Common Surfing Injuries and how Chiropractic Care Helps
Why do we do it? All that swimming through the pounding surf with your board to get to the best pick-up point; the endless waiting for the right wave, paddling like a crazed cartoon character to catch your wave of choice and getting pounded by tons of seawater if you happen to get caught in a breaking cylinder. You might even do a face plant or two into the sandy bottom.
Yet those moments of pure tube riding bliss make up for all of it. A day of it can leave you exhausted, yet wanting a lot more. Tomorrow!
There isn’t a surfer alive that hasn’t been injured as it goes with the territory, but evermore people in the surfing community are starting to realize the benefit of chiropractic care. There are many ways you can hurt your spine while surfing and surfers often share the same common injuries. Let’s explore what they are now.
Surfing demands much of the human body and two main kinds of injury can occur, 1) impact injuries, and 2) repetitive use injuries, and a Doctor of Chiropractic can help with both.
In addition to treating your acute injuries, your Chiropractor can help you with chronic injuries that are specific to surfers. Common complaints are shoulder, neck, and back tightness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or general pain and/or weakness when raising your arms above your shoulders, or even a complete lack of movement across the back.
Your Chiropractor may give you some exercises to perform so you can strengthen your core muscles to augment the muscles used for surfing, thereby taking some of the load off key surfing muscles like the shoulder and pectoral muscle groups.
Local Sydney chiropractor, Doctor Rosemarie Jabbour, had this to say when asked about the benefits of chiropractic care for surfing injury:
“Prevention is better than cure, we all know that. However, when it comes to our spine, chiropractic is found to be a good form of care for back and neck pain, especially those pains caused by surfing injuries.”
Injuries Specific to Surfing
- A winging scapula is when the scapula drifts outward and protrudes from the thoracic cage.
- Medium loss of range of motion can happen when the spine has lost flexibility.
- Medium loss of range of extension happens when the shoulder loses the ability to reach overhead due to the tightness of the anterior deltoid and pectoral muscles.
- When combined with a winging scapula such losses of range of motion or range of extension is known as scapular dyskinesia which prevents you from reaching for anything above your head.
In all cases, it’s a good idea to discuss all injuries and chronic pain or lack of movement with your Medical Doctor (MD) and ask them about Chiropractic care to help you deal with the symptoms and to learn new exercises that are specially designed to strengthen the muscles of the torso.
Either your MD or your Chiropractor may order X-rays to verify the condition of your ribs, shoulder blades and shoulder joints, as well as your spine.
Your health insurance plan may pick up all or some of the cost of your chiropractic care, and many employer healthplans cover healthcare that is delivered by Chiropractors – check with your employer’s healthplan to ascertain how many appointments per year are covered and what extras are, or aren’t covered.
The most important thing to remember is that just because you have an active life and love a sport that can be challenging for the body, it doesn’t mean you have to live with long-term pain. On the contrary, modern chiropractic techniques are non-surgical and help millions of people annually to live pain-free.