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back pain and up-hauling
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paulkenyon



Joined: 28 Apr 2000
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2000 8:46 am    Post subject: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

What are the health facts regarding up-hauling and back pain/injury? The other day I sailed in light wind with vast lulls on a 7.5. I had to up-haul it several times and, later, felt a lot of pain in my lower back. It is better today but still feels delicate. Perhaos I must avoid conditions where I might be tempted to up-haul that big sail. Anybody else?
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spyder



Joined: 24 Sep 1996
Posts: 2790
Location: oahu

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2000 12:11 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

paul -- learn to waterstart.
I havent uphauled for years.
you wont hurt your back with
this method.

there are some gizmos that
help you uphaul, you might look in windsurfing magazine for
EZ UPHAUL.
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hwyeh



Joined: 06 May 1993
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2000 12:36 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

I had two slipped disks in my lower back 14 years ago. When I was learning about 10 years ago, uphauling used to kill me! I switched to smaller and lighter sails to learn on, and found a place with shallow water to practice beach start and water start. These days, I rarely need to uphault, and my back has been ok. A high-waist support seat hardness also helped.
If all else failed, ice ice ice (first 24 hr.)with some Advils, and go see a chiropractor.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13861

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2000 1:22 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

NEVER lift ANYTHING without maintaining a concave arch in your back. Stand up right now. Rotate the top of your pelvis forward to stick your butt out; place a hand in the small of your back to feel the deep concave that produces. Now rotate the top of your pelvis back to suck in your belly button; place your hand in the small of your back and feel how flat it is now. You should ALWAYS -- virtually every minute of every day and ESPECIALLY when lifting -- maintain an arch comfortably in the middle of that range. Letting your lower back slump into a flat or convex arch is absolute HELL on your spine and discs, and can easily put your sacroiliac (SI)joint out of place. Thats the joint between your tailbone and pelvis, and SI displacement or sprain causes anything from a nagging ache to an excruciating pain about 2 left or right of your spine at the waist.

To uphaul, squat by bending the hinges at each end of your femur -- at the knees and at the hips -- but keep that concave arch in your back. Then keep your elbows straight (because bending your arms adds nothing to the early part of the uphauling process), just lean back, and let gravity do the heavy lifting work.

Mike \m/
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gtokishi



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2000 8:33 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

Start in a squat on your board and pull on your uphaul by leaning like youre going to roll on your back. Work your way up your uphaul by using your body weight and gradually stand strait up with your ascending rig. I have a horrible back and it works for me. Give it a try. Works good on sinkers with no wind, too. Beats swimming.
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paulkenyon



Joined: 28 Apr 2000
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:40 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

Hello Sylvian,
Thanks to you and all of you for answering my question. We havent gotten an answer to the first part of my question yet,what are the health facts surrounding up-hauling and back injury, but we have a lot of great first person accounts. I have drawn the conslusion that up-hauling is murder on backs and that this should be well advertized. It should be in the videos and a part of every legit instructional course.

It happens that I am an engineer and should be able to come up with an answer. Thanks, Sylvian, for the suggestion. Here is my first cut on it: make a gin-pole for the mast. The problem is we must focus the force needed to lift the sail through our bodies, compressing our spines. The force, according to my chiropractor(Yep, had to go. Saw him yesterday.)is tremendous. When the lowest disk in your back gets a bit too squashed your body says, enough, and causes the muscles of the lower back to spasm as protection for the disk. Voila! Back muscles in spasm.

My solution is to, firstly, avoid up-hauling by sailing in enough wind and, as Spyder suggests, water start. I can, by the way, water start just fine. I was impatient and stuck in a huge lull with no water starting wind in sight. I wasnt going to wait so.... Secondly, if you have to go out in conditions where up-hauling could well be needed, have a stick clipped to your mast that will fix to the mast base or in the track at the base of the mast and, perhaps, at your harness hook. Next hook the up-haul line into the top of the stick. Then hang off the stick; just let the stick take the downward force that you used to focus through your body. A bungy might be used to insure the stick snap back next to the mast after the sail is far enough out of the water that you have to start thinking about controling it. The hardest part is getting the sail, which is lying flat on the water AND is being held down by the light breeze or even a gust (funny how they come along when you hadnt a prayer of a water start before you decided to dump the sail and climb onto the board.)

I have seen water starting techniques for light wind in videos but they require a lot more skill than I have now. They seem to be shown in the same section of the video as helicopter tacks and sailing a board backwards and even the pros demonstrating the technique had trouble with it.

Paul
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13861

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2000 1:56 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

1. Instructors and instructionals have been emphasizing the risks of improper uphauling and the right way to uphaul since the 70s.

2. Proper uphauling (with a concave arch in the lower back) should not harm a normal back. Lifting anything the USUAL way (back all bent over with a convex lower back) tends to displace the SI joint, and the bodys efforts to correct or accommodate that displacement makes millions of backs go out (i.e., spasm).

3. The light-wind waterstart techniques range from no tougher than an ordinary waterstart to a little extra effort. They are definitely not something the pros, or even most advanced sailors, have trouble with. The only tricky light-air technique Ive heard of actually IS a trick, involving rolling the board over and using it as a lever to raise the sail. The actual TECHNIQUES (as opposed to tricks) are just a simple progression from ordinary waterstarting.
One involves using the front leg to aid momentum and lift (roll forward towards the mast and kick the dangling front leg); the other just requires gripping the rig somewhere below the booms -- the harness lines, the sail foot, the mast, etc. We should start working on these the day after our first ordinary water start, and both will work the first or second time we try them.

4. I havent tried the commercial uphaul gizmos, and thus cant comment on their effectiveness, but hear good things about them. OTOH, Ive seen hundreds of darn small people uphaul just fine when they do it properly, and have never had any need myself to carry around gizmos to uphaul with.

Mike \m/
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spyder



Joined: 24 Sep 1996
Posts: 2790
Location: oahu

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2000 2:38 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

good points.. a comment on light air water starting w./ big sails. Its a bit tricky to fly a large sail in light wind, but having a good understanding of how it works is essential.

A few tips from my experiences:
1). make sure the mast is perpendicular to the wind direction, this acts as the leading edge to get the sail out of the water

2). try grabbing nearer the mid to top area of the mast to help clear the sail from the water (as you pull the mast into the wind).
then as it starts to clear, move your hand down more towards the boom, and keep attempting to fly the sail. eventually the sail will clear and start flying.

3). in really light air (this technique varies), I find that once you commit to raising yourself out, you can pump the sail to provide more force to finish getting onto the board.
other people like to grab the mast near the base and almost jump onto the board, but that doesnt work for me as well. I like the pumping method.

only if the wind is COMPLETELY dead do you have to resort to uphauling, once you have a good waterstart techinque. LEARN THIS! it will be the best thing you ever did for your windsurfing life.
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spyder



Joined: 24 Sep 1996
Posts: 2790
Location: oahu

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2000 2:45 pm    Post subject: RE: back pain and up-hauling Reply with quote

Paul --

keep trying to expand your water starting technique. I offered a few tips in a previous post. Only on rare occasions have I had to resort to uphauling, which totally sucks.

Another thing that helps is to have a light rig, carbon boom/mast and light sails.

As for the spasms, I suffered from lower back problems but I have to say that I believe WATERSTARTING FIXED my back! Im pretty sure that it really helped reduce and possibly eliminate my lower back problem.
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