L5-S1 issues from paddling

encladd

Grom
Oct 8, 2019
7
5
3
I'm dealing with it now. I have issues in the same zone. Mine flares up pretty bad once or twice a year. It's at its worst after a prolonged absence from surfing/exercise then going in cold.

This time, I hadn't surfed in a few weeks, I started back at work (2-3 hour round trip commute), tried to jump out and surf in the afternoon after sitting in meetings all day. Stretched for 4-5 minutes before (which doesn't do all that much), paddled for 30 minutes, stood up on my first wave and did the infamous "bottom turn- to grabbing the small of my back- to go straight in".

Laid me up for a week, rested, iced, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer at night, travelled to Portugal feeling pretty good, and the day we were going to head to the coast I reached onto the floor for a napkin and BOOM. locked up again.

Now we are in the season for waves at my local and I'm on the IR.

Lacrosse ball to the muscles in my back, glutes, PF, hip flexors, etc, stretching the hammies every which way, bridges when I can, gradually increasing activity, and avoiding a seated position as much as possible has been the only way I get past it. Upping your core fitness routine is the only real way to deal with it. I've worked with PTs and Chiros. Good ones are worth their weight in gold, but most of them are average or less. Finding one that surfs or is active with athletes is a game changer. I'm still on the hunt for one in SF.

and yes, underlying disc issues are often a problem.
You may have just inadvertently revealed the source of your back problems in this post! Your problem could be that you're bending over to grab stuff. You should almost never do forward bends at the waist. Think about how many times a day you may be doing it. If you keep doing what is aggravating the discs your issue will never go away... doesn't matter how much PT or exercise you do.

Here's what I'm talking about.
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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I think I had both postural and gait analysis for PT, which are informing the current treatment protocol. I also had a "postural analysis" done for free at an event booth by a chiropractor I didn't really trust, who told me (shockingly) I was horrendously crooked and in dire need of chiropractic care.
Hogwash and you PT is an asshole.
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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You may have just inadvertently revealed the source of your back problems in this post! Your problem could be that you're bending over to grab stuff. You should almost never do forward bends at the waist. Think about how many times a day you may be doing it. If you keep doing what is aggravating the discs your issue will never go away... doesn't matter how much PT or exercise you do.

Here's what I'm talking about.
I just bent over and grabbed something. I lived.

Tonight I'm going to bend over and grab a heavy barbell repeatedly.
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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ur deadlift is 385? pretty good!

single at rpe8

set of 4 at 84% of est 1RM

3 set of 4 at 75% of est 1RM

Normally I go into a heavy training cycle December through April. I'm going to try and hit 500 before my 53rd in May at a body weight of less than 195. I'm thinking mid 50's and trying to balance life's other sh!t this is my last run at 500..
 
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Chee-to

Michael Peterson status
Jan 11, 2002
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Hogwash and you PT is an asshole.
My PT is not an asshole. She's great. The chiropractor who told me I was crooked is almost certainly an asshole.

I am surfing aggressively again with much less pain after PT treatments. I am going to try lifting again soon to see if I can tolerate that now as well.
 

Havoc

Michael Peterson status
May 23, 2016
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in da hood next to paradise
My PT is not an asshole. She's great. The chiropractor who told me I was crooked is almost certainly an asshole.

I am surfing aggressively again with much less pain after PT treatments. I am going to try lifting again soon to see if I can tolerate that now as well.
get a coach for lifting. u’d b surprised how a small tweak in form makes a huge difference
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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My PT is not an asshole. She's great. The chiropractor who told me I was crooked is almost certainly an asshole.

I am surfing aggressively again with much less pain after PT treatments. I am going to try lifting again soon to see if I can tolerate that now as well.

If you can stand up out of a chair you can lift.

The body will respond to small incremental symmetrical increases in stress by getting stronger...always. I guarantee you go to where Havoc is going and after your 4th training session you will be remarkably pain free and you will notice differences in your physical appearance and strength. Mo muss no fuss. No imaginary imbalances and gait analysis hogwash to deal with.

Do you value yourself enough?
 
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GWS_2

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Aug 3, 2019
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I'm still scratching my head over L5 S1 problems caused by paddling. Further up, I get it. Pretty much everyone with significant water time has their neck eaten up by paddling to some degree, but L5 S1 is awfully low to be caused by paddling. Sitting in an office/car all day, soaking up stress, being sedentary, getting weaker and weaker...
 
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GWS_2

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Aug 3, 2019
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A lack of t-spine mobility will lead to hyper extension in the lumbar region?
Hyper extension from L5 S1?

For an extended period of time, all the while as he paddles?

You realize how far down that is?

Is he paddling with his belly button off of the board?

 
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Bob Dobbalina

Legend (inyourownmind)
Feb 23, 2016
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Hyper extension from L5 S1?

For an extended period of time, all the while as he paddles?

You realize how far down that is?

Is he paddling with his belly button off of the board?
My L4-L5 gets aggravated from paddling because of the tension on glutes and hamstrings. Stretching regularly and staying on a workout program helps.

My back is fucked when I'm off my program and sitting too much, go to stand up and get my feet up under me as I drop in, and everything caves.

Typically the solution is rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, maybe some massage or chiro, but mostly time, then getting back on a workout routine.
 

Chee-to

Michael Peterson status
Jan 11, 2002
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I'm still scratching my head over L5 S1 problems caused by paddling. Further up, I get it. Pretty much everyone with significant water time has their neck eaten up by paddling to some degree, but L5 S1 is awfully low to be caused by paddling. Sitting in an office/car all day, soaking up stress, being sedentary, getting weaker and weaker...

Well, here's the theory on that. I do sit in an office and car all day soaking up stress, then go immediately to surf. That creates lower back problems. Plus, as mentioned, a lack of thoracic spine mobility effectively transfers strain from where the T-spine would take it to the lower back. Add in a heavy paddling arch and the twisting involved in laying down turns, and a lot of strain is applied to the L5S1 joint. Add in that the problems started during a period of heavy lifting and it's not far-fetched to think that a deadlifting injury occurred, followed by just enough repeated stress on the joint to keep flaring it up.

However, your skepticism is correct. My L5S1 joint is fine. The problems I'm having are from pelvic floor dysfunction. It seems that any time I do a core bracing activity - lifting, paddling, squatting on the board to turn, etc - I squeeze the pelvic floor muscles along with the abs. After a while, they get sore and too tight and pull other sh!t out of place. Sitting too long also exacerbates it. The PT is mostly focused on retraining to brace the abs without the pelvic floor and relax the latter, and it's working very well. Some exercises still cause an almost-instant flareup of pain - and the ones that do are not at all the ones I would have expected - but the general trend is positive, and I can surf with much less pain now than several months ago

And yes, Von Meister, I value myself enough to take a break from lifting, which I've been doing regularly for a decade and which will remain a lifelong activity for me, in order to get my body functioning correctly again. Although, given that many of the PT exercises are simply bodyweight lifts, I guess I haven't quit lifting as much as temporarily changed my routine.
 

Autoprax

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Jan 24, 2011
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Hyper extension from L5 S1?

For an extended period of time, all the while as he paddles?

You realize how far down that is?

Is he paddling with his belly button off of the board?

The body functions as a unit.

It's the long term dysfuction that causes the break down.

You just need to irritate the lumbar and then expose it to some trauma.
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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My L4-L5 gets aggravated from paddling because of the tension on glutes and hamstrings. Stretching regularly and staying on a workout program helps.

My back is fucked when I'm off my program and sitting too much, go to stand up and get my feet up under me as I drop in, and everything caves.

Typically the solution is rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, maybe some massage or chiro, but mostly time, then getting back on a workout routine.
There is exactly zero medical evidence that shows stretching to be useful for injury prevention.

Pulling on a limb in order to theoretically stretch a muscle to a subjective point of discomfort puts stress on the soft tissues that make up your joints...which is never good. You want good tight joints for injury prevention. The bodies mechanism to protect itself is muscle contraction. Tight joints and muscles contract quicker and with more force that "stretched" ones.

Warming up with a light jog or some other aerobic activity is a much better way to prepare for physical activity.
 

VonMeister

Tom Curren status
Apr 26, 2013
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THE TERRORIST OF TERRAMAR
Hyper extension from L5 S1?

For an extended period of time, all the while as he paddles?

You realize how far down that is?

Is he paddling with his belly button off of the board?

Every adult male is going to have some sort of negative pathology at L5-S1. Things degenerate over time and mean old mr gravity is relentless. Sitting on a board can aggravate your lower back as can paddling or standing because it is right in the middle of your spinal erectors and beneath your abdominal muscles which are subconsciously contracting all the time whenever you are doing any activity.