Tennis (elbow) anyone?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Luke Filmer, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Luke Filmer

    Luke Filmer Member

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    I have been fishing more often in the last 12 months than ever, and have attributed the dull ache in my elbow to this increased, and constant casting.
    Admittedtly, I am a self taught caster, but feel as though I can cast great distances with ease.
    Perhaps my technique is off?
    I have been using an intermediate sink tip for cuts, and salmon out in the salt on the local beaches, and it definately takes more work to get the line out than it does to cast a floating line.
    I work at home, and live closeby to good beach fishing, and find the temptation to go fishing too great, so I end up fishing at least 3-4 times a week for several hours a day.
    The obvious answer would be to take a break for a couple weeks, but with Salmon season in full swing -it is just not an option;)
    My elbow has a constant dull ache, and I find the most mundane of tasks to be quite painful at times.
    If anyone could weigh in on this with some advice, it would be sorely appreciated.
     
  2. westie

    westie New Member

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    My Elbow is fine, but I have been having trouble with my shoulder lately which I attribute to my increased beach fishing also. I recently started a new job that is on the beach and like you the temptation to go fishing has been too great. 3-4 times a week after work has been common the last several weeks. Throwing the 8 wt for silvers with an intermediate line and going for maximum distance, I think did the damage. According to the Doc, I may have a torn or damaged rotator cuff! An MRI is forthcoming after the Chum run! Maybe some casting lessons will improve my technique which may help to avoid injury. Can anyone suggest a good casting instructor?

    Jeff
     
  3. Luke Filmer

    Luke Filmer Member

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    Hey Jeff,
    I feel your pain! I have a couple float trips lined up for peninsula rivers, and may pack the spinning rod instead of the fly rod.
    I certainly don't want to risk increasing whatever damage I may have already caused.
    I wonder how the fly guys who guide for a living deal with these injuries?

    Looking forward to hearing some responses on this.
    -Luke
     
  4. shgrier

    shgrier Hooker of ducks

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    Not a guide by a long shot, but I'm reminded of how the old guys (even older than you, Jim!;) ) used to teach the young uns how to cast - they'd put a bible under their casting elbow to make them learn to keep their elbow in.

    I think we all (me especially) tend to overdo the forward/backward movements of our elbows in casting - I know Lefty even advocates it (as long as it's in the same plane, I believe he says). But most of the time, when my casting's gone to s*&t, it's because I've started to let that elbow wander around.:mad: I had a pretty bad murdercycle accident a couple of years ago (broke my collarbone on my casting arm and a couple of ribs), and since then, I've REALLY had to concentrate on keeping my elbow in, or my casting gets very sloppy.

    Now I don't go for distance like you salt-boys do, but I still think we use our arms more than we should - that graphite's pretty strong stuff; the old adage is: let the rod do the work...

    Just my 2ยข. :eek: Undoubtedly your mileage will vary....

    Sean
    Sultan
     
  5. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Fish-artist, can you say therapy? I've spoken with multiple folks over the years suffering from the same malady and the time of recovery seems to be somewhat age dependent, like any other injury, and whether you take the appropriate steps to seek treatment and religiously follow the rehab program. As least it did for me. Ice, followed by heat, after every session at the beach. Plus exercises to strengthen the supporting structural muscles.

    I think it was last summer I saw that a bunch of doc's had a week long seminar being offered in Livingston (?) MT on casting injuries, and provided instructors to analyze technique to prevent re-injury after recovery. Sweet gig to write off your whole fishing trip, huh. You may need a referral from your doctor for insurance purposes, but to accelerate recovery I would search for a good physical therapist that also is a fly fisher; wish I had, you might have gotten casting lessons thrown in as a part of an insurance claim. :)

    If the injury is chronic, you may want to consider looking into 2 handed beach rods (and spey for the rivers). I read that avoidance of shoulder/elbow injury in one of the touted benefits to converting to a 2 hander. Switch rod may be the happy balance, using a single hand for awhile, then switch to the double handed before you can tire out the elbow too much. In any event, it is something that is not likely to go away by itself in a short period of time. Best of luck.
     
  6. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I don't have that kind of problem. But it could be caused by the way you cast. My problem is my back from all the twisting that you do from the waist down. After casting for a while you will probably see me laying down on the rocks resting my back. If you do just keep on fishing as I'm not dead or dying:rofl: :rofl:

    Jim
     
  7. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

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    Jeff, I have chronic shoulder pain from years of abuse in football. I find that if I forget to focus on good casting technique, I am muscling the fly rod and in addition to throwing some aweful casts, I end up with increased shoulder pain.

    I would suggest you contact Jimmy LeMert of Patrick's Fly Shop (a board sponsor.) Jimmy is a FFF Certified Master Caster and he teaches regularly. Jimmy is also an avid beach fisherman so he can help with techniques that he uses regularly. He will probably also suggest that you check out the new Outbound fly line. We were both fishing it yesterday. It is unforgiving, but when you cast it properly, it flies. We just need to find some more cooperative coho.

    Good luck, Steve
     
  8. wboles3

    wboles3 Member

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    I too am suffering from tennis elbow. Stretching exercises prior casting is good start. Appling ice afterwards helps with the pain. However, the most effective exercise I have found is a "Negative Arm Curl". Start with something about 12oz's. and each time you curl your arm reduce the weight. A couple ounces at a time. Once you reach zero ounces repeat the process. Before long you and your elbow will be feeling fine. If you find starting with 12oz's is not effective, try starting with 16oz's or maybe more.:beer2:

    Bill
     
  9. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    Good casting technique helps prevent injuries. You need a coach.

    A case in point; when I got into salt water fly fishing I was using a nine weight for the first time. I had been fly fishing for about 12 years without receiving any coaching on my casting skills. Consequently I had achieved a very high degree of mediocrity in casting and presentation- enough to be about average as a fly fisherman. And I had developed tendonitis in my casting wrist and elbow, and a very bad shoulder rotator cuff injury that persists to pain me to this day. I finally got some help with my casting, and I worked very hard at correcting my faults in casting technique- practising often. In time I improved my technique and my casting was greatly enhanced, as was my fishing success. The whole game became so much more enjoyable. And my injuries went away mostly. I no longer cast with the pain that I used to have- exactly like what you described above. And I can now make some of the casts, that were so difficult to accomplish before I got help, effortlessly.

    The more you give to the game the better it gets. Most fly anglers miss out on the fun of becoming the best casters that they can become. And they miss some fish because of this too. If you are experiencing pain during fly casting then something is wrong. Do not continue to injure yourself without investigating the problem. It may be a serious physical issue. It may just be bad mechanics. But either way it does not have to be that way.
     
  10. Surf_Candy

    Surf_Candy Member

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    I agree with Steve - I have both shoulders in moderate pain during my weight lifting sessions, but can cast for hours with no pain - technique, technique, technique - your casting arm and shoulder not be the the driver for your cast - it's all in the haul and using the leverage of the rod.

    As Lefty says, your left arm (hauling arm) is the gear shift,not your casting arm.

    Jim
     
  11. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Westie, Anil at Puget Sound Fly Co. is a certified instructor. He can help you get things ironed out.

    Dave
     
  12. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    I too..went through the elbow thing....I also played sports...baseball, football and every once in awhile the elbow thing would pop up. It would simply go away with time...but you had to shut down. With fly casting I had it happen once...shut down for three weeks and have not encountered a problem since...(4 years ago.) Why it comes up and why it goes away I do not know....but if you have true tendenitus (sp?) only time will heal it.
     
  13. steveb

    steveb Captain Nemo

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    I recently bought the book "Fit to Fish" written by a physical therapist and an orthopedic surgeon who both flyfish. The recommendations are founded in science and address both technique and gear mods as well as exercises that really help. I highly recommend it!
     
  14. Flyfishsteel

    Flyfishsteel New Member

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    I had a case of that type of pain also. I've come to a conclusion: Imagine your elbow being 6 o'clock and your rod straight up is 12 o'clock. Between 10 and 2 my arm was still in casting mode and gripping the handle tight 90% of the time.
    I learned to relax and loosen your grip a little between 10 and 2 and add more strength and tighten your grip more after 10 and 2.

    In a nut shell, stay relaxed between 10 and 2 and tighten your grip and kick in after 10 and 2. Now I can cast ALL day without any probs. Being relaxed and taking deep breaths have helped me big time, this decreasing stress in your arm and throughout your entire body.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
     
  15. southpaw22

    southpaw22 member

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    I am an athlete and a kinesiology major/trout bum. i am young and have learned to be ambidextrious for this reason. i was a catcher with multiple arm problems, thus spent a lot of time at physical therapy. have you tried to ice your elbow at nite or heat it up before you pitch your line? IE~ice for 15 on 10 off repeated during your favorite show at nite. to heat your arm do some warm ups, or use some surgical tubing before the fishing battle. it should only take about 5 min to ease your pain. maybe even try some icy hot, be careful with the patches though because some people have an allergic reaction. let me know if want some exercise warmups or can't get any tubing.
    screaming reels,
    sp22
     
  16. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    Bob Triggs is about the most qualified guy around for this kinda stuff, it might pay to contact him with your troubles. Casting just isnt a natural movement, think about all other sports, when do you have to apply the same amount of power and timing in the backstroke as the forward stroke. Naturaly it is difficult and can cause injurys because, it just isnt a movement commonly preformed, unatural. When you are looking for more distance at the beach, it pays to not only use your arm but other parts of your body. Shoulders can mess up tracking of the cast but add mucho mucho power if you can keep them under control. Same with hip rotation, and even a push off with the legs on the final cast.

    Peace,
    Andy
     
  17. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    I had a case of tennis elbow a number of years ago. I tried various store bought bandages, braces, salves and ointments to no avail. Finally, in desperation, I did what you did by posting on a flyfishing website and received a recommendation of a Ballard acupunturist friend of a fellow flyfisher. After a few months of needle poking, darkened rooms, burning moss, and sitar music (along with learning to grip my rod tighter), I was cured. Now if I can only get rid of the nagging aches and pains that have accompanied my 62nd birthday, I'd be truly happy.

    Leland.
     
  18. willieboat

    willieboat Member

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    Ibuprofin and a spey rod. Take two over the counter types three times per day the day before, the day of and the day after. :ray1:

    Don
     
  19. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    This may sound really odd. But I notice its hook setting, not casting, that upsets my elbow. Come salmon season in the fall my elbow always begins to twinge after several good days fishing.
     
  20. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    UJ, hard to get much sympathy with that one; aches from catching too many fish don't count. :)
     

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