Surfing is an extremely fun activity that many people participate in. However, surfers can experience problems from time to time with their backs, shoulders, and wrists due to the repetitive action of paddling against the waves and then jumping to their feet on the board. This is where physical therapy can help. Here are five ways that surfers can benefit from working with a physical therapist for pain management, rehabilitation, and prevention of future injuries:
1) Core Strength and Endurance
One of the most important things for surfers is the strength and endurance of their core muscles. The stronger these muscles are, the easier it will be to paddle out into those big waves you want to catch without getting tired too quickly.
Physical therapy can help by designing a customized exercise routine that focuses on strengthening your core specifically as a surfer would need them for this activity. They can also help improve your endurance by having you do exercises that simulate paddling.
If you already have a weak core, then it is especially important to start working with a physical therapist so as not to injure yourself while also opening up your potential for improvement.
2) Mobility of Your Middle Back
Thoracic mobility is crucial to being a good surfer. If you have a bad range of motion in the thoracic spine, then it will be difficult for you to get your arms back behind you when paddling and also make catching waves more challenging. The motion of laying on your board and moving into your push-up position can be a very exhausting thing when done repetitively.
Physical therapy can help increase this mobility by having an experienced therapist work on stretching out your muscles with different techniques. They may also use heat treatment or massage therapy to help loosen up the area and get you moving more freely.
If you are someone who struggles with thoracic mobility, it is important to start seeing a physical therapist as soon as possible so that you can work on improving this aspect of your surfing before it becomes too much of an obstacle for you.
Surfing is a repetitive sport that has the potential to cause strain on your muscles and joints. If you are not able to hold proper posture while surfing, then this can lead to back pain which will only be exacerbated by sitting for long periods of time in between waves or after hours spent out at sea.
Physical therapists can help provide relief from this pain by teaching you how to maintain good posture while surfing. They can also provide exercises that will help keep your muscles strong and healthy, preventing strain from happening in the future.
4) Hip Flexibility and Range of Motion
Similar to thoracic mobility, having good hip flexibility and range of motion is important for surfing. If you are unable to move your hips in all directions, then you will not be able to get into the right position on your board and could easily fall off. Because your hips are directly connected to your ankles, back, and even your neck, they play a key role in maintaining your balance.
Physical therapy can help you improve this range of motion by working with different stretching techniques such as yoga or Pilates. It can also help to increase your hip flexion and extension so that you are able to move more freely on your board.
5) Shoulder Range of Motion
Surfing is extremely demanding on your shoulders. If you are not able to move them in all directions, then it will be difficult for you to catch waves and also maintain the strength needed when paddling. Physical therapists can help improve this by working with different stretching techniques that target your shoulder muscles specifically.
They may even have you use resistance bands and other equipment to strengthen and further increase your range of motion so that you can get into the best position possible when out on your board.
If you are serious about surfing, then it is important for you to start working with a physical therapist as soon as possible in order to improve these aspects of your game before they become too limiting or cause more problems.
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