Cranks cause shoulder problems?^

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Sula II
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Cranks cause shoulder problems?^

Post by Sula II » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:42 pm

Grateful for any opinions.

Seem to have a shoulder problem that could be related to a purchase of cranked touring kinetics, as the latter occurred after the former. The cranks may be slightly wider than I would use for a straight shaft, which may or may not be a factor? They were going cheap and I thought that the cranks width were a preference rather than a mechanical problem if slightly 'incorrect'.

I haven't got out paddling much and used the cranks on three occassions over a month or two, for trips circa 12 miles. There was reasonable headwind on the trips, which may have exacerbated the problem? ie more force used by me than was necessary causing strain.

The injury diagnosed as posterior shoulder capsule tightening, is one often related to a throwing action. So I am wondering if the paddles are not suitable for me, due to the width of the crank, as I do not throw things much at all really. =0)

I am asking here on the forum to see if anyone else has had this problem or know others who have.

Thanks for your time.

Clem

Owen
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by Owen » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:25 pm

Sula II wrote: I haven't got out paddling much and used the cranks on three occassions over a month or two, for trips circa 12 miles.
Clem
I don't know how wide your cranks are or how wide you are, but I wouldn't have thought they would have caused your problem. Could it be that your just not paddling fit? Maybe you should try some shorter trips but go more often. Just a thought, I don't know you, you could be super fit for all I know.

Bards
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by Bards » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:38 pm

Maybe the temptation of seeing cranks as an egonomic panacaea means less committment to our old friend 'trunk rotation' in which case wrist stress would be swapped for increased or at least altered shoulder action? Just a thought, as they did cause that for me for a while, though for me it certainly didn't result in an injury.
I didn't find the fixed hand-spacing to be at all easy to get used to, either, though my wrists have not shown any aggravation since their purchase so they have been of benefit in that dept.
I'm no physio, but any excuse for a kick up the butt in the twist and shake dept has always done me some good and spread the workload...

mick m
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by mick m » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:45 pm

Cold the size of the blades have sumthing to do with the problem? Iv resently moved acros to the Greenland paddle and find I can stil cruse at the same speads, with less strain and a more relaxed stroke, the serfice ariar is about the same but the long skiny shape delivers the arear diferantly . Im stil not convinced ther the best for surfflandings and playing in rock gardens.

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:55 pm

I'd suggest not enough torso rotation and possibly gripping the paddleshaft too tight. You shouldn't feel your arms "going behind you", if that makes any sense.
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Mike Mayberry
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by Mike Mayberry » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:21 am

I know someone who had a similar problem after he bought a new paddle. His shoulder was acheing lots after day trips on the water. It was the only thing he had changed that season and decided it was the stiffness in the paddle that had caused it. He changed it again to one with more flex in the shaft and never had a problem again.

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Jim
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by Jim » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:30 pm

Hmm, sounds like it is possible that the width of the crank could be the issue.
Where did you get the diagnosis?
I'm wondering if it would be possible to turn up to a physio appointment with your paddle so the physio can see how you hold/use it and decide if it is the cause?

CONTADOR
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by CONTADOR » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:46 pm

Try this - hold your paddles as you would whilst paddling, put the middle of the shaft on top of your head and the angle at your elbows should be about 90deg or a bit less. If this is the case then they should be ok.
The other thing to try is asking a decent paddler whether your paddles look about right, someone should be able to tell by just taking a glance at you using them.
Are they a full carbon shaft do you know? they can be very unforgiving.

Sula II
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by Sula II » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:43 pm

Thanks to everyone for their input! =0)

I see the point re. paddle fitness and I cannot say that I am super fit by any means. I can also see the point about more shorter trips, although I didn't have this problem with straight shafted Nordkapps doing similar distances sporadically, which is why I posted.

I do think about relaxing my grip whilst paddling and often open the fingers out for periods of time, if I notice that I am gripping too hard. I do also think about rotation and sometimes wonder if I over rotate, or leave the paddle in too long. Don't we all?

Regarding the ergonomic panacea, I hoped to remove any 'strain' from the wrists, as I hoped that this would minimise the risk of recurrence of tennis-elbow from a few years back and minimise any threat of tendonitis. I do think, in retrospect, that the more locked wrist movement has altered the way that I use my arms and may cause a slight upward lift at the shoulder at the end of the stoke, with my relatively upright paddle stroke.
This would pick up on the suggestions as to the width of the cranks and/or the length of the paddles being too long. I will check the length as suggested and go from there. It could be that I need a shorter paddle length anyway, which would be highlighted by the fixed hand position of the cranks.

The diagnosis was given by a friend who is an experienced physio,who thought the diagnosis was of a 'textbook' variety. I described the action of paddling and demonstrated with a broom unfortunately, having forgotten my paddles. Doh!
He saw the injury as one normally associated with throwers, in a sporting context. This lead me to wonder about the previous paddle change and the sizing of the cranks. It may be that the top arm may be over extended during rotation?

Anyway enough of me rambling on. I may well try a GL stick at some point in the future a suggested by Mick, but I will definitely try shorter paddles . Thanks for the advice/suggestions, which has allowed me to focus my thoughts on the matter.

Clem

geoffm
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by geoffm » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:50 pm

What length is your paddle, what kayak do you paddle and how tall are you?

Geoff

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WillH
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by WillH » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:40 pm

Having had much the same experience - here's the detail which you may find useful, although I have not solved the problem yet...

I'm 6ft, Kayak - Alaw Rockpool, paddle - Werner Shuna / crank carbon shaft / 215cm, I paddle frequently all year.

Previously I was paddling with an all glass fibre straight shaft paddle - 6 months after starting paddling my wrist was suffering - one day trip of 35km proved to be the point at which I opted for cranks.

The wrist problem disappeared almost immediately.

Perhaps another 6 months later a left shoulder ache became noticeable until, at its worst, I could not lift my left arm above chest height without a fair bit of pain.

Now, (2 years later) I am now very conscious of technique. My rotation my not be perfect every time but I do make an effort to ensure I paddle 'correctly'. I think my worst fault is slouching.
The left shoulder is now still sore - most noticeably after, rather than during paddling (in fact it is sore now and the last time I paddled was before new year).

Being rather rubbish, I have yet to visit the doc or physio - although I do not expect there to be a magic cure.

I have always felt however that the overly wide cranks (for me) is the real issue. No doubt this is exacerbated by the unforgiving carbon shaft and imperfect technique.

My intention is to have a Euro paddle customised for my height/build etc, continue concentrating on technique, and sell the Werner Shuna.

Cheers
Will

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:32 pm

I read somewhere (RoguePaddler?) that having a slight pause between strokes can reduce wear-and-tear on yourself with very little loss of speed.

Try some of the ideas in this article : http://www.roguepaddler.com/tweak2.htm (go Greenland)

and this article : http://www.roguepaddler.com/diagnose.htm
Second, another extremely common source of joint pain and stiffness (one whose seriousness is not to be underestimated) is dehydration. Strange as it sounds, your body can become dehydrated even if you don't feel particularly thirsty. And if you do feel thirsty, you can rest assured that dehydration has already begun. When your body is dehydrated, it loses much of its ability to heal itself, to contain or reduce inflammation, and even to flex and stretch. All of these consequences spell bad news for kayakers, whose consistent exposure to heat, sun, and prolonged exertion (paddling) makes them particularly susceptible to such effects.
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MikeB
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by MikeB » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:09 pm

I don't recall if it was a Shuna I tried once, but it was certainly a Werner, and it had a pronounced "catch" as it came out of the water - it was almost as though it needed a little flcik to get it back into the air. That turned out to be poor technique (I was taking it too far back), but that's never been a problem with any of the Lendals I use(d) or an Epic.

Whether that "catch" is something you experience, and if so, if it contributes to the choulder problems, I've no idea - but perhaps worth a thought?

Certainly being forced into too wide a grip won't help I'd expect.

It could be worth trying some Epics - I had a "relaxed touring" pair and was very impressed with them. I reviewed them in the Almanac fwiw. They have a lovely feel to them, and a pleasant action. Rather softer than my current carbon Lendals. With no crank, I expected flutter but there wasn't any, and that of course means you can use a very relaxed grip. It also means you can position your hands in the most natural position. No wrist problems either as I recall.

The only thing I didn't like was the slightly clumsy collar set up they use to lock the adjustable length and feather - I much prefer the Lendal padlok system.

Mike.

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EK Sydney
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by EK Sydney » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:29 am

G'day Folks,
I've read this thread with interest. I think buying a set of cranks off the shelf is asking for trouble. Unless you're prepared to have the cranks customised to your exact hand position then you will end up changing something else in your stroke to compensate - not ideal. Some of the stock shafts I've seen position your hands too close together & will merely make you aggravate another part of your muscle set, in an attempt to alleviate your wrist problems. The majority of wrist problems are caused by poor technique, as opposed to doddgy wrists, so again the answer in my eyes is instruction & improvement, not another piece of gear. You don't often see racing ski paddlers or olympic kayakers using cranks, because they have their technique down pat. Mostly, all I see cranks doing is allowing a poor technique to flourish.
Having said all of that, I did see an excellent new crank design last week at Lance Mitchells place, with a 15cm 'crank zone', which give you a huge amount of latitude in your grip width. I haven't seen any other like this, as they mostly only allow a little more than a hand space on the cranked part of the paddle. They are worth a look if you genuinely have bad wrists & a crank can help....
Mark.

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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by mick m » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:06 am

Mark , are you bringing one home for us to look at ?

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Mikebelluk
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by Mikebelluk » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:57 pm

In my case changing to cranks [Werner or Lendal.. doesn't matter] stopped the tendinitis I got in my right wrist, so they definitely helped there.
I also had calcific tendinitis in my right shoulder about 6 yrs ago and it has never been the same since and still hurts like hell at times, but I don't think it is aggravated by bent or straight paddles, so I basically use a 'Mid Angle' paddling style to get round it.

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WillH
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Re: Cranks cause shoulder problems?

Post by WillH » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:36 pm

So, 7 months on:
I did see a physio - helpful in determining the exact cause of the pain and some useful exercises which I try to keep doing
I did not sell the Werner paddle - despite the wide cranks I still feel happier with this paddle than any other I've tried

Most importantly - I'm sitting up!

Now firmly believe that the slouching, which I identified as my worst fault in terms of technique, is at the root of this problem.
More than anything else, whilst technique is still far from perfect, recently, this seems to have helped most.

Cheers
Will

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