Screwed up My Arm But Good

it looks like. I mentioned (on on the discussion board) going to see my doctor about the problem I’m having with my upper arm. (the right one, of course, being right handed) And have been told I have busted one of my deltoids. Hence the excruciating pain when it happened (reaching for something in the backseat of my car!!!) and the odd tingly sensations along my whole arm.

We are treating it conservatively thus far; wraps and heat, and pain pills when necessary.

Now I’ve never had a lot of upper arm strength so I had been thinking about getting a fairly light boat, and since I don’t have a lot of money and can’t afford the nifty specialty plastics or glass, etc, it’s looking like even thinking of anything over 45 pounds may be out of the question. However, before I buy anything (thus far I am still borrowing yaks) I thought I’d see if anyone here has some thoughts advice for me? To be more to the point:

1 - can my remaining muscles really compensate as my doc says (once the damage “heals”) enough to do any reasonable lifting of something say 49 pounds? (like a Pungo 120?)

2 - if so are there exercises I can do? my googling is getting me nowhere, fast and just try getting insurance to cover anything like physical therapy these days out here in “hicksville”

3- has anyone else ruptured a deltoid or other arm muscle and survived to kayak again? My doc says I still can (and I did try it on the lake a bit today without too much trouble, but I sure can’t stick my paddle in the water to make a fast right turn!)

This has been a bummer since I only started paddling in earnest this summer and now I’m already injured.


Ouch, Sorry To Hear That

– Last Updated: Aug-02-06 8:48 PM EST –

Orthopedics and sports injuries are not my specialty, so I'll leave that advice for those more in tune to it than I. Now, when you're well enough to paddle.... As far as boats, my wife has gone from tandem canoe bowpaddler, to kayaker, to solo canoe now. I bought her a Bell Bucktail (actually the guy made us an offer we couldn't refuse and we got two). The Bucktail is short, maneuverable, and you sit on the bottom like a kayak, but it's a canoe. The newer ones are only made in kevlar and kevlar/carbon laminates and are expensive. Ours are the older, cheaper fiberglass layup. Still only about 35lbs with the footbraces I added. She has no problem carrying and loading this boat. I know at least one dealer, K.C. Paddler, that still has some of the fiberlar Bucktails for about $799 new. When you are healed, take a look at this little boat. Good luck and heal well! WW

My .02 cents
may not mean much, but here it is. Over the years I have suffered from all sorts of muscle injuries, tears, sprains, etc., but never (fortunately) from something like you describe. I think the best advice that I could give you is probably something that you don’t want to hear and that is to “give it time to heal”. You really need to lay off for a while and give your arm time to heal up and recover. To try to do too much too soon is just going to agravate the injury and prolong the healing process. When you do start back, do it real sloooooooow. Here’s to a speedy recovery.

Light plastic boats
The Necky Manitou 13 weighs lbs while the Manitou 14 is listed at 49 lbs. The Old Towne Cayuga 14, which is 14’6" long, also weighs 50 lbs.

I am not sure if this will help or …

– Last Updated: Aug-03-06 6:57 AM EST –

give you false hope.
About three years ago I tore (broke) my right bicep. When it happened the pain was excrutiating, and my arm just hung limp.
The doctor explained all the implications and the fact that it will never heal. I forget now wether he said it could be operated on or whatever, but he said that if the other half ever broke the arm would be useless.
As the pain slowly went away I was able to paddle, and could slowly do almost everything that I could before it happened. It affects me in many ways such as sleeping positions and rotating with the paddle on my right side.
I race using a wing paddle, and for the like of me I can't get a fluid motion on the right.
I can lift the boats, and do everything else the same as I used to but now have to put more thought into how I am doing it, and contemplate each lift, (thank goodness for a helpfull wife)!
If you are a roller, I would advise giving that up completely.
I now have a conversation piece like pop-eye, where the one muscle has dropped down and formed a large lump just above my elbow, and I like to show the grandkids my "unicep".

So with all that said, check with your doctor and see if it is a similar thing, and if it is go on with your life as normal, and your bod will probably adjust. It won't as before, but you can probably make do.

Good luck and cheers,


Light Yaks
Take a look at Liquid Logic and the Hurricane products. Both lines carry rec boats in the under #35 category and are quite stable. Several lady friends who bought them love 'em 'cause they can load/unload 'em by themselves.


How did it get injured?
Maybe should be part of this discussion. If the arm was injured from something other than paddling, then yeah light etc is how you’ll need to go. But if it was from paddling, part of your boat decision may need to include something like a skinnier boat than say the Pungo, that’ll make it easier for someone who is probably not long-torsoed to paddle with more rotation and better technique. Otherwise you’ll just end up revisiting the same problem.

How I Injured it is really Stupid
of course, aren’t almost all injuries stupid? Not like I was rescuing someone from going over a cliff, oh no! I had just parked the car at the bank and needed a file folder laying on the back seat. So, as I’ve done umpteen times in the past I reached around with my right arm fully extended and then twisted my arm toward my body so that my thumb was rotated down to go under the folder and bam! My husband gave me this strange look when I let out the squeal.

It ached for a while and then in a few days the pain subsided so I thought I’d just pulled a muscle. This was the end of May.

I took up kayaking in June, no pain, so I never even thought about it. But I also continued things like carrying 5 gallon buckets of water, using garden hoes and spade forks to plant things, etc. plus walking dogs that like to pull me along.

Then early in July I swear the pain just started creeping up and then bam again. I couldn’t rotate my arm, lift it up sideways, pull doors closed, lean on it, etc. My doctor figures I’d partially torn it in May and taking it easy then lulled me into a false sense of security till I blew it out the rest of the way. She says this shouldn’t keep me from kayaking and I figure she knows something since she also paddles a kayak.

Still between a bad back, weak ankles and now this, I wonder if I’m going to make it to 50!

I Feel for you
I really can, I wouldn’t have believed the kind of pain a torn muscle can cause if it hadn’t happened to me. And it’s very annoying to be unable to assume some of my favorite sleeping positions especially as I tend to roll over while sleeping. Talk about a rude awakening.

I appreciate your advice as well as that of the other paddlers to my dilemma. I’m just glad that I haven’t screwed up things even more. If I have to take it easy and not do any real paddling the rest of the year so be it. I’ll do what I have to to be able to be out there next year!

At least DH will no longer be able to get me to help him carry things like chest freezers, etc up and down stairs. I swear the man thinks I should be some kind of heavy lifter just because I’m tall! (I’ll bet that sort of thing never helped my poor muscles either!)

Nymph the Wimp

No no, females are not "wimps"
they are “wimpets”.

That is what I constantly call my wife and she knows it is said with endearment.



Wear and tear… not if but when I guess. And so many injuries are gotten from everyday, thoughtless things., like broken ankles from getting out of bed in the morning, that kind of thing.

Glad to hear your doc can comment knowledgably on its impact on kayaking though.

lightweight solutions
used will help. A used well made stitch and glue boat will often sell for less than a grand and not limit your potential for sea kayaking.

A boat from phoenix (pokeboat) will be light and fun but not super high performance. Sometimes you see these for sale used and cheap

A boat fron epic would be lightweight but not cheap even used.

I bought a used west side boat shop solander for $900. so light.

All the prices above have been from paddlers who we not out to gouge every last buck out of a deal.

Take your time to heal. Be gentle, be athletic in that order.

Hope you
feel better soon.

When you recover you might think about Huricane Aqua Sports boats. They ae thermoformed plastic and very light. I have a 16.5’ Tracer and it is only 47 lbs. They also do not cost an arm and a leg (no pun intended). They have several smaller boats that have quite a following.

Just a thought. Good luck

Hey JackL!
Do you remember how long (weeks? months?) it took for your arm to stop screaming in pain from absentmindly doing things like scratching your head or just laying in bed and turning over?

I suppose since the pain doesn’t last as long as it did originally that’s a good sign, but this sure is annoying and frustrating!