Boating And Back Health Can Be Shocking Combination

It can be anything but smooth sailing.

Dr. Deanna Lites
July 02, 2018 - 12:07 pm

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DETROIT (WWJ) - You've waited all winter for the weather that means boating in Michigan. 

But if you have back problems hitting the water can be anything but smooth sailing.

Riding in a boat can put a lot of stress and strain on your body reports WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

"Tremendous spinal compression," says Dr. Shirley Klieman a physical therapy expert with Spine and Sport Biomechanical Rehabilitation Center in Grand Rapids. "And so that is when the concerns of when people are on a boat. You have to be able to absorb the shock and that you can actually protect the joint mechanics."

One way to protect your back is to sit on a cushion - which will help absorb some of the shock, "so that is when the concerns of people who do boat - (you have to be able to) absorb the shock and that you can actually protect the joint mechanics," says Klieman.

Another way to minimize the impact on your body...pay attention to how you're sitting on the boat. " Rather than sitting up straight or erect, if you can lean back that will help make a more horizontal force so that you can transfer it through a longer lever." 

To protect your back it also helps to sit in the back of the boat where there's less bouncing.