What you need to know and how to get rid of it
Surfing is one of the healthiest sports in the world, however, it holds several dangers. One of these dangers is the Surfer’s knee pain. The sight of surf riders gliding on the ocean waves is always beautiful, but many people remain unaware of the myriads of physical hazards associated with this adrenaline-charged sport. Surfers usually rely on surfboards made of heavy fiberglass and the sport is quite popular in beaches around the world.
The dangers associated with surfing range from cuts and bruises, to head crashes, and other injuries, which may even be fatal at times. The most common is, however, the knee joint pain, which is invariably called the Surfer’s knee pain.
What is surfer’s knee pain?
The knee is one part of the body that is susceptible to much pain. The ankles and hips depend on the knee in a dysfunctional relationship where the knee bears all the pain caused by tensions and immobility in the hips and ankles. The knee is made up of a hinge joint, which glides forward and backward and sometimes rotates. However, difficulties in hip and ankle movement will result in a substantial force, which will cave in on the knee joint.
The quality of the tissue around the knee joint has vast impacts on the knee’s movement and can cause excruciating pain if in a bad state. All pain in the knee starts in the muscles from where it spreads to the tissues and the knee joint.
While surfing, surfers kneel for long periods of time on a floating surfboard in an unnatural position, which causes significant pain in several parts of the body over time. Most of the body’s weight rests on the foot during this exercise, while the kneel bears almost all of the force as described above.
Surfer’s knee pain arises because of imbalances in the knee. These imbalances are tied to shortened muscles but do not necessarily cause pain except when putting into continuous use.
A vivid description of what ensues shows that the muscles, which are always attached to the bones, pull the joints out of their natural position, thus initiating an appreciable amount of stress on the joints. The central nervous system of the body in response to these changes will tighten the muscles to protect the joints from the stress. These changes are however unnatural to the body and are bound to have adverse effects over time. This is how surfer’s knee pain ultimately sets in.
An individual can experience surfer’s knee pain with no prior surfing experience especially if this individual engages in activities that can cause significant strains around the knee, hips, and ankles. The pain is, however, more pronounced in a surfer who combines daily activities such as sitting, driving, sleeping with surfing as all of these affect the muscles in the body and lead to a lack of flexibility.
Imbalances caused by overuse, under stretching, and lack of flexibility of these muscles pull the knee joints out of their normal alignment and leave them highly prone to injury.
Problems associated with surfer’s knee
Surfer’s knee pain is the bane of almost every surfer as the pain affects the surfer’s performance over time.
Surfers require a healthy knee joint and strength in their muscles especially those of the legs and hips to undergo the high range surfing motion without hassles. Surfing and knee problems appear to go hand in hand but this should never stop you from surfing.
Unknown to many surfers, they deliberately cave in the back knee to produce the force needed to make turns which causes stress on the inside of the knee. This force results in less muscular support and a reliance on the ligaments, cartilage, and tendons to stabilize the knee. When this is practiced often, it breaks down the tissues in the knee, which with time causes pain.
Surfers constantly subject their bodies against the forces of the waves, but this can actually damage their ligament and cartilages, which will also cause knee injuries.
The continuous rotation of the hips, torso and the foot coupled with the imbalance created presses on the hips, knees, and ankles and these accumulate over time. Eventually, the surfer will suffer from restricted mobility above (in the hip region) and below the knee (in the ankle), and this will cause massive reliance on the knee.
What to do to prevent and get rid of surfer’s knee pain
Surfer’s knee pain is not usually evident as it starts with tightness or a nagging ache around the knee. A severe knee pain limits the surfer from enjoying the thrills of surfing, and it is a bad experience. The good news is surfer’s knee pain can be prevented if the individual knows how to move properly.
Before describing how to manage your body’s movements to prevent and get rid of surfer’s knee pain, surfing braces may also help prevent injuries and provide extra support for surfers against surfer’s knee pain. Surfing knee braces are quite handy for the protection of the knee while surfing. They are reliable and will let you enjoy surfing without pain. And the best surfing knee brace will be one that supports the knee as the surfer shifts their weight about on the surfboard, and will help prevent the knee from moving out of its normal range. A knee brace for surfing keeps the dangers associated with the knee at a minimum and allow surfers to enjoy the many mental and physical benefits associated with the sport which includes strength and stamina gain.
Tips for body movement management
- Do not rest on your knees alone for movement as you cut through the waves. Use your hips, shoulders, chest and rib area to aid your movements
- Better hip flexibility and strength can help you gain more traction and stability. You should do hip stretching exercises to keep the muscles strong
- Surf with your whole body. While surfing, some moves may require the use of specific muscles in your body more than others. However, as much as you use these muscles, you should ensure that you maintain strength and flexibility in your whole body
- Working through your movements and ensuring you know how best to move your body will keep you clear of surfer’s knee pain and will help you enjoy surfing more