Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Back Problems When Fishing: The Solution!
I am only just learning this blogging thing, but I think that if you put your e mail address in the blank white strip at the top of this page you might get advised of new blogs automatically.
Even looking up can give you a back twinge!
Sometimes when I am teaching casting, or fly fishing with a friend, after an hour or two my companion will complain that standing for so long is giving him backache. Almost always it was their lower back that was unhappy. This response surprised me because often they were half my age or less!
I used to suffer from lower back pain quite a lot. I put this down to being tall (6 foot 5 inches, if you think that’s tall my son Dan is 6 foot 10 inches). My height coupled with a lot of time either sitting at a desk or driving meant I could get a sudden twinge just bending over a wash basin. Now at the age of 66 years I hardly ever have a back concern. The reason is that many years ago I read a book, published by the UK Consumers Association (Which) called “Understanding Your Back”. In that book there were a series of exercises designed to keep backs in good shape. Since reading the book I have done the exercises regularly every 2 or 3 days and my back problems have gone away. If I slip up and miss exercising for a few days I risk getting a twinge!
So here in an effort to help you, are five exercises with brief video clips. If you have existing back problems either start very cautiously or seek medical advice first. I usually do 10 repeats of each movement. Rather than have an old veteran like me demonstrate them I thought it would be more appealing to have my daughter Lorraine take to the floor, however, she was busy so my wife Rosalind kindly volunteered. I hope the video clips work, they are a first for me!
Lie flat on your back on the floor and bring your feet close to your bottom, so that your knees are sticking up. In that position you should be able to slide your fingers in the gap under the small of your back. It is that gap that you want to try and close by pushing your spine down flat onto the floor. Keep pushing then small of your back down and then relaxing for the 10 reps.
Still in the same position as for Exercise 1, extend first your right leg, keeping the left still with the knee sticking up. Now push the right leg along the floor away from you, such that your pelvis is moved flexing your lower back. Then pull the leg back tilting the pelvis the other way. Repeat 10 times then do the same with the left leg. This tilting of the pelvis loosens up your lower back.
Still lying flat on your back on the floor with your legs extended, raise your right leg as high as you comfortably can, keeping it straight. Then raise your left leg. Repeat 10 times. This loosens your hips and stretches your ham strings.
Exercise 4Now for my favourite move! Lie flat on your back on the floor, bring your feet close to your bottom, so that your knees are sticking up. Then keeping your shoulders and back flat on the floor let your knees and legs flop first to the right and then to the left. Repeat 10 times. This really loosens up the whole of your spine. It makes me feel my back is flexible.
Exercise 5I then tuck my toes under something and with bent knees do 10 sit ups. You might want to approach that exercise more gradually if you have a history of back problems. I didn't do a video clip for this (I didn't want to push my luck).
Well, the choice is yours. You can take a few minutes every couple of days and give it a go, or you can risk spoiling a fishing trip by getting a back trauma lifting your gear out of the car, or even picking up a fly you have dropped! Whatever you decide I wish you well, meanwhile for me, it’s back to the exercises then a run (I want to fish forever)!