Minimizing risk of tendinitis

8 months 3 weeks ago #30688 by MCImes
Hi guys,
Over the winter, I have been diagnosed with mild tendinitis in both my hands and one elbow.
I have always had bum joints. Probably doesn't help I did physical labor for several years when I was young (not for almost a decade now though)

Paddling has always been a balance for me. My muscles can exert more force than my tendons can handle, and I'm only in my early 30s.

What can you wise ones tell me about mitigating tendinitis through stroke mechanics, stretches, focused exercises , ect.

I already use a small paddle (small mid wing or small think, both around 720cm2) but still exacerbate the condition with paddling. I think I have ok form, but have never been evaluated by a paddling coach. (I know I should schedule a couple sessions with a coach! Any recommendations in New England area, US?)

I'm towards the middle of a 2-3 month break right now, but want to have a strategy in place when the ice breaks up in a month or 2.

Any insight is appreciated.

Thanks!

Current Boats: Stellar SR Gen 1 Advantage
Past Boats: Epic V10 Gen 0 Performance
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all" - God from Futurama

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 3 weeks ago #30689 by davgdavg
I suffered from tennis/golf/surf elbow since before high school. I got one of these:

www.theraband.com/theraband-flexbar-resistance-bar.html

For me, it literally has been a miracle. What before would take at least a few weeks out of the water and lots of anti-inflamatories is now cured before it ever starts. Each sport that involves that muscle/tendon group aggravated mine. Surfing and baseball were the worst, but paddling could to it too. In high school I literally had to quit baseball because each year after a few weeks I couldn't throw the ball. It was like torture. Anyhow, like I said, the Flexbar and the associated exercises have been like a miracle for me.

(I'm around the same age as you too)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 3 weeks ago #30690 by AR_convert
A couple of things that worked for me when I first started out and has issues

- try different diameter shaft
- try reducing feather angle

Get your technique looked at, you still may be using too much arms, not enough core. Sometimes rotation is an illusion if you are swinging your arms across your body.

If you dont have someone locally to check, get someone with a smartphone that takes slow mo to video you and post it here for the peanut gallery to pull apart.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 2 weeks ago #30711 by WingSuit
There is actually a type of arthritis that affects connective tissue. If this issue perseveres you might want to check with a rheumatologist. I say that because of the OPs bum joints comment. If you feel the tendon barking you have to stop, rest, ice and Advil it until it goes away. One thing about tendonitis, the more it rubs, the more it swells. More swelling = more rubbing. Etc. one other thing, drink enough H2O.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 2 weeks ago - 8 months 2 weeks ago #30712 by MK
Get rid of feather altogether

Check out oscar at

See 33:00 for example...

I just paddle for the fun... Not looking for the 2% elite extra...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 2 weeks ago - 8 months 2 weeks ago #30713 by MK
I'm a beginner.
I've had stellar Sr, ses, ses V2, v14, lightweight spec ski. I started 18 months ago in kayaks. 2nd hand market in AU means can flip at minimum cost.

Go with the carbon, sub 13kg to keep the magic of surf ski.

But if you want to play in the break, get a spec ski, if you want rivers, get a v14 or glide.

Hank Mcgregor
*Rumor has it that you sometimes train on an EPIC V8? Is this true & why do you do this?
Ha Ha! How did you find that out? Yes I do, as it’s an awesome fun ski and very forgiving in big surf. Where I live, I launch at Tiffany’s Beach in Salt Rock, sometimes through 6 foot plus waves and the V8 pops really well and it is super stable.*

The above is for context; my greatest increases in stability have come from oblique & hip strength; and once that is down, relaxing the strokes in mixed conditions are possible.

(The idea on obliques came from someone that once trained with Robinson, said everything was regular at his level until they tested his torso power)

(For obliques/balance - can progress with weight belt)


(For hip power, still working on it...)




Just ideas...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 2 weeks ago - 8 months 2 weeks ago #30717 by Dicko
Tendonitis is typically an over use injury. You are either putting too much strain on the tendon or overtraining or perhaps not enough rest between sessions.

There are a couple of ways to go. Rest and anti-inflammatories. Or change something.

I explain to my patients that tendonitis is a bit like hitting your finger with a hammer. You can use as many bandaids and tablets and injections as you like , but until you stop hitting it with a hammer it aint going to get any better.

I paddle with a shorter shaft otherwise my forearms blow up. Probably more importantly make sure you are finishing your stroke just after you hips. Don't pull the blade too far back. It feels fast when you do this because you are grabbing a ton of water, but at the end of your stroke you are pulling the boat under water and that isn't quick. A short sharp finish at the end of the stroke, just after your hips, reduces a lot of the strain on your forearms.

Those are the 2 things that probably load your arms more than anything.

Tendonitis issues don't disappear overnight, if you reduce the load on your arms it will probably take a month or so to see gradual improvement. Then you can slowly increase your paddle length if you feel so inclined.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 2 weeks ago #30719 by davgdavg

Dicko wrote: There are a couple of ways to go. Rest and anti-inflammatories. Or change something.

I explain to my patients


I always had doctors tell me the same thing, then I stumbled on the Theraband like I said. You should have your clients give it a shot, it works amazingly well for a lot of people.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

8 months 2 weeks ago #30720 by MCImes
Thanks guys. I've been resting for the last month or so. Luckily it's been cold as hell in the northeast US so it's been easier to resist the urge to paddle.

Doc has me on Meloxin (?) anti inflamitory too, although I have to say after a couple weeks things haven't improved much. I'm sure a couple paddles would exacerbate things again.

During the summer I paddle approx 2-3 days a week for 1-2 hours, so not really an excessive amount imo.

I should say, I can see how making sure I exit the stroke on time at my hips would help with the elbow but I still have the hands as well (not the wrists though). I'll be sure to keep the exit timing at the front of my mind next time I paddle.

I'll be sure to try the reduced feather as well. I typically use a 40* feather, but will try 25-30 or less and see if that helps at all too.

I'll look into the bar thing as well. For as little as it costs, I see no harm trying.

Thanks for the ideas . Keep them coming if you have any mor!

Thanks again

Current Boats: Stellar SR Gen 1 Advantage
Past Boats: Epic V10 Gen 0 Performance
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all" - God from Futurama

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 4 weeks ago #30898 by MCImes
So I'm reviving this thread with some additional questions.

For context, I have not paddled in about 3 months since sometime in November. I have been seeing a physical therapist for a little over a month, doing stretches for my hands and arms multiple times daily, and getting 'ultrasonic massage' (or something like that) once a week at the PT. Also, I have been avoiding most activity as much as I can ( but i've had to shovel snow and do light household chores as you would expect).

Even with avoiding most activity, doing stretches, and weekly PT, my hand and elbow has not gotten better and may even feel worse. This leaves me very worried, as my life will be significantly less joyful and fulfilled if I lose the ability to paddle long term.

To anyone who has experienced tendonitis, what should I look into for my next steps? I dont feel like the current approach is doing anything meaningful. Any advice?

Thanks for any thoughts!

Current Boats: Stellar SR Gen 1 Advantage
Past Boats: Epic V10 Gen 0 Performance
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all" - God from Futurama

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 4 weeks ago #30899 by WingSuit
I have been plagued by tendinitis/tendinosis my whole adult life, in various places. Courtesy of bad genes. Have had a few cortisone shots over the years, with good success. Recently, my left shoulder was very painful, and I took three months off of paddling, since I was going out of town anyway. It was just as painful when I got back as when I left, even with all that rest. Had a shot in the biceps tendon, rested a couple more days, then I have been pain free ever since. Lots of folks don’t like cortisone shots, and some feel the same way about any type of surgery too. Have had a few of those too with complete success. It isn’t my first choice, but for me the occasional injection into a stubborn tendon has been effective.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 4 weeks ago #30902 by davgdavg
Did you try the Therabar ?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 4 weeks ago #30903 by MK
I had lower back pain. I did deadlifts (70kgx50,30 reps) daily for 3 months. I ate a bit and put on 9 kg, 6 kg lean (dexa).

I went from wearing a lifting belt so tight it numbed the pain (I had purple lines), to 98% pain free in the 3 months

Here is the physio I took my MRI to... Went through a couple that wanted to put me out on the Pilates/stretches paddock...

m.facebook.com/Functional-Strength-Rehab...ion-472270909559950/

I would give dave's band a chance if it involves strengthening and has worked for him...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 4 weeks ago #30904 by Cerca Trova
Being 65 and having numerous sports injuries through the years, combined with many hours of paddling this has been an ongoing problem. Along with the Thera-Band I use a Stott Pilates SPX Reformer. Not only has it helped with my shoulders, I also get a full body workout, sans joint stress. Check it out!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 4 weeks ago #30905 by WingSuit
I do complete weight and resistance workouts two to three times a week, to include resistance bands. Not sure if it’s the type you sell. I will agree that a lot of people who get tendon injuries need to strengthen the surrounding/supporting muscles, but in my case my shoulders and arms are plenty strong. I rarely miss a workout. I still tweeked that biceps tendon, and the only thing that would untweek it was a shot. Say again, there are times when rest, ice, anti inflamatories don’t get you there.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 3 weeks ago #30910 by rhainan
Early into the 2016 season I developed pretty significant pain in my left elbow. Up until that point I had no pain issues in elbows or shoulders after five years of relatively moderate paddling. The issue came out of the blue and by the end of June I was unable to paddle much. To make matters worse I then began experiencing similar pain in the right elbow as well.

I tried various methods of rehabilitation throughout the rest of 2016 and basically shut down my paddle training. The pain got worse and an MRI confirmed tearing of the tendon that would require surgery. I had the surgery in February of 2017. By August I was pain free in the left elbow and had begun to resume limited paddling and racing. However, the right elbow continued to deteriorate. I had the same surgery on my right elbow in November 2017. I am hoping to resume a normal training regime this summer.

There is no smoking gun as to what caused my issues. Overuse? Possibly, but if so my capacity for paddling must be very low. I am a multi sport athlete so even at the height of the season I only devote 3 hours maximum a week to paddling. Most of the time it is even less than that. Bad technique? While nobody would say I am a natural born paddler, Olympic athletes, world champions and accomplished coaches alike have looked at my stroke and have not noticed anything wildly incorrect. In the end it probably comes down to my age and my DNA.

Once I am completely healed (if that is possible) I will soldier on with a different approach to paddling. I hoping a combination of strengthening with weights and Theraband combined with lower intensity workouts will do the trick.

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 1 week ago #31053 by red_pepper
Like some of the others, I have been doing some P.T. exercises with a theraband, removed most of the feather from my paddle, etc. It can still be problematic at time. I've gone to primarily paddling outrigger canoe for a season, since the canoe stroke seems to be easier on all of my joints/tendons, and it helps build the complementary muscles used in the kayak stroke. I also applied gel bicycle handlebar tape to my paddle shaft to cushion the impact on my joints (particularly for fingers and wrist). A few ideas you might try...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 months 6 days ago #31061 by Bodsy
Hi MCImes, I'm with Davg on this re the therabar, a few years ago was having plenty of trouble with both elbows - first one then the other and very low grip strength etc. had a bit of physio, anti-inflams etc but the thing that worked amazingly well for me was the therabar - not too expensive and there's obviously something about the specific movement etc that just works! maybe not for everyone but I'd definitiely give it a go! and good luck, no paddling is not fun!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

nell's Avatar

Looking for a new GPS (6 Posts)

3 hours 45 minutes ago
firtree's Avatar

Paddle grabbing enough? (6 Posts)

5 hours 54 minutes ago
nell's Avatar

Wing Paddle Recommendations? (6 Posts)

1 day 54 minutes ago
Protected by R Antispam