Forums > Windsurfing General

Is windsurfing bad for your back?

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Created by Mobydisc > 9 months ago, 20 Sep 2011
Mobydisc
NSW, 7704 posts
20 Sep 2011 12:43PM
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For the last few months I've been having physiotherapy to help with a sore back. I haven't been windsurfing as I didn't feel up to it. The back has been progressively getting better so yesterday I went windsurfing. I took it reasonably easy and conservatively. Plenty of breaks and rests.

Anyway this morning I saw my physio and she commented about how much better I was standing and how more stable I was compared to last week. I did not mention I went windsurfing yesterday as she probably wouldn't approve.

I feel windsurfing helps my back in a few ways. Primarily when windsurfing I tend to extend myself and be on my toes with the toes wrapped around the footstraps. This is good for my back. Secondly the exercise and activity is good for me as its better than sitting around. A bit of swimming helps too.

The chest harness I use helps a lot too. It supports my back and keeps my midriff firmly inplace. Its a Neil Pryde impact vest harness.




Al Planet
TAS, 1283 posts
20 Sep 2011 1:14PM
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Yes, its all the sitting down in front of computers and such that messes with my back though, sadly paddling a surfboard does cause me some mild problems too.

Windsurfing seems to be the best quick fix, improves my back straight away.

wormy
QLD, 679 posts
20 Sep 2011 1:15PM
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No,
but masterbating and pulling funny faces is.

Old Salty
VIC, 1249 posts
20 Sep 2011 1:19PM
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My pysio who windsurfs says that as long as we have the correct stance, ie straight arms/straight back, windsurfing is one of the better sports for back issues.

elmo
WA, 7632 posts
20 Sep 2011 9:02PM
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Windsurfing can be bad for your back but not in the way you'd normally suspect.

We tend to build up quite a bit of muscle in specific areas across chest and back but our core tends to just wobble around a bit (some of us more than others)

Much as I hate to admit it after the crap I gave Greeny and Windy about it, SUP'ing has been excellent for helping fix up a few niggles I was having in my back by fixing up my front I've even been caught out enjoying myself paddling around on it

R1DER
WA, 974 posts
20 Sep 2011 9:19PM
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The chiro I have been seeing suggested I shorten my harness lines and lower my boom to help my posture while sailing and therefore help my upper back and neck.

dinsdale
WA, 1227 posts
20 Sep 2011 9:24PM
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Just arriving at the good end of convalescence after 2 lots of pretty major spinal surgery. I've been out 5 times and have had no back/pain issues at all. As a complete noob, that includes uphauling.

decrepit
WA, 7603 posts
20 Sep 2011 9:46PM
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If I use a very low seat harness without lumbar support, that makes my back worse, but a higher, waist/seat or in the old days a chest harness seems to improve my back. Even the odd high speed catapult hasn't done much damage yet.
Sailing underpowered out of the harness, holding the sail up, isn't good though.

DaniS
91 posts
20 Sep 2011 10:26PM
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I get back pain all the times, but when i go windsurfing i feel good for a couple of days. What you can do is take 3 advils after sailing for 2 days it help get the inflammation out.
I sail and i worry about pain later.
Good sailing

pommypair
21 posts
20 Sep 2011 10:48PM
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As a back pain sufferer of about 25 years, I'd just like to throw in a bit of moral support and thoughts. Do not stop windsurfing they (the expert physios,docs,surgeons, chiros rehab hospitals etc) all told me not to do it! years later I am plodding along and managing Gnaraloo! Sure I have some bad times, but the waves still call, I'm 57 now and hope like my mate Kel to be doing it well into my 70's pain or no pain, you only live once!

pierrec45
NSW, 2001 posts
21 Sep 2011 7:33AM
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I had chronic back problems from contact sports prior to windsurfing, and surgeons wanted to go in. That was 20 years ago.

Windsurfing has been a miracle for me - feels great on a board, that includes freestyle (short + longboard). Works best when I go out often, in small doses (1-2 hours), in any wind above say 12 knots.

But I do realise everyone's back problem is a bit different.

DavMen
NSW, 1439 posts
21 Sep 2011 10:00AM
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Most likely to do your back injury whilst rigging!

DaniS
91 posts
21 Sep 2011 8:07AM
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Like this attitude

pommypair said...

As a back pain sufferer of about 25 years, I'd just like to throw in a bit of moral support and thoughts. Do not stop windsurfing they (the expert physios,docs,surgeons, chiros rehab hospitals etc) all told me not to do it! years later I am plodding along and managing Gnaraloo! Sure I have some bad times, but the waves still call, I'm 57 now and hope like my mate Kel to be doing it well into my 70's pain or no pain, you only live once!


h20
VIC, 385 posts
21 Sep 2011 10:12AM
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i am a spinal physio- i think it is a great activity for the back as sailing (excluding uphauling) activates the core muscles almost perfectly (like a massive pilates session on steroids). The harness obviously needs to be comfortable. Wish more of my back pain suffering clients took up the sport.

sboardcrazy
NSW, 5933 posts
21 Sep 2011 10:34AM
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pommypair said...

As a back pain sufferer of about 25 years, I'd just like to throw in a bit of moral support and thoughts. Do not stop windsurfing they (the expert physios,docs,surgeons, chiros rehab hospitals etc) all told me not to do it! years later I am plodding along and managing Gnaraloo! Sure I have some bad times, but the waves still call, I'm 57 now and hope like my mate Kel to be doing it well into my 70's pain or no pain, you only live once!


Mines a bit different as it is an upper back neck problem but my chiro says the fitter ( all activites) I am the better it will be and it's true.If I haven't been out for a while it flares up & it's on with the painkillers but if I can get out 2 x a week or more it copes fine.
As H20 says..we have been working at building my core strength for the last few years and it definitely helps..The times I'm not totally on the edge I think core and immediately I find I pull from my core rather than cramp up the shoulders and relax my upper body.

terminal
1421 posts
21 Sep 2011 8:22PM
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Windsurfing is good in that it strengthens your back muscles and there isn't much twisting involved.

I have back problems, but golf is harder on my back than windsurfing.

I used to have a chest harness years ago and it was very bad for my back. I could hardly get out of the wetsuit and drive home one day. Now I use a waist/seat harness.

Mark _australia
WA, 16788 posts
21 Sep 2011 8:49PM
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h20 said...

i am a spinal physio- i think it is a great activity for the back as sailing (excluding uphauling) activates the core muscles almost perfectly (like a massive pilates session on steroids). The harness obviously needs to be comfortable. Wish more of my back pain suffering clients took up the sport.



No wonder your avatar is a tabletop then. Windsurfing improves my back but tabletop (attempts) fk it badly . I reckon tabletops give u business

Sailhack
VIC, 5000 posts
22 Sep 2011 10:05PM
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I started having upper back & neck issues a few months back (no wind, so can't blame w/surfing). I went to a good physio and straight away he commented that my PC monitor was too low, bad posture (which I do - somehow using cad software with zoom isn't good enough & I have to lean in to see better!) and I was turning my head to the left too fast (which is prob correct as my office door is to my left, and when it open's I do tend to jerk my head around)

Anyway, he did some rubbing, some cracking and finished with some deep muscle work & told me to lift my monitor so that my eyes are parallel with 1/3 from the top of the monitor. His receptionist asked if I needed another appointment, but he told her that he shouldn't need to see me again if I lift my monitor & stop giving myself whiplash when someone walks past, or in...3 weeks later & my back is 90% better. My posture is better and I'm not having issues with what felt like a knife in my back or neck.

decrepit
WA, 7603 posts
22 Sep 2011 8:14PM
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Isn't it nice when you go to somebody who really knows their stuff! And isn't trying to take as much money from you as possible.
I can just imagine what might have happened if you'd gone to a shonky chiro.

Mark _australia
WA, 16788 posts
22 Sep 2011 10:36PM
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Interesting - my neck is buggered so I'll look at my work monitor height. Trouble with me is I look at the keyboard when two finger typing

nebbian
WA, 6035 posts
22 Sep 2011 11:19PM
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Mark _australia said...

Trouble with me is I look at the keyboard when two finger typing


Spend a couple of hours learning to touch type, the time you spend will repay itself over and over again once you learn the basics.

Heaps of free courses online to show you how to do it, I went from around 15 wpm with two fingers to 30+ wpm in a week. You only need to spend a couple of hours, after that you will gradually get faster just by doing your normal typing. Once you've figured out where your fingers are supposed to be, you'll never go back to the old ways.

Seriously, do it!

petermac33
WA, 3857 posts
23 Sep 2011 1:16AM
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my posture when on the computer is, i lie on my cushioned carpet, tilt around 80 to 90 degrees to left side with extra cushion under left hip/rib cage.

i find this position more comfortable compared to sitting on a office chair.

downhauling your sail with a harness hook or screwdriver is bad for your back.

when i stopped doing this and used a winch my back got better.

Ian K
NSW, 2431 posts
23 Sep 2011 8:19AM
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We're still basically knuckle walking brachiators. Getting about upright was an evolutionary jump, which has a lot of advantages, but the mechanics aren't fully debugged yet.

Windsurfing is pretty close to swinging from trees, it suits us, it's good for us.

"brachiation (from "brachium", Latin for "arm") is a form of arboreal locomotion in which primates swing from tree limb to tree limb using only their arms. ..."

Wet Willy
TAS, 2237 posts
23 Sep 2011 1:27PM
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I rooted my neck from spending countless hours looking down at a computer and DJ equipment while standing up. Pain and funny locking up, grabbing sensations in the neck come at random but not while windsurfing, thankfully!

Best trick is to try to keep the head upright and just look down with your EYES! Yes, they rotate in their sockets! Bend ze eyes! Bend ze eyes!

Windxtasy
WA, 3725 posts
23 Sep 2011 9:32PM
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My back improves in windsurfing season and troubles me mainly in the off season.
Downhauling sails used to be the worst thing for my back until I got a ratchet mast base.
Windsurfing has also improved my feet. I used to need orthotics for foot pain,(ankle pronation) now I only need them toward the end of the "off" season when my fitness has declined. Podiatrists should recommend windsurfing.

Mark _australia
WA, 16788 posts
23 Sep 2011 9:48PM
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Ian K said...

.

Windsurfing is pretty close to swinging from trees, it suits us, it's good for us.




there is another sport that is way closer

Mr. No-one
WA, 921 posts
24 Sep 2011 12:39AM
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I screwed my lower back 16 years ago at work and was given 2 weeks off. After 3 days at the physio I went sailing in 30 kts at Wello and as soon the harness line pulled tight, instant relief. Entered a F42 course that afternoon and won, couldn't believe how good the day turned out.
Felt good enough to go back to work the next day, been good since.
Now if I can find a sport that can do the same for my ankles....

Wet Willy
TAS, 2237 posts
24 Sep 2011 4:05AM
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Mr. No-one said...

I screwed my lower back 16 years ago at work and was given 2 weeks off. After 3 days at the physio I went sailing in 30 kts at Wello and as soon the harness line pulled tight, instant relief. Entered a F42 course that afternoon and won, couldn't believe how good the day turned out.
Felt good enough to go back to work the next day, been good since.
Now if I can find a sport that can do the same for my ankles....



So you're saying they stillowe you 10 days off???

Mr. No-one
WA, 921 posts
24 Sep 2011 9:17PM
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Wet Willy said...

Mr. No-one said...

I screwed my lower back 16 years ago at work and was given 2 weeks off. After 3 days at the physio I went sailing in 30 kts at Wello and as soon the harness line pulled tight, instant relief. Entered a F42 course that afternoon and won, couldn't believe how good the day turned out.
Felt good enough to go back to work the next day, been good since.
Now if I can find a sport that can do the same for my ankles....



So you're saying they stillowe you 10 days off???




Well i'm on 3 months sick leave now so......

sboardcrazy
NSW, 5933 posts
25 Sep 2011 4:07PM
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Sailhack said...

I started having upper back & neck issues a few months back (no wind, so can't blame w/surfing). I went to a good physio and straight away he commented that my PC monitor was too low, bad posture (which I do - somehow using cad software with zoom isn't good enough & I have to lean in to see better!) and I was turning my head to the left too fast (which is prob correct as my office door is to my left, and when it open's I do tend to jerk my head around)

Anyway, he did some rubbing, some cracking and finished with some deep muscle work & told me to lift my monitor so that my eyes are parallel with 1/3 from the top of the monitor. His receptionist asked if I needed another appointment, but he told her that he shouldn't need to see me again if I lift my monitor & stop giving myself whiplash when someone walks past, or in...3 weeks later & my back is 90% better. My posture is better and I'm not having issues with what felt like a knife in my back or neck.


Yep ..posture is critical for my neck problem + I used to have 2 tennis elbows from sorting mail which were aggravated using the computer mouse.So monitor at the height suggested + use the mouse left + right handed and vary whenever starting to have problems. My chiro said to sit on the chair knees apart a bit & lift the toes up - this switches on your core muscles ,also imagine you are being pulled up by the head to improve posture.



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"Is windsurfing bad for your back?" started by Mobydisc