Over the past few months we’ve had an influx of new clients coming in recommended by members of the kitesurfing community. My husband is a keen wind sports enthusiast, and has experienced regular chiropractic adjustments for over 10 years. He often encourages other fellow wind lovers to come to the clinic for an assessment and care. Interestingly, there seems to be similar injuries, causes, and health challenges presenting. Hence the inception of this blog.

Lets take a look at the physical aspects of kitesurfing.

  1. looking upwards at the kite. Although this gets less the more experienced you get, the constant neck ‘extension’ (technical term of looking upwards to the sky), promotes excessive forces through the joints of the neck.
  2. twisting to one side. Again, a more experienced kiter can go out in all wind directions, however, many will favour going out with an on shore breeze and flatter waves. Constantly twisting to one side, with your back to the wind, walking to the water’s edge and, if needs be, the ‘walk of shame’ coming back up the beach. These movements activate the back muscles more on one side than the other. It creates torsion through the spine, discs, joints and muscles, and will potentially accelerate injury and degeneration if not addressed.
  3. shoulders held away from the torso for long periods of time. This position activates the rotator cuff muscles, closes the sub-acromial space in the shoulder, and creates tension/locking through the thoracic (mid back) spine. The result of this could be rotator cuff tendinitis, sub-acromial bursitis, impingement syndrome, trapped nerves, and thoracic joint dysfunction.
  4. and finally, especially when starting out in this sport, falling forwards or backwards, landing on the water. A fast deceleration injury to the body, including but not limited to the neck, is called a whiplash. Whiplash can give neck and back pain, shoulder tension and headaches.

looking up and twisting

I have highlighted some of the typical kitesurfing injuries, and causes of these injuries above. I’d be remiss to exclude what is often lurking behind the injury. Some weakness or over use dysfunction that is waiting for ‘something’ to happen. This is usually, but not limited to, a male, 40-55 years of age, strong and physically active, often performing at high levels in their former years, and comes in saying that they are ‘getting old’. From my experience, it is more likely to do with pushing the human body too much, too fast, for too long, without, necessarily creating a healing and regenerative environment. In the end the body will push back, and speak louder and louder until the person is forced to listen.

even the fur baby enjoys daddy kite surfing

If this resonates with you, or your partner, feel free to come in and get a thorough functional assessment to find out what we can do to help. We are here to help get you back to full fitness or recover from an injury. Call our team on 01273 206868 to speak to a clinical member for a non obligatory chat. Alternatively you can email us on info@back2balance.co.uk