Surfing is a great sport that combines plenty of swimming, daylong cardio workouts (all that swimming!) with complicated moves that require great balance and skill. All delivered with buckets of adrenaline! Woot!
If you’ve been lucky enough to ride a full-sized cylinder you know what it feels like when the water hits you with tons of downforce. Then, sucks you along underwater as it heads for the shore at an increasing rate. Staying in the pipeline too long will get you face planted on the sandy bottom for a second or two before being brutally hauled along with the wave. It hurts to think about it, but if you’re tube riding it happens.
Common Surfing Injuries
If you’re taking someone on-board, not only are you in charge of piloting and navigation. You have their weight on your shoulders and you’re responsible for their safety (because only the surfer is tethered to the board). So, you want your spine to be in the best possible shape.
There are injuries specific to surfers due to the odd combination of movements required to swim out, get on-board, lean forward and paddle like a madman to get on the wave as it forms and all the necessary twisting and turning the upper body to steer the board through the surf.
Whether you’ve experienced impact injuries while surfing or are just starting to notice that some movements are becoming problematic for you It’s time to see a Chiropractor who understands the specific injuries sustained by surfers.
There are some common injuries or posture problems you should be aware off before you jump on your next wave:
- Rotator cuff injury (shoulders)
- Lower back pain (being wiped out by the waves may cause further pain)
- Muscle tension, tight muscles
More specific injuries experienced by surfers include:
- Winging scapula
- Loss of range of motion,
- Loss of range extension,
When you have any two of those combined in one patient the resulting condition is known as scapular dyskinesia. Which is caused by the specific and repeated use of only two or three different muscles. While other connected muscles don’t receive any workout/strengthening.
If you’re a bodybuilder with a routine that works all of the upper body muscles, you may not suffer from scapular dyskinesia as you work all of the muscles and joints in the torso evenly.
Chiropractic Care Helps Surfers
Your Chiropractor will give you specialized exercises to perform to strengthen your back. Also, help your thoracic cage and scapula to maintain proper alignment. They are also working to support each other instead of your shoulders and pectoral muscles doing all the work. Exercises like yoga also help keep your muscles flexible and toned.
After a few weeks of treatment, you’ll notice that your shoulders aren’t so tight. You’ll have regained full range of motion with your arms. Studies show that patients recover faster and spend less money when addressing lower back pain with chiropractic.
Just like when you’re hitting the nose it’s all about balance. But for the Chiropractor, it’s all about the musculoskeletal balance. Also, getting your body to work synergistically to give you the results you want onboard while keeping you injury-free throughout the year.
Activities like free weight training, regular cardiovascular exercise, stretching and beach running are all good options for maximising your surfing performance.
You want to perform at optimal levels
Many competitive surfers schedule their chiropractic treatments to begin 5-6 weeks. Prior to the start of surfing season for the very reason that they don’t want to be sidelined partway through the season due to injury.
Catching a wave and sitting on top of the world is so much better when you’re not grimacing in pain. Time to dial-up that Chiropractor.