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lumbar pain - afraid of chop ?

5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #23660 by Teddy_the_grownup
Can choppy conditions result in a compressed disc on a surf ski or was this caused from another issue - like, bad form.

Summary: I was out in my dry suit for 10KM in choppy conditions for 1 hour 25 mins. The temp was about -2C. Two days later my lumbar started hurting. Six weeks later it is still tender. I have been out on flat water with no pain. I am only 95-98% recovered. I have never had back pain like this before.

Conditions: Air temp: -2C.
Waves were about 1 meter ( 3 feet appart ) in shallow water. The water depth was about 1-2m. The waves were about 1m high. I was being hit by waves in all directions.

How do I prevent this in the future ?

S18S stellar ski since 12/14

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5 years 8 months ago #23665 by red_pepper
If you're in conditions that cause you to be "stability challenged", you'll find yourself overworking muscles and various parts of your body in unexpected ways as you fight to stay upright. You may not even notice at the time (until you find yourself suddenly worn out), but not long after you'll find pain and tenderness arising. Judging by your description of conditions, I suspect that's what happened. Of course, compromised form is generally part of that equation, as you do things like stiffen your body and chop at the water with your paddle.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Teddy_the_grownup

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5 years 8 months ago #23675 by PaddleFaster
red-pepper, this may not be your situation but I thought I would mention it just in case.

If your dry suit is a snug fit and restrictive in the shoulders and back, the lack of give in the material can cause a little bit of what --for lack of a better term-- I refer to as torque-compression.

I had a snug dry suit a while back and when I went through the rotation of the stroke, the dry suit became taught around my my shoulders causing them to be slightly pulled downward. Across my back, the material also became taught and my twist during the stroke was slightly restricted.

This gave my back some slight compression which led to the exact pain and tenderness that you are describing.

It's the same kind of thing I have also experienced while wearing fishing waders and a weighted down tackle bag on my shoulders for hours while walking along the surf and fishing. Or overdoing it with overhead lifting of weight.

If your dry suit fits in the way I described above, this may be the problem.

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5 years 8 months ago #23676 by Teddy_the_grownup
My dry suit has suspenders and bunches up. But, I don't think it is the issue. I reviewed my paddle video since this post. I noticed my posture looked rigid in the chop. I also was making a lot of choppy inefficient strokes until I got comfortable. So, I guess bad form and a general rigidity hurt my back here. Even though I had a dry suit on I was worried about falling in. So, I paddled too close to shore where it was choppy. Additionally, I have noticed even on flat water I start out rigid and then relax as I paddle. It seems like I just need to learn how to relax quicker. I paddle better when I am loose. Maybe stretching before getting in the boat will help.

S18S stellar ski since 12/14

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5 years 8 months ago #23698 by Crossey
To add to comments by others my experience hasn't been of a compressed disc (but I know from others how painful it is so you have my sympathy) but I have paddled with, and worked around lower back pain.

My experience over a number of years is that my back pain seems to be caused by lazy technique with respect to leg drive and hip rotation combined with getting lazy on stretching and core strength work.

I think what happens (for me) is that if I get lazy with my leg drive I start compensate for the decreased hip rotation by increasing rotation in the lower back which leads to the back pain. Likewise if I get lazy with stretching.

It gets exacerbated in choppier conditions. I think for me it is more to do with the quick changes in tempo associated with chasing runners than any reduced stability. I find under those conditions I have to be a bit more intentional with my technique.

The other thing I've learnt the hard way is not to try to push through back pain. I try to use it as an indicator to focus on leg drive but I shorten the session if that doesn't help.

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