Has pain ever limited the amount of time you spend on the water? Maybe the pain in your elbow, back or knees limits the amount of time you spend fishing. Your pain can be helped and even avoided if you do the proper stretching and strengthening exercises to help your posture.
Chronic pain is a major epidemic in our society. Many fishermen have chronic pain and many who don’t currently have pain, will have pain sometime in their life. Pain can be avoided and even fixed without medications and without surgery.
Did you know your posture is directly related to your pain?
In order to understand how it is related we have to break down what the word “posture” means. Posture is not only about standing up straight; it is also about proper muscle balance and proper joint alignment.
Bad posture can mean one side of your body is stronger than the other side. It can also mean that one hip is higher or that one shoulder is rounded forward more than the other. Maybe your head is tilted forward or your back is swayed. Bad posture can take many forms and is often the cause of chronic pain.
Remember when you were young and your mother kept telling you to stand up straight or to stop slouching at the dinner table. As we grow older it gets harder and harder to keep good posture. This is because over the years your muscles develop an imbalance due to bad stimulus that is incurred throughout everyday life.
Our muscles react to good and bad stimulus. Sitting at a computer for many hours is bad stimulus to your body. Spending many hours on your feet is bad stimulus. Standing at the trolling motor with one foot on the pedal while fishing is bad stimulus. Casting many times over and over is bad stimulus. These bad stimuli create muscular imbalances. Muscular imbalances create excessive wearing and tearing on the body’s joints.
Good stimulus is exercise. Not just any exercise, but proper exercise that focuses on muscle balance and joint alignment. The more good stimulus your body has the better your posture is and the better you feel.
All exercise is good, but the more specific you can make the exercise for your body the better it is for you. For example, if you have knee pain you need to do specific exercises that help with the alignment of the knee. If you do squats it might hurt the knee more.
Our society likes cookie cutter solutions. Unfortunately, when it comes to chronic pain the cookie cutter solution does not always work. Everybody’s pain is different. It might be in the same joint or area but your body is different than anybody else’s, which makes your pain different. The stimulus your body has endured over the years is different from anybody else. If you make the exercises specific to your issues you have a much better chance of fixing the pain.
I’ve worked on thousands of people with pain, but everybody’s pain is different, even if it is in the same area. One person might have pain in the knee due to an imbalance of hamstring tightness and quadriceps strength. Another person might have knee pain because of a misalignment of the hips, which causes excessive pressure on the knee. Same pain but different reasons for the pain.
Specific postural exercise and alignment exercises create good stimulus that will negate bad stimulus. Doing a stretching routine before you fish can help prevent the bad stimulus from creating a major problem.
Try a little experiment for me. The next time you go fishing do some arm circles and shoulder rolls. Then stretch your hamstrings out by placing one foot on the boat trailer while leaning down towards your toes. Make sure your feet and knees are straight. Then do a quad stretch by grabbing your foot and pulling it towards your butt.
See how that helps your fishing and helps your pain.
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