View topic - Hip Problems

Canadian Canoe Routes

Hip Problems
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Author:  SteveBoal [ November 3rd, 2015, 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Hip Problems

Sigh. The severe hip pain I experienced this year during portages has now been diagnosed as osteoarthritis +/- other issues. More tests will determine it's extent and trajectory. Right now I'd *love* to hear from other folks who have continued to canoe trip despite arthritis and the associated pain. Paddling has become a very important "raison d'être" for me, and I don't want to let this new diagnosis threaten that.


Author:  martin2007 [ November 3rd, 2015, 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

This has been my year of discovering new aches. Sometimes worrisome, and definitely a challenge to my confidence. So far I continue to subscribe to the notion that we humans often tend to count ourselves out of the "game" prematurely, so I've been determined not to do that. Some denial might be useful, as is a large dose of skepticism as to doctors' and other experts' advice__non-paddlers and non-trippers all__to reduce or avoid certain activities. Past 50, who doesn't have aches? Taking a long break from the beloved activity carries the risk of the improbability or impossibility of return. Keep engaging, albeit in "lighter', less physically demanding contexts. Experiment with paddle lengths, single blade, double blade, stand-up paddling, with the aim of varying your kneeling/sitting/standing postures and working a wider variety of muscle groups. Reduce distance goals and increase fishing/birding/ photography activities en route. Allocate more weight to comfortable bedding, i.e. super-deep thermarests, inflatable pillows, and such. A Helinox, or similar tripping chair will help with back and leg rest at the end of the paddling day, as well as at break times during the day. Tylenol 2's or stronger, saved for end-of-day use when chores are done. Whiskey after nightfall when the Tylenols' effect is winding down. Base-camping with increased comfort and more control over each day's physical output. You love paddling and the outdoors, you'll adapt and keep experiencing both. Paddling needs mature folks. Who else is going to maintain and develop the paddling forums? :)

Author:  frozentripper [ November 3rd, 2015, 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Steve, I happen to be recovering right now from a total hip replacement done two weeks ago due to osteoarthritis pain becoming too severe... still not walking normally but there is no arthritis pain now.

I can sit and kneel and my arms seem to be OK for paddling... the doc says I'll be fine for about another twenty years most likely.

If this is an option for you, you might get it done during winter and be OK for paddling in the spring... normal recovery time is about three months. There are also treatments like injections into the joint to reduce pain, in my case the osteoarthritis had destroyed all the cartilage (shown on x-rays) so the THR was the only option.... good luck and be well.

Author:  jedi jeffi [ November 3rd, 2015, 11:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

I have suffered with the same problem for few years.
Recently retiring from the Post office has help immensely.
Learning to alternate activiites/yoga/ physio exercises has helped.
Too much too many days in a row and I feel it.
On portages more trips and try not to play pack mule.
The future, try to maintain a good fitness level so that if I get as bad as Frozen tripper the recovery will go well.
The goal is also avoid falling into the drug trap.
I wish you well.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ November 4th, 2015, 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Keep moving. This fall I was diagnosed with severe arthritis in both knees and hips. I was in a lot of pain. Part of the culprit was immobility during chemo. Bone on bone in one knee ( which I knew would happen. When cartilage was removed in 1971, doc said I would have arthritis in ten years).

Its kind of come on gradually and usually only one knee hurts. Sometimes at rest. So I was given some treatment options.. Shots, a synthetic knee fluid, physical therapy. The cortisone shot did squat. PT has helped immensely! Trying to avoid total knee replacement ( am not a candidate for partial); Thats because I could never kneel in a canoe anymore.

I've changed my canoe trips to include more big water and less portaging. This allows the use of often eschewed canoe furniture ie. Helinox table and chairs. It all came on gradually with conscious altering.. I used to like portaging a lot. Less now.. so if I don't like it I don't do it.

This winter we will do another two weeks in the Everglades and perhaps a week in Big Bend of FL. Later west to do some canyon canoeing in Glen Canyon and in the summer from Thunder Bay to Rossport.

That I do have a canoe for the ocean helps a great deal. I cant kneel for more than an hour at a time nor sit for an hour at a time so the ability to vary positions is important for me.

I am trying to avoid surgery as the docs have said that my pain will be less but my flexibility of the knee less and the TKR wont allow kneeling.

Author:  frozentripper [ November 4th, 2015, 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Kim, I am no expert on TKRs, still there may be a chance of kneeling afterwards (although maybe a risk you don't want at this time)... eg. 64 out of 100 TKRs able to kneel after recovery: ... 0.full.pdf

And this, kneeling may be possible afterwards if numbness and scarring aren't an issue. Kneeling on something soft and clean may be possible, and maybe possible to alternate kneeling and sitting while paddling. When I alternate between kneeling and sitting in a canoe, I have to use my arm strength with hands on the gunnels to get up off my knees to sit down and vice versa.... it might turn out that alternating kneeling and sitting in a canoe after TKR is possible if your arms are up to it (still, only speculation, the real test will be on the water).

Q. Can I kneel following the surgery?

A. There are 3 main reasons why patients are unable to kneel following total knee replacement surgery.

1: Following the surgery there is a scar down the knee and this can often be painful when kneeling on it.

2: Following the surgery, there is an area on the outside part of the knee which is usually numb. Kneeling on a numb patch of skin can often result in damage to the skin and potential risk of infection. This is why kneeling is best avoided, unless kneeling on a soft surface that is clean.

3: Following a total knee replacement, a full range of motion is usually not obtained, and it is therefore difficult to get down and get up from a
kneeling position. Patients are allowed to kneel following the surgery if they can do it and put up with the above issues. ... oe2014.pdf

Author:  SteveBoal [ November 6th, 2015, 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Thanks for all these comments. I do keep moving. Will just have to see where I'm at come Spring, I guess.

Author:  vpsoccer [ November 16th, 2015, 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

We are all getting younger every day -- yup, we are, aren't we. Sigh.
My art-ritis is limited to my thumbs so far (and most days that doesn't help paddling at all) but I have some observations on the wider aspects of coping.

First knee surgeries when I was 17, not overly serious like reconstructions but start of a life of taking care of them. Had to give up kneeling in a canoe for most of 20 years. Learned to sit somewhat braced -- depended on how I fit a given boat: legs bent to fit seat/gunwales/packs/etc. until I started whitewater. By then my body was coping better, I was physically more muscular, and I learned to have good knee pads (whether on boat or on me) and be sensible.

I am still reasonably fit - swim, cycle, etc. - but for wilderness activities I am coming to think overall flexibility and physicality is actually what will be important for me as I get older, and am going to take up Yoga to try to improve the mobility I have in the various parts. What is hard is not so much kneeling, but rather the moving the getting up and down (in camp even more than in the boat) and stuff like that. Some of the stronger aspects of your body can, with some "experiment-of-one" work on your behalf, help offset some of your worst parts.

Further, and I risk offending a veteran paddler here, try to become more efficient and reduce the workload that way. Ask your usual paddlin' pals what works for them -- some of them may be dealing with issues and have not opened up because they don't want to bore you all with a discussion of . . . whatever. Ask an instructor if you have gotten a bit less than precise with picking up the canoe, with paddle strokes, etc. I am a less active instructor than I used to be, but because of my recent shoulder injury (yup, another permanent thing - have to do my regular physio for life) I have been paying attention to what makes it easier to paddle all day - and it has helped me become more efficient than ever - and to use a bent-shaft paddle.

Take heart: one of my regular paddle pals has the philosophy "better to wear out than rust out" and I think we all share that view. Take heart from a story I ran into a few years ago at Algonquin. I was mid-50s and as I was registering for my short solo trip I was told of a man who had just left for his 14 day solo trip, for something like the 16th year in a row -- he was 82. That's something to shoot for.

Author:  jedi jeffi [ December 25th, 2015, 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Saw this today.

I like this and will start to try it right away.
The one shoulder is acting up a bit again so another easy to do at home exercise is good.
I like the second video as that will give me another exercise for my hips that already have arthritis.
Might was well do it outside....
give the neighbours something else to talk about :wink:

Jeff ... der-health

Second vid

Author:  SteveBoal [ January 10th, 2016, 2:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Saw the orthopedist. Looks like someday I'll have some more synthetic body parts, but this year the plan will be a cortisone injection before my biggest summer trip. The plan between now and then is to work on getting stronger without exacerbating further the concomitant tendonosis and bursitis. :o

Author:  ChristineCanoes [ January 10th, 2016, 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

If you have never tried seeing an athletic therapist I would highly recommend it. I saw physio about hip issues for some time with no improvements - AT made a huge difference.

Author:  jedi jeffi [ January 25th, 2017, 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hip Problems

Thought I would give an update to the push pull crawl.
Before I injured my back a few weeks I found this exercise really helped with my hips and it worked the should as well.
I have to cheat a little at this right now while recovering, but my hips really enjoyed (felt good) from this.
I did a ton of paddling and hiking last year and this was just part of it that made it a great year.

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