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The Ecstasy and the Agony
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kmf



Joined: 02 Apr 2001
Posts: 315

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then on the serious side, the pain can be the result of a developing chronic disease, in my case rheumatoid arthritis.

I went from happily living my life with the normal after exercise pains, to lots of pain medication, acupuncture, weird teas, and all of that stuff to the realization that I had a chronic dehabilitating disease which in time will destroy my small joints and make them unusable. This happened over the coarse of four months, and then it took the Rheumatologist another couple of months to track down the correct disease.

I now have it somewhat under control with toxic drugs....but it is incurable. Drugs and exercise make it tolerable.

I urge you to see you doctor, get to see a Rheumatologist if the source of the pain is not easily identified.

KMF
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5698

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Summer and Fall of last year I was getting a lot of discomfort in my left foot on the top of the foot and at the joint of my big toe, particularly as a result of sailing because of the contact and irritation from the footstraps. The bump that had formed on the top of my foot over time was getting bigger and the discomfort was progressively getting worse, even without sailing to aggravate it. As a result, I started backing off my walking regimen.

As time went on, I began to worry that maybe I was developing something like gout, so I scheduled an appointment with a Rheumatologist last December. He assured me that it wasn't gout, and a blood test later confirm that, but he did tell me that I had an osteoarthritis condition in those two joints. He said that I could have operation that would improve the situation, and I'll probably do that in the future, especially if I want to continue snow skiing. But in the meantime, I asked him whether exercise would improve things somewhat. While he told me that it wouldn't, I'm finding that he was wrong about that. Although the discomfort hasn't gone away entirely, I find that regular exercise like walking lessens the degree of discomfort notably.

Overall, I've come to the conclusion that inactivity is the worst possible path, and that it's best to keep active to loosen things up. To stem the rising tide of old age, you've got to stay active and keep pushing the envelope to maintain some semblance of youth.
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cgoudie1



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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. my now deceased back doctor, also used to tell me, "if you stop moving, you will."

He knew me pretty well, wish he was still around.

-Craig

swchandler wrote:
In the Summer and Fall of last year I was getting a lot of discomfort in my Overall, I've come to the conclusion that inactivity is the worst possible path, and that it's best to keep active to loosen things up. To stem the rising tide of old age, you've got to stay active and keep pushing the envelope to maintain some semblance of youth.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13857

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The Ecstasy and the Agony Reply with quote

pobey wrote:
if you get on the board and have pain, you are doing something wrong. Is this Truth?

My short answer is: I think so, but there are exceptions and I am neither an expert nor a medical professional.

From what I've read here and in many books and from > 60 years of many very active, sometimes high impact, sports and many injuries, here’s my more thorough, useful, answer. [BULLET POINT ALERT (bullets beat taking the time to write good prose with smooth transitions and parallel construction.)] Anyone too impatient to wade through a few pages of ideas on this topic will pay a price some day.

My approach to pain and/or disability is three-pronged: prevent it, diagnose it when prevention fails, and/or treat or ignore it, as appropriate. I began experiencing aches and pains >20 years ago from WSing; these steps have reduced or eliminated most of them now at 69. I get tired, but I don't hurt from windsurfing unless I injure something.

PREVENT IT:
• Armor and/or padding prevents most impact injuries.
• Controlled crashing (roll into it, hang on or let go and get clear as appropriate).
• My visored full helmet with face guard and my kevlar vest have prevented countless injuries and let me sail over my head with minimal worry. In very gusty winds I add a hockey elbow pad on the elbow/forearm I sometimes smash between boom and ribs.
• Getting my butt off the water in dangerous conditions (something like 98th-99th percentile Gorge winds -- 40 mph average with frequent gusts into the 50s) helps avert repeat knee injuries that happened in and because of those conditions. (This costs me maybe 10-15 hours each season of sailing … a cheap price to pay to prevent the loss of a season or the whole dang sport.)
• Occasionally changing my grip on the booms to reduce overuse in one position.
• Sailing with partially flexed joints; straight or completely flexed joints are especially vulnerable to injury.
• Warming up to the point of sweating a bit is important at our age; one of these years I’m going to start taking that advice. I sail gently for the first few reaches, but that’s not good enough at our age.
• I have no idea what footstrap adjustment paradigm is optimal, but our arches, ankles, and knees are all at risk. Maybe in another 20 years we will reach a consensus on that issue, but it’s highly dependent on how you fall that one fateful time.
• Hit the gym and keep all your muscles strong with an organized strength-building program. It helps your sailing performance, reduces muscle overload, and protects joints. Caveat: gym injuries send scores of thousands to ERs every year, so lift properly.
• Towards that end, I highly recommend everyone check out the BodyByScience website and Superslow® lifting in general. Even though it works well for young athletes, it originated in nursing homes. I get and stay in damned good shape with 4 hours per year of supersafe lifting.
• If some gym exercise hurts (short of controlled, prescribed rehab) we should stop doing it and do something else that day. Why exacerbate a problem when there are hundreds of alternatives there? If it persists, get it diagnosed and treated.
• I add anaerobic interval training so pushing myself beyond 100% of my theoretical heart rate limit on the water is fun and I add core exercises (NOT crunches; they’re history) to prevent “throwing out” my back and boost my rights and lefts on the water.
• Tweak your nutrition, especially your protein and carb balance, to optimize and maintain your strength and recovery before, during, and after sailing and working out. Protein, in particular, helps preserve muscle during and after hard exercise.
• Keep your fluids and nutrition tanks topped off, properly, all day.
• If one harness brand or style lets or makes your back hurt, change harnesses. They are not a style statement; they are sports equipment which must fit your body and your sailing style correctly for you.
• Screw what’s cool. Instead, find out what works best for YOU, improve your techniques and sailing posture, and adjust your gear -- especially rig/boom/body/board geometry -- so IT, not your body, bears the loads. There’s no way in hell I could sail a 4.2 in 3.5 winds for 10 hours in a day if I weren’t hooked in 99% of the time, letting hardware carry most of the sail’s power even as I slash and jump almost continually. Heat up your roller bar’s bearings; they’re your shoulders’ and forearms’ best friend unless you’re engaged in high-end DTL wave sailing at the moment. I can’t think of any Gorge B&J (not freestyle/tricks) sailing that can’t be done at a pretty high level hooked into a roller bar.
• I run short harness lines just for that reason. I need to be able to sheet WAY in and WAY out, instantly, under full power, while the roller carries almost all of the sail’s power, all the while being able to reach the boom with both hands. I can’t do that with 26” lines or booms so high they won’t rest on the tail.
• Speaking of which, here’s a work- (and thus ache-) saver: if your booms are already anywhere near low enough to rest on the tail, tweak something to get ‘em down there. If you're sailing so conservatively that you very seldom fall and waterstart, I can't fathom what would make you even tired, let alone in pain. Bored, maybe, but not in pain.
• I almost never slog. I will never understand why so many people apparently have so much trouble separating play from working out. That’s what body flotation, bigger sails/boards/fins, and ultimately beach chairs are for. The deepest lulls are Mother Nature’s signal to jump in the water and recover (just 30 seconds make a big, measurable, difference), not to quadruple your workload for no discernible purpose (ordinary lulls are why you rig big.)
• Speaking of which, I last longest and work the least when rigged big enough to plane all the time. Unless frequent big gusts are beating me up, rigging big works my body less than trying to be efficient with all the pumping and slogging that usually entails. Less work = less pain and fatigue.
• Try eliminating wheat from your diet for a month or two. Millions of people experience a huge range of symptoms, some devastating, many involving joint or muscle pain, due to wheat intolerance … not even counting gluten sensitivity. It’s free, easy, and often quickly helpful to try that out. For more info, look into the book, “Wheat Belly” by Davis. It has some critics, but it is well researched, has helped many people, and is easy and safe to experiment with. Many cases diagnosed as life-altering or even terminal disease (sometimes including rheumatoid arthritis) have been alleviated or even completely cured simply by eliminating wheat from their diets. It’s an astounding book with the potential, if it’s even partially true, to change millions of lives very easily.
• ARE YOU ON STATINS? They commonly cripple athletes, especially those engaged in strength-building exercise (I’m guessing that also applies to endurance sports such as ours, as both stress overlapping physiological components and pathways). If you’re on them, inform your doctor (I did not say “ask”; I said and mean “inform”, because she will probably deny the connection) and insist that she taper them off to zero. If they’re causing your pain, it may subside within 2 to 15 months after cutting them out (my severe muscle pain, from elbows to knees and every muscle in between, took a year to subside after quitting statins). MAYBE, if your cholesterol runs over 400 or so, you might actually need them. Research that heavily if you’re on a statin; I am firmly convinced most physicians vastly overprescribe statins and have no clue about their effects on athletes.

DIAGNOSE IT:
• Find out why it hurts, so you can intelligently decide whether continuing to sail will do harm or merely hurt. Never forget that “macho” is Spanish for “stupid”.
• I consult a doctor if something hurts a little bit for a long time, hurts a LOT for more than a few minutes, and I’m not CERTAIN of the cause, its risks, and its cure. I don’t even bother with getting an orthopedic referral from my PCP; I just call my orthopod and get an appointment within a day or two for chronic complaints, hours for an emergency.
• Once that question is resolved, I will keep on sailin’, take a Tylenol, pack it up and go home, and/or seek treatment, with my objective being to maximize my season’s shred time rather than sacrificing a month just to finish today out.
• Some aches or pains will get much worse with hard play, others will be unaffected, some may even benefit. It’s important to know which are which.
• Use the internet, very carefully, to help decide among those alternatives, to know when it’s time to quit and see a doctor, and to know when your doctor is wrong.
• Another very useful tool for diagnosing aches/pains, treating them, and preventing their recurrence is a pair of advanced orthopedic physical therapy books I use. Take forearm tendonipathy (often called tendinitis), a common complaint among WSers. When some forearm quadrant starts to hurt from too much fun, I find the symptoms in the books, find out what I’m doing to make it hurt, and stop doing that. Simply dropping an elbow or shoulder, occasionally switching between over- and under-hand grip, gripping the boom at a different part of its bend, etc., often eliminates the pain and lets it heal. The books I use are “Therapeutic Exercise” by Kisner and “Management of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders” by Hertling.

TREAT IT: Rest, PT, ice or heat, meds, surgery, etc., as required.
• I stretch only specific, problematic muscles, and only when they let me know it’s time. Routine overall stretching is ill advised for several performance and medical reasons, according to many team physicians. (Again, that may change a bit when we get old; I see no evidence I’m there yet regarding stretching.)
• Only gymnasts and ballet dancers need loose joints, and they often pay a huge price for them in the long term.
• Yoga’s claim that it uniquely lengthens rather than shortens muscles is bogus. Google it.
• I’ve read that prolonged or frequent use of Tylenol to mask pain during exercise can weaken tendons; I use it rarely, only if necessary, and only after sailing. I can’t handle frequent NSAIDS; even low dosage, enteric coated, baby aspirin doubles me over in stomach pain after a couple of days. YMMV; experiment and remember what “macho” means, as NSAIDs send many thousands of people to ERs every year.
• Google and learn when to use ice vs heat.
• Do your best to discern when to escalate treatment along its long path from rest to surgery.

Mike \m/
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 970

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is hilarious. Full of old farts getting older, and more broken
I cannot lift my left hand to my face, without support on the elbow from the right. Rotator cuff problems, both sides.
I cannot run at all, possibly a couple of detached tendons in my ankle leading to and from the foot.
My left medial collateral swells up about and inch thick after playing tennis for a couple of hours (my serve can be weird, me lefty).
I"ve accumulated over 30 broken bones having fun.
Twice, different doctors told me I could never walk normal again....5 years apart, and different injury.
What's the alternative? I remember my really old uncle barely walking, needing a cane to rise from a chair. He never complained, just asked for pardon as we waited for him.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13857

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeD wrote:
What's the alternative?

Well, wearing more than board shorts when racing pro motocross comes to mind. Wink
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2317

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always wore those red and blue Scott plastic boots, because I already had 9 pins in the two legs, plus some wire, a plate, and some judicious surgery.
Hannah was my hero.
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uchida



Joined: 06 Apr 2002
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob "Hurricane" Hannah! What a pleasure to watch. Still can't believe what he could do on a 250cc works bike. I'm 62 and if it wasn't for my addiction to skiing and windsurfing I'd probably wouldn't frequent the gym as much as I do. Don't dirt bike anymore for the same reason Isobars quit the sport. Too hard on an old body. The GYM is the only thing keeping me afloat.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13857

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
I always wore those red and blue Scott plastic boots, because I already had 9 pins in the two legs, plus some wire, a plate, and some judicious surgery.
Hannah was my hero.

I tried out Bob's personal Scotts. Loved the protection, disliked the reduced feel.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool
_________________
K4 fins
4Boards....May the fours be with you

http://www.k4fins.com/fins.html
http://4boards.co.uk/


Last edited by U2U2U2 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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