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  • Writer's pictureAdvanced Physiotherapy

Navigating the Waters of Paddleboarding: Common Injuries and the Role of Physiotherapy

The sun is shining, the May long weekend is on the horizon and "White Rockers" are reaching for their paddleboards. Paddleboarding, a serene and invigorating sport that has gained immense popularity in recent years, offers a unique way to explore our local waterways while getting a full-body workout. However, as with any physical activity, it comes with the risk of injuries. Understanding these common injuries and how physiotherapy can aid in prevention and recovery is essential for every paddleboarding enthusiast.

silhouette of a paddleboarder at White Rock beach with advanced physiotherapy logo in the bottom right hand corner

Common Paddleboard Injuries

  • Shoulder and Upper Arm Injuries: The repetitive motion of paddling can lead to shoulder strain or rotator cuff injuries. Symptoms may include pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion.

  • Lower Back Injuries: Poor paddling technique or overexertion can cause muscle strains or ligament sprains, leading to back pain.

  • Knee Injuries: Sudden impacts or overuse can result in inflammation, strains, or dislocations of the knee.

  • Wrist Injuries: Continuous paddling can cause stress on the wrists, potentially leading to tendonitis or sprains.

  • Cuts and Bruises: Collisions with objects, falls, or contact with sharp rocks can lead to superficial injuries.

  • Ankle Sprains: Uneven surfaces or awkward landings can cause ankle sprains, characterized by pain and swelling.

How Our Physiotherapists Can Help

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in both the prevention and rehabilitation of paddleboard injuries. Here’s how:

  • Injury Prevention: A physiotherapist can teach proper paddling techniques, ensuring that you use your body efficiently and reduce the risk of injury. We can also guide you through exercises that strengthen the muscles used in paddleboarding, ultimately improving your overall stability and endurance.

  • Recovery and Rehabilitation: In the event of an injury, physiotherapy can help speed up recovery. Treatment may include manual therapy, tailored exercises, and advice on activity modification to facilitate healing while maintaining your fitness level.

  • Pain Management: We will provide you with strategies for pain relief, such as ice, heat, or taping techniques, which can be particularly beneficial for managing inflammation and discomfort during recovery.

  • Education: Understanding the mechanics of your body and how to listen to its signals is vital. It’s important to recognize the early signs of injury and how to respond appropriately to prevent further damage.

Paddleboarding is an enjoyable and low-impact sport, however it’s important to be aware of the potential for injury. By incorporating physiotherapy into your routine, you can enjoy the waves with confidence, knowing that you’re taking proactive steps to protect and heal your body. Remember, the key to a safe paddleboarding experience lies in preparation, technique, and self-awareness. So, grab your paddle, hit the water, and let the adventure begin – safely!

Happy paddling!


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