As the weather warms up this summer, there is nothing better than cooling off with some water sports! Paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing are excellent ways to get away from the chaos of daily life and the hustle and bustle that prevents us from stopping and smelling the roses. On the water, there is only you, the rippling water, fresh breezes, birds chirping, and turtles bubbling up to the surface. What more could you ask for?
While enjoying all mother nature has to offer on the water, we want to make sure you are safe and healthy. Always remember to wear sunscreen to protect your skin against sunburn, sunglasses to shade your eyes against harmful ultraviolet rays, and life jackets to keep your head above water in case of emergencies. Also, do not forget to bring insect repellant! Those pesky mosquitos, gnats, and ticks can ruin your outing! You should also pack some healthy snacks, such as trail mix or nuts, to keep you fueled and fresh water to keep you hydrated during a long day of boating or boarding.
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful area with a variety of places to enjoy the water. Whether you like to float down river, fish from the boat, or enjoy calm flat waters, Charlottesville has what you are looking for! Although relaxing, injuries can occur while paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing due to the repetitive nature of paddling. This mechanical stress can potentially lead to shoulder pain. Prolonged sitting in a boat can also lead to back discomfort. Shoulder and back pain are common complaints among the regular population, but can be more prominent in boating and paddle board enthusiasts.
Do not let pain limit your ability to enjoy outdoor adventures this summer! If you have shoulder or back pain, a physical therapist can assess your body mechanics, strength, and range of motion to determine what you need to get you back in the boat, or on the board, where you belong! We will evaluate you thoroughly and devise a plan specific to your needs. We will also discuss proper posture and ergonomics while in the boat, or on your board, to maximize your potential and reduce your risk of injury. At Move Better Physical Therapy we utilize the latest research and manual therapy techniques that will be tailored to your individual needs to optimize your return to sport.
If you are experiencing pain, or just want to be assessed to maximize your paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing potential, come see me this summer to ensure you are enjoying all those beautiful summer days on the water!
Heather Dale Walton, DPT, OCS