“How to beat aches and pains if you're a boater”
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Boating is one of the most pleasurable activities imaginable.
Going out on the water with the sun shining, the smell of the water, the sound of the birds, and the swooshing sound the boat makes as you head out for the day...
But lurking in the background is the aches and pains that come with taking care of your boat.
Lifting and carrying tools and supplies can do a number on your back. Take the time to learn proper back care and lifting techniques. For instance, use your legs to lift. Keep your back straight and your head up. Keep the object you’re lifting close to your body. Test before you lift. Make sure it’s something you can lift. Avoid twisting movements when you lift and carry.
Also, if you like to go fast, be aware that the up and down motion the boat makes in the water is being transmitted to your back and neck.
Keep thing you use frequently close to you and preferably at waist height so you don’t have to lift from the ground or take something heavy from a high place.
Shoulder pain can also be a problem for the avid boater. Hauling lines, lifting supplies and equipment and even turning the wheel can be taxing on the arms. Learn proper stretching techniques. If you strain your shoulder, get ice on it right away. Try to turn to get something behind you. Don’t just reach back with your arm. Avoid repetitive motion that can lead to tendonitis or bursitis in the shoulder. In particular, any repetitive motion you do with your arms above your head will surely lead to shoulder problems.
Repetitive motion such as hammering and using a screw driver or a winch will lead to “tennis elbow” severe pain along the outside of the elbow. Stretch the right way before you do these activities. Ice the elbow down if you feel a twinge. See a physician if your elbow pain persists. Injection with ultrasound guided platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may be needed to heal the elbow.
Hand and wrist pain can also be a result of repetitive motion. In particular, carpal tunnel syndrome- pinching of the median nerve leading to the hand- can cause pain, numbness and tingling in the hand. Ultrasound-guided needle carpal tunnel release can be an option to avoid surgery.
Getting into and out of the boat can put stress on the hips and knees. So can maintaining your balance on a shifting deck. Always use a step stool if possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in getting into and out of a boat.
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