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windsurfing related injuries
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embo



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: windsurfing related injuries Reply with quote

Hi,

I have a question for all the experienced windsurfers here. Are any of you guys suffering from any long term injuries, chronic pains or aches that are related to many years of windsurfing?

The reason why I ask is because I have recently developed some upper back pain and a loose / uncomfortable feeling in my knees (sometimes hurting a bit) for which I partly blame me overdoing the sport in 2011. I was out 1-2 days every weekend in 15 mph winds, uphauling in the beginning but since the end of 2011 only waterstarting. I am hooked in and fully planing so all the chop is absorbed by the knees, I guess ? It used to be that I felt sore the day after and the next day it was gone, now the weird feeling just stays.

I also have an office job so doing the weekend warrior activity where I am sitting around for many many hours during the week and then going crazy on weekends probably wasn't very helpful either. But I am still curious since most of the regular sailors have no problem at all.

I am fairly light (140 lbs) so my weight can't be the problem. Does anybody have similar problems (like messing up the knees if you sail for many years etc.)? I am really worried because I fell in love with this sport and planned to do it for many years but if my health is going downhill I seriously have to reconsider my priorities. Sad

Also do you do any workout besides windsurfing that helps keeping your strength? I feel like an old fart even though I am only 31. LOL !

Thanks alot for any input !
embo
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5697

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

embo,

While I don't have a persistent problem with my knees, I can have a bit of a problem if my boom is set too low. I would recommend raising your boom some to see if that provides some relief.
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KevinDo



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 400
Location: Cabrillo Inside

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard from several people now about the knee problem. Have you considered stretching after sailing? I do that now and don't feel as sore after a session.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1309

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embo. An interesting view on exercising is that all physical activity is a form of bodily abuse, and therefore damaging. The normal defence mechanism of said body is to strengthen the threatened parts.( i.e. work out, and you get bigger muscles and connecting parts.)

Most windsurfers, cyclists, and athletes feel sore and stiff after repeated heavy exercise sessions but recovery is usually fairly rapid. (A day or two.) If you are feeling longer term effects you would be well advised to consult a sports specialist who should be able to identify any specific problem.

As far as most intermediate windsurfers are concerned (not extreme) there should be very few long term effects unless you are genetically prone to particular things. Tall people are susceptible to lower back issues and need to take care technique wise, or problems could become chronic. (e.g. I'm unable to wear a waist harness for fear of being laid up for a week or more from pulling or tweaking the wrong part of the spine. A seat harness prevents that.)

Have your problem identified by a specialist Embo, then adjust your stance or technique accordingly, do some recommended exercises and there should be no need to abandon our sport, even if you are chained to an office chair for most of the week. Crying or Very sad
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rexi



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I started having some trouble with my back about two years ago when I shifted to a waist harness. It was mostly due to my bad stance, so when i figured that out the pain went away. Im about the same age as you and have not had many other aches, well my ankles tend to be quite sore after I started working on some sliding stuff and fall in all kind of weird directions but other than that im ok.

Other thing that has helped me windsurf without any pain is as you mentioned other exercise. I do pull-ups about 5-6 times a week, not trying to push my limit or anything, just do a few sets of 5 and 10 reps. And then I do ab exercises on the pullup bar as well. I used to rock climb quite a bit and use the same exercises as i did back then, they tend to crossover to windsurfing very well for general strength fitness. And then I run about three times a week. After I started doing this I can windsurf for longer and dont feel any pain.

Stevie Haston wrote about some pull ups http://steviehaston.blogspot.com/2012/07/pull-ups-and-their-variations-by-stevie.html

and here are some ab workouts that are similar to the rockclimbing stuff i mentioned.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsFfWDgCNdI
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 49, my whole body has aches and pains in various spots.
They make these ice wraps especially for knees, lots of different types of athletes use them. I find the ice and maybe some aspirin fairly effective.
Is it possible you are having an arch support issue?
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sailingjoe



Joined: 06 Aug 2008
Posts: 1087

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beaglebuddy wrote:
I'm 49, my whole body has aches and pains in various spots.
They make these ice wraps especially for knees, lots of different types of athletes use them. I find the ice and maybe some aspirin fairly effective.
Is it possible you are having an arch support issue?
That I found funny. Wait until you are over 60 if you think you have aches and pains at 50. As to the original question, you are not engaged in the right life style. I've seen a guy get really bent out of shape with a similar one. He couldn't stand erect for months and finally had an operation that corrected his back trouble. As to windsurfing and kiting for that matter, the most common chronic injury I have seen would be rotator cuff trouble.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

embo,

If all you do physically is windsurf and it's not all that often, you can expect to have soreness and stiffness, plus possible strains and pains. Age has a lot to do with it since the younger you are, the more you can get away with.

I am one of the older guys and have discovered over my 28 years of windsurfing that preparation is the name of the game. If not windsurfing (90 days a year - all year), I either do weights, golf or jog. I MUST work core strength a lot to prevent back issues (been there done that), plus leg and upper body strength for three reasons. 1. Injury prevention. 2. Maximize water time. 3. To always be ready for a session if the wind blows.

With advanced skills, sailing fast in rough/choppy water puts a lot of stress on your back and legs, so keeping the legs & back strong is critical. I have been using a fabric weight lifting belt for 20 years under my seat harness to help prevent damage to my back from the pounding.

As your windsurfing skills improve, you will find ways to stress your body even more than when you are a beginner/novice. If you go for the extreme stuff (waves, freestyle, speed), there will be more opportunities to hurt your self, but overall, it's a pretty safe sport. 90% of my windsurfing injuries have been on the beach.

Prevention is the smart way to preserve yourself for the long run.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1200
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: windsurfing related injuries Reply with quote

Greetings Mr. Embo

I hate to say it, but with that exercise regime, you're probably asking for
problems, and my recollection (now a distant memory) of 31 years of
age, is that that is where I started to develop lasting aches from
performance sports (I am a display for modern medical technology in
performance sports).

If you could just get out and ride a mountain bike, mid week for
even an hour or 2, that would greatly reduce your chances of developing
a chronic problem windusrfing, or better yet, some mid week SUP would
really work your core and legs. At least get to the gym once or twice
mid week.

Now to answer your question, I do have long term aches and chronic
pain, which can be exacerbated by windsurfing. Most of the damage is due
to other sports (like snow skiing), but some of my knee issues are
associated with hitting the Wells Island sandbar last year at warp speed,
when the river was just barely obscuring it. Unlike Mr. Techno, 90% of
my windsurfing related injuries (broken ribs and such) are the result
of actual windsurfing, rather than beach work. I guess, it's my clumsy
nature.

In your case, a sports medicine doctor, could likely find an appropriate
exercise regime for you (or fill your knees with visoc-elastic fluid), but
you'd definitely benefit from mid week core, Quad, and Hamstring
strengthening of some kind.


Some day you will be a geezer, but you'll probably still be windsurfing,
most of us are.

-Craig




embo wrote:
Hi,

I have a question for all the experienced windsurfers here. Are any of you guys suffering from any long term injuries, chronic pains or aches that are related to many years of windsurfing?

The reason why I ask is because I have recently developed some upper back pain and a loose / uncomfortable feeling in my knees (sometimes hurting a bit) for which I partly blame me overdoing the sport in 2011. I was out 1-2 days every weekend in 15 mph winds, uphauling in the beginning but since the end of 2011 only waterstarting. I am hooked in and fully planing so all the chop is absorbed by the knees, I guess ? It used to be that I felt sore the day after and the next day it was gone, now the weird feeling just stays.

I also have an office job so doing the weekend warrior activity where I am sitting around for many many hours during the week and then going crazy on weekends probably wasn't very helpful either. But I am still curious since most of the regular sailors have no problem at all.

I am fairly light (140 lbs) so my weight can't be the problem. Does anybody have similar problems (like messing up the knees if you sail for many years etc.)? I am really worried because I fell in love with this sport and planned to do it for many years but if my health is going downhill I seriously have to reconsider my priorities. Sad

Also do you do any workout besides windsurfing that helps keeping your strength? I feel like an old fart even though I am only 31. LOL !

Thanks alot for any input !
embo
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1563
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got bad knees for a variety of reasons, age being one of them (62), windsurfing is just about the only sport that I can still do w/o much of a problem, been doing it since the early 80's, but I had to start paying attention to my stance to be able to continue windsurfing.
Very important, make sure your heels are in line with the bend of your knees, while powered up. If your heels are outside or inside of the knee bend, you will be tweeking your knees in a way that they don't like.
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