carpal tunnel

does anyone on these boards suffer from this?, and can anyone link it to paddling? even if paddling is not a cause, does paddling seem to be something that aggravates it?

Mild case
I have carpel tunnel in both wrists. Not severe. But just enough to flare up occasionally. Paddling with a feathered kayak paddle is a no no for me. That really does me in. I use an unfeathered paddle which seems to wok out well but i still have bad days. It all depends on how much i do at work, home projects, then paddling and fishing. From what i understand it’s different for everybody.

Good luck!

Had it bad
Actually I had it really bad. So bad that I wore metal splints to bed each night to keep my wrists straight.

I’m new at paddling and only paddled one season with Carpal before I had surgery. During that season I must have gone out two dozen times. Funny, paddling never bothered my condition, not in the least.

In early '05 I had the surgery on both wrists. It was totally sucessful and I no longer have to sleep with the splints.

Now my foot surgery was a different matter…

I think it may vary…
I have had bad symptoms from computer use and have had periods of needing to wear the splints at night and softer braces during the day. When I first started paddling I chose to use a non-feathered paddle because I worried it could aggravate it. After I started paddling whitewater, I switched to a feathered paddle. I haven’t had any problems at all from paddling, even with the feathered paddle.

I can imagine it can vary with the individual, but based on my experience and the other posts, it would seem it certainly isn’t necessarily going to be a problem.

I hope you’ll find it won’t be a problem for you!


reverse wrist curls with dumbells.
start with boringly light weights. ! or two pounds per hand Consider straighter wrists when you paddle. Control the angle by moving your elbow as you can.

carpal tunnel
A person is more likely to have shoulder problems due to specific ways of paddling with your arms held in the higher position. Paddling with the arms in a lower position as opposed to “power paddling” may not be as fast, but can be safer and allow one to enjoy kayaking/canoeing with the probability of less injury over time. The internet has a lot of info on shoulder and/or carpal tunnel.

I went through the carpal tunnel surgery before I started paddling, but just want to note that if you need it, get it done. If mine ever flared up again, I’d repeat the surgery in a heartbeat.

We’re not forever young. In spirit maybe, but not body. Be nice to your body and it’ll give you many years to enjoy paddling and other sports.

Michigan Nana

Wrist problems
Treated my wrist problems (arthritis and constant computer use) with occupational therapy and posture correction which included tapeing my shoulders–a constant reminder to keep them upright and not roll them forward (taped them for 3 days every other week for about a month). It provided immediate relief. When I started paddling, discomfort returned. I feathered the paddle and loosened my grip. I also did and continue to do shoulder specific weight (not a lot of weight) lifting and range of motion exercises.

Wrist trouble
Major paddling causes seem to be gripping the paddle too tightly, or a mismatch of paddle(feather angle) and paddling style that makes the paddler overuse their wrists. I also see a lot of paddlers who drop the wrist on the top hand instead of keeping it in line with the paddle, which is easily corrected by raising the elbow.

People who think paddling is all in the arms will tend to overuse their hands, arms, and wrists insead of letting the big torso muscles share the load.

A lot of ergonomic problems can lead to overuse injuries – paddles too big, too long, incorrect shaft size or inappropriate feather, boats too wide or too deep to allow a comfortable stroke, bad seats or posture, etc.

carpal tunnel not quite the same
It is useful to know a definitive diagnosis of your condition before applying the remedy. Carpal tunnel and general tendonitis are not the same and the remedy is not necessarily the same.

Tendonitis (tendinitis) is a condition where the tendons that attach muscles to bone become irritated. It is a painful injury that does not usually have numbness or tingling associated with it.

When a person suffers from tendonitis, pain is usually felt when the joints are moved. The painful symptoms of tendonitis develop due to unnecessary strain passing from the muscles through the tendons to their bony attachments.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by a compression of the median nerve. The median nerve is one of three main nerves that bring feeling to the arm and hand. When that nerve is compressed, it brings numbness and tingling to the area it serves. In addition to the median nerve being affected, the muscles that form the pathway for the median nerve are also implicated in every case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

And, actually, there are a number of other forms of inflamation that will need different remedies.

Here is one web link that may help. The MOST frequent causes of all these injuries are a combination of tight grip, over extension of the wrist both to the inside and outside of its range of movement, and hyper-flexing of the wrist due to use of feathered paddles and improper technique. These errors along with “weekend warrrior” itus, a midle aged yuppie condition that afflicts many of us, all contribute. The refusal to back off, see doctors, and get proper care until it is a major problem are all indicators of a poor result too!!!

Hope you read into this note a tongue in cheek humor angle, take in the best way and join the ranks of those who were able to change their ways. Hey I know, I was a really stubborn type, slightly better now.