Shoulder injury question.

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

Moderators: TheKrikkitWars, Mike W., Sir Adam, KNeal, PAC, adamin, kenneth, sbroam

Post Reply
hammerhead
C Guru
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:01 pm

Shoulder injury question.

Post by hammerhead »

I have an old shoulder injury on my right side. 3rd degree separation from playing hockey...got a little to close to the boards. Anyway, I aggravate It every now and then paddling...mostly rolling, missing rolls or low bracing. My main question; if I paddle right hand down, is there more strain on my shoulder than there would be if I paddled left hand down? I would switch sides if this would protect my shoulder more. Most of the other strokes do not cause me any pain. Any insight would be great. I do plan some prof. physical therapy as well. Peace...
Bob P
CBoats Addict
Posts: 765
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:04 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by Bob P »

The lower you can keep the weak arm, the better. Unfortunately, rolling isn't conducive to that position.
Bob P
Larry Horne
C Maven
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:39 am
Location: Northern California

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by Larry Horne »

Yeah, if you paddle right, it's all good until you roll. When you roll you really expose the right shoulder. I think the t grip shoulder get's less stress, but I'm sure there are many that disagree.
Larry
hammerhead
C Guru
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:01 pm

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by hammerhead »

Understood...seems to Me 90% of the time It's fine. Just the High, Low Brace & Rolling moves. Thanks for the input. Cheers!
User avatar
sbroam
CBoats.net Staff
Posts: 3967
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 2:12 am
Location: Lexington, SC
Contact:

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by sbroam »

A friend of mine was a swimmer in college and had injured both shoulders, one more than the other, and deliberately picked one side over the other. I *think* he had done more to his left shoulder and elected to paddle on the left to protect it. I haven't heard from him in forever, though...
User avatar
ohioboater
CBoats Addict
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:05 pm
Location: SE Ohio
Contact:

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by ohioboater »

I have a torn anterior labrum in my right shoulder - did it 15 years ago while trying to learn to hand roll a K1. That's originally why I ended up paddling on the right side when C boating. Having my right hand on the t-grip was a recipe for lingering pain if I did more than maybe 20 hard strokes that way. I've been doing a lot of PT-ish weight work in recent years, to the point where my right shoulder now will tolerate paddling lefty, but of course my skills are pretty weak on that side. Still, I now can hammer sit-and-switch style in flatwater without pain.

I also have a torn posterior labrum and other misc damage to my left shoulder from a MTB crash maybe 6 years ago. Interestingly, I'm fine having that hand on the t-grip, so I still paddle righty. It does get a little tweaky after a long day on harder water, mostly because of cross-forwards.

Main limiting factor for me really is elbow tendonitis. Hard cross strokes make my right elbow sore, and rolling REALLY makes it flare up.
OC1again
c
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by OC1again »

I have been through two shoulder surgeries on my right shoulder. Can't paddle double blade anymore, so came back to the canoe. I paddle left, consciously keeping my right elbow low when I paddle. Rolling is fine, but cross strokes and peeling in and out of eddies still put it at risk. I have been known to dislocate it peeling out, struggle back to shore/eddy, reduce it, and keep paddling.

By keeping the elbow low (sometimes almost holding it against my side/chest), it is better protected, but admittedly it isn't as efficient, and I am pretty sure it looks odd - people probably wonder what strange-butt technique I have going on - so be it.

My recommendations

1. Use a shorter paddle than normal. I am 6-4 and use a 56, small blade Bailey stick. It helps keep the shoulder lower, but again it isn't as efficient and may limit power. However, you can get quicker strokes and cross strokes are a bit easier to get across the bow.
2. Get some good exercises/rehab recommendations from a PT. Have him/her supervise you for several sessions to make sure you are doing it right. Then, do it like its your job. Helps loads, plus you get more power.

That's just me. Take it for what it's worth. Best of luck - I know shoulder injuries suck. But technique, equipment, and rehab should keep you in a boat for many years.
pblanc
CBoats Addict
Posts: 534
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: Shoulder injury question.

Post by pblanc »

I have developed shoulder issues as well. I do not have a history of a documented injury to my left shoulder, but I did "tweak" it pretty badly hands rolling a kayak many years ago. I suspect I subluxed the joint, which is sort of like a partial, temporary dislocation. I have always paddled C1 and OC1 on the right side.

I now have intermittent episodes of left shoulder pain, sometimes lasting 6 or more weeks, which are aggravated by single-bladed paddling. MRI shows no rotator cuff tear or other pathology amenable to surgical correction, but does show a good bit of degenerative disease in both the gleno-humeral (main shoulder) joint as well as the acromio-clavicular (AC) joint, in addition to bursitis in multiple locations and some biceps tendonitis.

My experience has been very similar to others who have already posted. Although I can still roll a kayak pretty easily, I have to be cautious doing so. I have pretty much lost my open boat roll and don't really want to try to regain it for fear of injuring my shoulder. Cross-strokes definitely aggravate the shoulder, especially if I carry a cross-forward back into a cross-forward sweep or try to execute a cross-stern pry or an off-side high brace so I have to be very cautious and conservative with those strokes. All of this has made me rather tentative with off-side moves and also means I will swim if I capsize. It sucks but I would rather keep paddling on a somewhat limited basis than not be able to paddle at all. If I were younger I would consider trying to switch paddling sides.

I too have found that going with a shorter paddle is helpful. I am around 5' 11" and for many years used a 58 inch paddle. A few years ago I went to a 56" and am now trying a 54" which I think is as short as I can go.
Post Reply