Sunday, August 2, 2009

Think Safety: Lower Back Pain and Kayaking or “Yak Back”

Think Safety: Lower Back Pain and Kayaking or “Yak Back” is the name of an article that can be found on the New England Kayak Fishing website.
The author identifies himself as "riddler", and is a chiropractor.
The article talks about certain aspects of the 'yak back' syndrome, what can cause it, and the dangers of injury.

The article recommends ways to deal with it - mainly exercise, but the more you read it the more you get the feeling that it's an exercise in futility, basically because the writer ignores the principal cause for the problem, which is the kayak fisherman's own legs pushing his lower back against the backrest.
It appears that at the time this article was written the writer was not aware of the existence of a full solution to this problem, and that's to quit using sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks, and start fishing from a W kayak.

The article offers a good insight into how the rotational motion typical to traditional kayak paddling is harmful to your lumber spine.
Again, the traditional L posture in sit-in and SOT kayaks offers just one way to paddle, which is to rotate your upper body left and right while harming your spine in the lumber area. In contrast, paddling the W kayak does not require such rotational motion, and offers a variety of paddling positions and paddling styles - accordingly, as shown here: Bio-mechanical and Ergonomic Solutions in Kayaks

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