Tag Archives: pain across back

The Essentials to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Wakeboarding asks a lot of our bodies, but often times traveling to a competition can do more to your body than actually riding! Riding in a car or plane, eating out, and jet lag can take a toll on your body and affect your performance.

Here are a few ways to help combat the stressors of travel and increase your recovery for peak performance.

1. Drink water. Dehydration is the main component in the ill effects of travel. Air conditioning and heat in cars and planes dry out skin which is your biggest organ. Dehydration can lead to headaches, stiff muscles, joint aches, and poor immunity. The easiest way to prevent dehydration is by PRE-hydrating. The week before travel aim to drink a gallon daily. Bring an empty bottle to fill up after airport security and continue to drink water throughout your travels.

2. Bring tools. Lacrosse balls, tennis balls, rollers, and other mobility tools are helpful to decrease muscle tension and soreness while traveling. Many are small enough to put in your carry-on or backpack. While sitting, use the ball to massage back muscles, shoulders and glutes. Foam roll while waiting between flights or before getting into the car.

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Image: https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/the-4-best-self-myofascial-release-products-on-the-market

3. Stand up and stretch! Take breaks from sitting. Sitting is an unnatural position for our bodies leading to tightness in the hip flexors which ultimately leads to back pain. Walk around the plane during long flights, stop frequently during car rides and stretch out. The front body (chest, abdomen, hip flexors/quads) is the most compressed during travel so focus on opening this side rather than forward folding. Laying with your legs up the wall is also helpful to drain any swelling in the feet or ankles. You may look like a weirdo in the airport or plane, but your body will thank you!

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4. Wear compression. Compression tights are helpful during long flights or car rides to combat the swelling from sitting for long periods and changes in compartmental pressure. Swelling can make joints feel achy and decrease joint range of motion which will decrease performance. Compression can improve circulation and ultimately keep your legs feeling fresh during travel.

5. Pack your own food and take supplements. Airports and rest stop stations lack nutritional options for food so plan ahead! Pack healthy snacks, fruit, veggies and nuts to keep your diet well rounded. Fast food and sugar will decrease your immune system and increase your chance of getting sick!

Supplementation is always helpful to combat illness and aid muscle recovery.

-Vitamin C, B complex and Zinc can support immune function

-Glutamine, fish oil, and boswellia can aid in muscle recovery and inflammation reduction

Happy travels!!

 

 

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Wakeboarding and Low Back Pain

Has wakeboarding given you low back pain? Unfortunately, the nature of falling from the sky onto flat water just isn’t ergonomically correct! Wakeboarding causes repetitive stresses to the tissue of the lower back, the vertebrae, discs, and muscles and ligaments that hold everything together. These tissues can cause pain that is local in nature, achy, and can turn into sharp or debilitating depending on how severe the damage is. What kind of pain are you having?

 

image:  www.necksolutions.com

Muscle

Muscle pain is typically the most common and is diffuse, or spread out, and is achy in nature. It comes about after lengthy rides, trying new tricks, multiple falls (that aren’t severe),  and typically feels worse after inactivity (like sitting) and better once you move around for a little while. Muscle pain can also be severe during the situation of muscle splinting or spasm. Muscle pain responds well to soft tissue treatments like massage, Graston, manual therapy, etc as well as icing techniques (15-20 minutes with small towel or shirt between ice and skin) and electrical stimulation to decrease inflammation or pain.

Vertebrae

Vertabrae are the bones of the spine that make up a column to act as the foundation of the midsection as well as protection for the spinal cord. Falls, repetitive stress, and the constant pounding from landings can cause the vertebra to shift and be come whats called subluxated. This is a malposition of the vertebrae which can cause pain and inflammation of the surrounding nerves. It can also cause decreased range of motion and over time, if not corrected, can lead to degeneration of the joint. Getting adjusted by a chiropractor or DO, stretching and yoga, and foam rolling can be useful in addressing pinched nerves and subluxations.

Disc

Between each of the above named vertebra are discs. Discs act as cushion for impact between the two bones. Discs can bulge or herniate if impact is great enough and cause significant pain due to the close proximity of the disc to spinal nerves. Pain from these nerves radiate, or originate at the spine but travel down an extremity. Disc pain can be treated through decompression, traction, adjustment, and therapies to reduce inflammation, like ice and electrical stimulation. This can all be done at a chiropractic office or physical therapist. If the disc issue doesn’t respond to conservative care, further evaluation should be done by a neurologist.

 

Lower back pain is  a very treatable condition when it comes to wakeboarding, and the best way to start is with ice and rest. Once the pain is under control, strengthening the lower spine will keep you from injuring it again in the future. More on that, coming next!

 

*If you have back pain accompanied by a fever, flank pain, abdominal pain, or bowel or bladder problems, consult your general practitioner to rule out the possibility of appendicitis, diverticulitis, kidney issues, or other organ pathology. If in doubt, always consult a physician. 

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