Paddle advice for a bum sholder.

9 years 1 month ago #13152 by Newbflat
Hi all..

I'm slowly recovering from a long time rotator cuff injury and paddling (gently) 5 days a week at the moment. I'm about to purchase a surfski for fitness paddling and fun and would like a wing as well. I am i bit concerned about what it will do to my shoulder. At the moment I'm paddling with a standard smallish flat blade and quite flexy shaft. I'm curious on what my options are for wings for my condition. should i just settle on something like an Epic small/mid wing with the maroon shaft .... or should i be looking at something else. I had an MRI on it and was told its a small tare and i probably shouldn't bother with surgery and fix it with rehab.. Besides doing my exercises and getting in paddling time, any other tips on paddling with a rotator cuff issue?


Bill

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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9 years 1 month ago #13156 by latman
"wing blades" are naturally stiffer due to their shape , make sure to get the most flexible shaft you can (and no adjuster in the centre to make it stiffer)

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9 years 1 month ago #13158 by Rightarmbad
Go short as well as small, lower loads and lower shoulder angle.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 1 month ago #13162 by robin.mousley
Hmm... I'm battling a rotator cuff irritation at the moment too. Had it for 2 months now, seemed to be improving, but every time I paddle it irritates it again.

It's not severe - at worst it's 2-3/10 on the pain scale but it's got me nervous - i don't want it to become a chronic condition. So I'm off to see a surgeon on Tuesday to get a diagnosis. I'm fully expecting a cortisone shot in the joint plus rehab exercises.

Getting older is a pain in the arse.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 1 month ago #13164 by Newbflat
So who makes a forgiving paddle with the most flexible shaft?

If i want to keep a bit lower paddling angle, is there a paddle shape more oriented to a lower angle stroke?


Bill

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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9 years 1 month ago #13179 by Gazz
I have a troublesome left shoulder ( I wouldn't mind betting that most are left shoulder issues ) which takes 3 klms or more to free up and stop hurting. I find that going out easy with the paddle shortened right down helps a lot. Then once it's warmed up I can crack on as hard as I like.

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9 years 1 month ago - 9 years 1 month ago #13197 by 1xsculler
My right shoulder never hurts while I'm paddling but it starts to ache in the afternoon after a morning paddling session. I've found that if I ice it for about twenty minutes as soon as I've put my ski away I have no problem. An MRI showed some inflamation but no other damage. It is a little worrysome, though, as I don't want to do any permanent damage or make it so I can't pick-up my grandchildren.

I had the same problem when I started rowing about seven years ago and after three years of icing the problem went away.
At age 68 everything hurts at some time or another.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 1 month ago #13198 by Newbflat
I did mine in 20 years ago. While surfing a sea kayak on the Oregon coast in a winter storm i failed to recognize that i was sitting in the rip and found my self way out in the outer brake when the big set came in. Another bad decision had it brake on by bow. A friend said i did 4 cartwheels in a 17 foot boat.... all i remember is hitting my helmet on the back deck, then the foredeck, then back, fore, back, fore, back....... I kept trying to role and just before bailing my last rolled worked. I side surfed to shore and called it a day. My shoulder was never the same. I was paddling a lot so i had strong shoulders and continue to white water paddle for years. It was only soar the next day, worse while driving?! ....or if i went on a sea kayaking trip and slogged into the wind for hours.

Years later after an MRI the doc said its a very small tear and is not worth surgery. I should just do rehab.

Now, years later I'm actually doing what i was suppose to do. I'm trying to paddle for fitness and I'm working hard at getting my shoulder into shape.. slowly and methodically.

I just need to find the right paddle.

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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9 years 1 month ago - 9 years 1 month ago #13201 by richardh
My shoulder damage initially showed up after I finished paddling and it was painful to lift my arm to take my rashie off. Medical advice was rest and stretching and this appeared to really weaken my shoulder. I started paddling again a few months later and found that I needed to keep my arms lower than my shoulder for pain free paddling.

I found that short paddle shaft worked well

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9 years 1 month ago #13214 by Physio
I had refrained from getting into this as I don't have time to fully answer, but thought a cpl of tips might help. Rotator cuff injuries are prob the most common injury i see, even more than low back pain.

1. The reason these injuries don't heal is a lack of good blood supply in the sub-acromial arch therefore I never advise ice-ing as this just decreases blood flow further
2. Inflammation limits how free the shoulder moves, if you keep rubbing the tendons the inflam will become chronic, so avoid the "painful arch" area
3 keep pushing arm a bit lower, putting normal effort into the pulling arm shouldn't be too bad. after exit keep elbow up higher than yr wrist, although this brings yr arm up high the most commonly injured rotator cuff (supra spinatus) externally rotates your arm so trying to lift yr wrist higher than elbow will load up this muscle.

Def use shorter length to decrease load

I don't see any reason to look for a flexible shaft at a set length the flexibility won't change how much force is transferred/required to achieve a set speed. In fact flexibility cld be worse in some cases.

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9 years 1 month ago #13215 by robin.mousley
Just went to the surgeon to find... I had the wrong month; my appointment was for October :-( Worth going though because the receptionist took pity on me and gave me a slot next week from a cancellation.

But however, I mentioned to the great Oscar Chalupsky that I'd buggered my shoulder and apart from saying that he knew it was going to happen because of my shit stroke, he recommended a drill to improve my rotation.

Basically, he said to keep my elbows pinned to my sides and to paddle by dipping the blade into the water and twisting my torso - kind of extreme rotation drill.

Well, this weekend, even having only done the drill a small amount, I was hyper-aware of my rotation. I think I was rotating a whole lot better and I felt as though I was achieving more power in the water with less strain on my shoulder.

According to Oscar a lot of shoulder problems are repetitive strain injuries brought on by bad stroke technique. I'm putting words into his mouth, but that's what I understood his friendly abuse of my style to mean.

So, in summary:
  • Check the date and time of your appointment before driving to the doctor(!)
  • Work on stroke technique if you want to reduce the likelihood of developing shoulder injuries

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 1 month ago #13221 by 1xsculler
Back to ice-ing I'd guess the post recommending against it is from a health care professional and I'm sure he knows what he's talking about.
My experience as a dentist who does a lot of surgery, i.e. wisdom tooth extractions and implants, is if my patients apply ice, ten minutes on and ten minutes off, for four hours after surgery they have little post surgical swelling and pain. If they don't follow those instructions they have much, much more swelling and pain. Ice is nearly miraculous in these situations.
When I ice my shoulder after rowing or paddling, for ten to twenty minutes, I don't have any aching later that day. If I don't ice I experience a dull ache as the day wears on.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 1 month ago #13226 by Physio
Robin> hadn't got to rotation, but I totally agree that a lack of rotation and therefore reliance on shoulder movement is likley the cause of most paddling rotator cuff injuries ( of course rolling down a wave and getting smashed will also do it). So increasing rotation is good (like you all didn't already know that).

I guess both robin and scullers posts point out you shouldn't be taking all your medical advice from a forum, just use these comments as ideas to guide further research. Just because i use a medical term as my forum name doesn't mean i know anything. My posts are always opinion, which i'm happy to argue, also happy to change my opinion if people have a better argument.

Icing: In thinking about scullers comments I think the dif is that the mouth has an abundance of blood flow, so loosing some to icing with the advantage of decreasing adverse inflammation will be very beneficial.However the rotator cuff group (well there tendons) have notoriously poor blood supply to the point of being avascular in some cases, so regular icing of a tendon which has a tear will limit the ability of that tendon to heal. Possibly scullers pain is coming just from inflammation without any tear which needs healing, so by decreasing that swelling you are stopping your pain.I still have this gut feeling that if you continue doing this over a long time you risk having a recurring painful area.Much better to stop irritating the raw inflamed area, by increasing rotation and changing yr stroke to not rub or load up the bursa(or tissue getting inflamed)

My rules for icing ( and i've never treated a face,mouth injury) are if a jnt is much bigger than it should be, swollen ankle knee, then ice 10 min every 2-4 hrs for first 12-48 hrs post initial injury. but not to ice any area which you dont want to decrease blood flow, or if you cant see the swelling ( if swelling is really deep then you wont be able to cool it by applying ice to the skin anyway)

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9 years 1 month ago #13255 by Bermy
Replied by Bermy on topic Re: Paddle advice for a bum sholder.
I had r-cuff issues 4 years ago and relied on 5th hand info from a very knowledgeable gent named Oscar, that to avoid shoulder injuries you have to keep your elbows tucked in next to your sides. Only way I could achieve that was to shorten my paddle considerably. Dropped it to a 205-208 (angled around 60 degrees). Problem solved within a few weeks and never returned.

Cheers
S.S.

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9 years 1 month ago #13276 by 1xsculler
I'm going to try keeping my elbows in the next time I go for a paddle, as I am constantly nursing my right shoulder, but it seems to me that you would lose a lot of power by paddling that way.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 1 month ago - 9 years 1 month ago #13279 by Kayaker Greg
Not at all, the strongest part of your stroke is from the catch and pulling the paddle down the side of the ski with a straight arm and using leg drive and torso rotation, a lot of paddlers seem to paddle from the catch and to the outside very soon, I was told to squeeze the water along the side of the ski and pretend there is a tennis ball under your armpit, once the paddle reaches the knee you can start to move the paddle to the outside but you do not need to lift the elbow too high and open the shoulder during the power part of the stroke like a lot of multisport and ski paddlers seem too. The closer the paddle gets to your hip the less power is produced, this is where the focus is on exit so you are not loading up your shoulder. Sometimes it helps to move the paddle outwards a little earlier for stability in rougher water, however the most power is still created at the beginning of the stroke where your arm is straight and your legs, torso and back are doing the work. Your shoulder needs to be stable to prevent injuries. Lift or open it and it becomes weak. Think how you would pull on a rope during a tug of wall, you wouldn't open up the shoulder to the outside would you?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rod Thomas

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9 years 1 month ago #13285 by 1xsculler
I'd like to see a vid of someone paddling with their elbows held close to their torso. Do you know of any?
This sounds like a really good way to prevent shoulder injuries and to reduce the stress and wear and tear on a shoulder that is already agravated.
Thanks for the post.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 1 month ago #13286 by Kayaker Greg
The elbow is not held close to the torso during the pull, it is out in front of you.

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9 years 1 month ago #13287 by 1xsculler
Thanks for that clarification. This will give me something to work on tomorrow.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 1 month ago #13288 by Kayaker Greg
1xsculler, I'm no great paddler, been told the theory and work on my technique and have a long way to go myself, it doesn't all come together quickly, it takes many years of work, video yourself if you can, get some coaching, trouble is many different people will also tell you different things, but recently I did a CRNZ Development Camp and it was explained how to develop physical competence and the importance of doing things that are biomechanically correct for the bodys structure and to avoid unwanted compensatory movements that increase injury risk, the shoulder needs to work a certain way to stay strong and prevent injuries, I've passed it on as best I can. The tutor that passed it on to me would no doubt be able to explain it much better.
If you are experiencing pain its likely the technique you are using is not optimal and possibly making things worse ie putting your shoulder into a weak position.

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