Shoulder safety

A good illustrated article on preventing kayaking shoulder injuries.

It’s good to…
have a reminder like this article as complacency can creep in at times.


Low Brace
I also learned to low brace with elbows up (as one of the commenters there mentions). However, the explanation for the lowered elbows makes sense. As someone who struggles with shoulder discomfort, this is a good refresher and reminder. Thanks.

Good, but
For the most part, that is one of the better articles I have seen, and mostly well researched.

But IMO, a bit oversimplified, especially for the low brace.

The vast majority of shoulder dislocations in all sports, and especially kayaking, are anterior humeral dislocations. The article is very good at describing and illustrating how good technique reduces risk. But understanding the difference between an anterior and posterior dislocation can address technique more precisely.

In an anterior dislocation, the humerus must be abducted, extended (usually past the frontal plane-think front vs back), and externally rotated (think of a parade wave, or, in the photos, the poor version of a high brace). In this position, it takes very little pressure in further extension to dislocate, additionally there is very poor muscular strength to oppose any force that would move the humerus that way).

In a posterior dislocation, the humerus does not have to be as drastically abducted, but it is still indicated. The humerus must also be extended (past the frontal plane), and internally rotated. That is not the case with the photo of the claimed “bad” low brace. In fact, of the two photos, there is much greater muscular resistance against further abduction. As for increased internal rotation (a major culprit), that is fairly much close to impossible given that the paddlers body blocks the movement of the paddle shaft. The exception would be if a person did a low brace like the example of the “poor” sweep stroke. That is a good example of how torso rotation maintains a position of strength.