Alaskan Chiropractor’s Deep Sea Fishing Injury Prevention Tips for Low Back Pain
If you’re looking to prevent back pain while waiting for your next big catch, follow our back pain prevention tips below. Whether you’re headed to Seward for salmon or Homer for halibut, keep your back pain at bay as you reel away.
Before you’re out on the boat, set yourself up for success. Prepare yourself with the right equipment, technique, and warm-ups so that your back is supported. Specifically, you can:
- Use a fishing belt: Get extra lumbar support with a comfortable fishing belt. You can find these at any typical tackle shop.
- Learn proper technique: Talk to a professional to make sure you’re using the correct form while fishing. Sign up for a professionally led tour, or go out with an expert friend.
- Stretch before going out: Stretching is an excellent way to avoid muscular tension. Check out these boat side exercises to stay flexible during your fishing trip. You can do these before and after your trip.
In addition, you’ll want to keep your body in a neutral position as you’re fishing. Pay attention to your body’s alignment as you fish and do what you can to avoid straining it when you feel that tug on the line. You should:
- Bend backward: Don’t lean forward. Try to keep your spine neutral, or move backward to keep your muscles from straining. The weight of your body backward will naturally help carry the load.
- Follow your fish: Avoid twisting your body when catching a fish. Stay in front of the fish and move with it around the boat. Keep moving your feet!
- Keep your knees flexible: Try to use your legs as much as possible as you fish. Whenever you can, sit back and bend your knees in order to counter the weight of the fish.
- Stagger your feet: By staggering your feet, you’ll allow your body to stay straight and keep a power position. You’ll avoid giving into abrupt force.
- Use the waves: Instead of using force, try to take advantage of the waves. You can wait until the wave is in your favor to reel in your line and avoid pulling it out against the wave.
- Engage your core: Some force is unavoidable, but try and put the burden on your core muscles. They’ll help support your back without the pain.
- Anchor your rod: You can put your rod against your side, which will help your body stabilize it and engage your legs and core instead of your back.
Finally, after a long day of fishing, prevent injury by taking care of your back. Be sure to address any pain areas and strengthen problematic muscle groups. For example:
- Apply ice packs: If you feel back pain after fishing, ice the area. In this way, you’ll reduce swelling and keep the pain down. Don’t ice for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
- Strengthen your core: It’s important that your core is strong for fishing. Do ab-specific exercises to keep them in shape. Your core is your main support system for your back.
- See a chiropractor: If you continue to struggle with back pain, you might also see a chiropractor who can recommend a customized care plan for your back pain.
We hope you’ll add these tips to your tackle box so that your next fishing trip is successful and pain-free! Happy fishing!
About Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He created the Alaska Back Pain Protocol, which has helped thousands say goodbye to back pain.