“How to beat aches and pains if you fish”
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
Whether you’re a freshwater fisherman who likes the challenge of catching a lunker bass or a salt water fisherman who goes after the big marlin, or somewhere in between, you know what a thrill it is to hook that trophy fish.
But unfortunately you can also “get hooked” by aches and pains.
Shoulder problems can develop if you carry too much equipment either to the lake’s edge or to the boat. Make several small trips instead of one big one. Before fishing season do some stretching and strengthening exercises for the shoulders. Casting often and reeling in can lead to a shoulder problem called bicipital tendonitis. This causes a lot of pain in the front of the shoulder. If you do develop a painful shoulder, ice it down when you get home. Putting an ice pack on your shoulder for 20 minutes or so may help a lot.
Neck and low back problems can develop if you try to lift too much or lift too often. Use your knees to lift heavy loads. In fact, get down on one knee to lift if you can. Keep your back straight and your head up. Keep what you’re lifting close to your body. Test the load before you lift it.
An elbow problem called lateral epicondylitis can develop if you do a lot of casting and you hook a lot of fish and crank back on the rod. This causes severe pain on the outside of the elbow. Stretching the elbow before the fishing season can help as can icing the elbow immediately after your trip.
Wrist and hand problems are sometimes a feature of fishing. For instance, spin casting can often cause a type of thumb tendonitis. And sometimes tendonitis of the fingers can cause what is called “trigger finger.” This is a painful condition where the finger catches either when you’re trying to bend it or when you’re trying to straighten it. Trigger finger or trigger thumb usually requires an injection by a medical specialist.
Repetitive casting can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a condition where the median nerve- the major nerve into the hand- becomes pinched. This causes hand pain, numbness, and tingling. Treatment involves splinting, physical therapy, and sometimes injection. Patients may occasionally need surgery. A new technique of ultrasound-guided needle carpal tunnel release may prevent the need for surgery.
Knee pain can come on if you’re trying to maintain your balance in a boat that’s experiencing choppy water. Strong quadriceps muscles can help prevent this. You can always ice your knee down after your trip. Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes to the knee. Keep a towel between the ice pack and your skin.
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