Can Paddle Boarding Cause Back Pain? Actually, It Can Heal!

Is paddle boarding bad for your back? Most people ask this question.

We have said that paddle boarding is a water sport with no age limit. However, if you are a senior, or you have ever had back surgery, you will be worried whether it will make your back hurt.

One of the reasons why many people ask whether paddle boarding is bad for the back is that you have to use the paddle while standing up.

Not to worry though. In this article, we shall find out whether you can suffer from lower back pain after paddleboarding.

In another article, we looked at how to paddle board with bad knees. Here, we shall see whether SUP helps with the back.

So, can paddle boarding hurt your back? If you have had back issues before taking up stand up paddle boarding, you can hurt your back. But if you have never had back issues, SUP is going to strengthen your core muscles.

Yes, you can get lower back pain after paddle boarding. The muscles and ligaments in your lower back can become irritated due to all the twisting and turning.

But this does not mean that it is a problem of the spine. It is usually a muscular issue that you might be able to treat with heat application later.

Is SUP good for lower back pain?

Is Paddle Boarding Bad for Your Back

This is another commonly asked question. People want to know whether stand up paddle boarding can help with back pain.

Since this sport involves the entire body muscles, it might actually help with lower back pain. Remember, the core muscles that help with posture, balance and other things are located in the lower back.

If SUP is going to help you with back pain, you need to know a few things. First, if the lower back pain is too much, it might be quite a bother. Doctors usually prescribe drugs or surgery for serious lower back pain.

Therefore, before you hop on your Inflatable or solid paddle board and hope that it is going to help you cure your back pain, talk to a doctor. Ask them whether you can subject your back to SUP.

If your doctor advises against it, just don’t do it. It can make your lower back pain worse.

Is paddle boarding good for sciatica?

If a nerve in your lower back is compressed, it can cause sciatica. This is manifested by pain that you feel in the hips, thighs or lower back.

So, is paddle boarding good for sciatica, or is it going to make it worse? Since stand up paddle boarding exercises all of your muscles, it can also help with sciatica.

But … yes, there is a but, you have to know what posture to adopt. While stand up paddle boarding is good for your back, it can also be bad.

For instance, you have to know how to stand, how to stay balanced on the buoyant paddle board and how to turn.

All of these things can have their toll on you. Your back muscles can suffer if you are not careful.

Is paddle boarding bad for lower back?

Paddling is the type of water sport that works out all of your muscle groups, including the core muscles.

If you have had issues with your back before, well, paddling is going to be bad for your lower back.

Therefore, it is recommended that you let your lower back heal first, before you can start engaging in activities that will get the lower back muscles involved.

When you have healed, take paddling slowly, to strengthen the lower back. Later on, you can engage in faster and more intensive paddling.

If you do not have a problem with your back, there is less risk of your sustaining lower back pain from stand up paddling.

It is okay to feel some soreness in the first few days, but as you practice more, the soreness will disappear.

Just remember to take it easy at first until your body gets used to paddling. You will find that the body adjusts very well, with time.

When can paddle boarding hurt your back?

Image of can paddle boarding hurt your back

Despite a SUP board being very good for back pain, there are times when it can actually be the main cause of your back pain.

Once you identify the things about paddling that can cause back pain issues, you can avoid them. Here are a few reasons why your SUP could be causing your lower and upper back issues:

1. Using the wrong paddling technique

You can hurt your back when you do not know how to use a SUP board. The secret is in knowing the advanced techniques for SUP paddling.

Generally, paddle boarding is good for your back because it makes the core muscles stronger. However, in some instances, paddling can hurt your back.

The risk for damage is small. People ask: is paddle boarding hard on your back? It can be if you do not know the right posture to adopt.

The wrong paddling technique is generally anything that goes opposite of the right paddling.

For instance, not keeping the paddle perpendicular to your board causes you to lean further outside, as you have to draw the paddle from afar.

This can cause serious issues with your torso. You are likely to experience muscular problems when you get out of the water.

2. Adopting a poor posture on the board

I guess this is like a continuation of the point we raised in number one. Posture is everything when you are walking, standing, sitting, and when kayaking or paddle boarding.

If you paddle for a long time in a poor posture, you will be putting your lower back muscles under strain and eventually, you will experience pain.

Learn how to stand and balance on the paddle board. Stand with feet shoulder width apart in the middle of the board.

If you have had back surgery before, the twisting of the back when paddle boarding might cause you some pain.

If you are recovering from back surgery, please make sure that you recover completely before you can attempt stand up paddle boarding.

3. When fishing from a paddle board

It is possible to fish from a paddle board. However, this means you will be doing extra work, having to balance on the board, and at the same time, keeping your line in the water.

Having to twist back and forth and at the same time trying not to fall into the water can put a strain on different muscles, including the back muscles.

When you have constantly bend forward, you will be causing strain to the lower back muscles. If you keep doing this, you can experience back pain.

4. Not warming up properly

Paddling is an energy-intensive exercise. Therefore, if it has been some time since you last worked out, or you are not very fit, you are going to experience post-workout soreness.

As a beginner, it will be sometime before you can get the correct posture. All of these things add up and can affect your lower back, upper back, and even shoulder muscles.

Before you get into the water with your paddle board, try to warm up. Loosen those muscles a bit and get the blood flowing again.

Is paddle boarding good for a herniated disc?

Is paddle boarding good for a herniated disc

Doctors agree that paddle boarding is good for herniated disc. But you have to wait until you have healed properly before you can get in the water.

Paddling works out several muscle groups. Even the lower back and the upper back muscles are beneficiaries of this sport.

In that regard, SUP is indeed very good for a herniated disc. Mostly corrected using surgery, if you ask your doctor whether you can go paddle boarding, they will advise you to wait until the incision heals.

However, ensure that even then, you take it easy. If you are of advanced age, it is best to wait a bit longer to heal completely.

There is no paddle board age limit. In fact, it is good for your back, among other things. If you are struggling with posture and balance in your senior years, you should try this sport. It helps!

The bottom line – Speak to your doctor before you can engage in any intensive exercise, after recovering from a herniated disk problem.

Also read my past posts on:

Are Inflatable Surfboards Any Good?

Are Cheap Paddle Boards Any Good?

Easy Eddy 3 Piece Modular Paddle Board Review

The SUP Brands to Avoid Buying

What is a characteristic of a Type III life jacket for paddle boarding?

Conclusion: Is paddle boarding bad for your back?

Is paddleboarding bad for your back, or can it help your back? It can do both!

If you have a bad back, you might want to see a doctor first before you take up stand up paddleboarding.

At the same time, even if you have never had back issues, it is important to learn how to stand up paddle board.

Learning how to paddle, how to balance on the board and how to turn can help you prevent damage to your back.

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