Surfing is quite demanding. It puts your legs, gluts and the back to test, often pushing them to the limit. Consequently, back pain, or surfers back, is a common injury many surfers have to deal with. The blanket term refers to any lower back injury regardless of the cause.
In most cases, weak back muscles, posture or bad surfing technique causes the lower back pain. This means that you can enjoy the waves without putting your back on the line if you know what to do. Here are some pointers on the main causes of surfer’s back.
Perfect Your Surfing Technique
Surfing isn’t all about keeping your balance when on the board. You have to ensure that your stance is right to avoid putting too much stress on your back. A good rule of the thumb is to keep your back as straight as possible and keep low when doing the twists and jumps.
Investing some time with a professional surfer or a coach is a great way to perfect your form. It might take some relearning and restructuring your surf schedule but it will be worth it in the long run.
Work On Your Weak Muscles
Sporadic surfers who aren’t as fit are more susceptible to surfer’s back than seasoned surfers who have worked on strengthening their muscles. The most important muscles as a surfer are:
- Gluteal (buttocks)
- Your core
- Hamstring muscles
- Thighs and calves
While your gluts, thighs and hamstrings handle the board manoeuvres, everything is pivoted through your pelvis and the lower back. A strong core, especially stronger transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles, will let you soak in the torque without dislocating your back.
Exercises that strengthen these muscles and improve your overall fitness will help you combat your pain. Moreover, easing into surfing rather than going too hard every time you hit the waves will condition your muscles over time without letting you suffer back pain.
Get Your Posture Right
A few minutes on the surfboard will magnify any prior back problems you had. Bad posture throughout the day will harm your lower back, and this will show once you start surfing regardless of how good your technique is.
Poor posture could occur when you are sitting at the office, standing, lying in bed or going through your daily schedule.
- If you sit down a lot, get a good chair with lumbar support or a straight chair that encourages you to stay in a natural posture
- If you stand a lot, practice your posture so that you never excessively arch your back and put strain on the lower back
- If you are always lifting heavy things, remember to lift with your legs and not your back. Keep your back straight during the entire lift to protect your lower back
If you already have the back pain problem, you will need back pain treatment Perth to take care of the problem before you implement the above solution. If you get your posture right, strengthen your muscles and better your form, you will no longer worry about surfer’s back pain any more.