steps and do some stretches to get rid of any stiffness. This will also give your back some time to readjust.
Stretching Before You Go Kayaking
Stretching before a kayaking trip is a very good idea as you will sit in a position for a long time. Try it for about 20 minutes and it should prevent your back from experiencing any stiffness. Some warm up exercises will also make sure that your body has proper blood circulation.
Lift The Kayak Properly
Kayaks a very heavy can sometimes weigh more than 100 pounds. You should try to stick to lighter kayaks if you know that you might throw out your back. You can sustain serious back injuries if you list the kayak using an improper posture. It is always wise to seek help from your fellow paddlers to help you while lifting a kayak.
Proper Paddling Technique
Proper technique is everything, using the wrong paddling technique can have serious side effects on your back and that is something you should avoid. You should not rotate the upper portion of your body while you are paddling. Try to employ the core muscles of your body while you are paddling. Also, while you are paddling pay attention to any pain or straining. This is an indication that you are not using the right posture.
It is important to sit properly in an upright position while paddling. However, even when you are sitting upright ensure you do not let your back muscles become too stiff, try to keep them relaxed. You should have your knees kept in a bent position as this will protect your joints.
Tweaking Your Kayak
Many different kayaks are available in the market and all you have to do is select the right one for yourself. You can also add kayak seats to make things more comfortable.
Is It Ok To Kayak With A Back Pain?
The best way to proceed is to consult a doctor, who will give your back an examination to tell if you should go or not go kayaking. Kayaking with a sore back can give rise to a host of serious issues. So, it is always better to wait until the pain has subsided completely.
Summing it up
There is nothing wrong with experiencing back pain once in a while after kayaking, but practice caution if the pain is constant and it has been around for more than a week. Then it is possibly a result of kayaking using poor pastures. With the information above you should now be able to manage and eliminate back pain to indulge in your favorite sport without inhibitions or fear. So, go ahead and have the time of your life.
Arthur G. Moore is a veteran paddler. He has over 10 years of whitewater kayaking experience in his kitty. When he was young, he used to love kayaking in rapid III and rapid IV but as time went on, he decided to concentrate mainly on covering long distances on a standard touring kayak. He is currently working as a senior editor for Kayak Manual.