Can Kayaking Cause Tennis Elbow

Can Kayaking Cause Tennis Elbow

Kayaking is a great outdoor activity that can keep you and your partner in shape and give you a wonderful, peaceful time together. It stimulates the brain, helps with weight management as it burns calories and tones your arms, legs, abs, back and shoulders. A fitness tracker can easily monitor health activities during kayaking adventures.

However, for some people kayaking may cause tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is caused by the strain of the muscles on the outside of the arm along with tendonitis near that muscle group. Although it does not occur directly from paddling a kayak this sportĀ uses similar muscles in these areas for paddling which could eventually lead to inflammation of these muscles if overexerted causing tennis elbow and other injuries like rotator cuff injury or shoulder impingement injury. However, if you have no history of trouble with tennis elbow, pull out you kayaking gear because you are fine to kayak and enjoy the day.

It is improbable that paddling would lead to an injury but it is possible especially with larger kayaks or those without varnish on the interior of the boat and people who over apply their paddle strokes causing strain on the muscles in this area. Some of the most common causes of this problem include:

1. Adding weight to the kayak

This method can be used to add weight to the kayak. Begin by placing the kayak, upside down, on a dry patch of grass. You will need about sixteen pounds of weight per square inch. Then, stand over your kayak with the two feet that are on the floor. Push down on the ends of your legs so that they reach into your kayak. This will increase the downward force.

2. Overusing Your Paddles

It is possible to cause strain on this area by overusing your paddle strokes, especially when using a larger paddle like a canoe paddle or canoe paddle with a longer shaft where you are not as stable in the boat because it becomes more challenging to move around in the water while paddling to implement different techniques.

3. Excessively Tight Straps

Remember that kayaks are generally softer and less rigid than the boats and canoes you use. Therefore, it is often easier to sit in a kayak than a canoe even though it does not hold you as securely. But, because of its softness and the lack of hard edges, you can also slide around more easily if your straps are too tight.

4. Excessive Loads During Paddling

It is also important to remember that no hard and fast rule says how much weight per square inch a boat (kayak, canoe or even inflatable) can take. Each boat is different, and the quality of the boat can also play a part as well as the person adding the weight.

5. Adding Outboard Motor

It is possible to use an outboard motor on a kayak but there should always be some sort of cushion or padding between your legs and the engine because otherwise, it is likely to cause both knee problems and groin pain. The padding can be as simple as a piece of foam that you place between your legs and hips before strapping yourself into your kayak and adding your outboard motor. Of course, this will make paddling more difficult, but you can go against the current or utilize techniques like the draw stroke rather than keep going in a straight line.

Tennis Elbow: Best Practices for Pain Relief

Tennis Elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that affects many people of all ages. Tennis elbow is like rheumatoid arthritis in the way that it damages the tendons in your forearm and wrist. However, there are differences as well. While RA causes damage to soft tissue (tissue that’s not bone), tennis elbow causes damage to the tendons on the outer part of your forearm, called extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) and extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU). The pain from ITB is due to overuse or repetitive motion where you continually use those muscles in those areas, leading to inflammation and pain. Pain can occur in the forearm, wrist or hand. It is usually worse at the end of the day and can wake you up at night. Even just using your fingers or opening a door can be painful for some sufferers.

Many individuals develop ITB due to repetitive use of their hands or continued use of one arm over another while performing a stationary task for a long period of time. Think about someone who has to do work on computers all day long, and their job requires them to use only their right arm, for example, they may be more likely to develop ITB than someone who does not have such a job. ITB can also be caused by gripping objects tightly, whether that is in a massage or if your hand hurts after gripping something and is not released immediately, like a doorknob. Another common cause of ITB is working on an assembly line for long hours. People on the assembly line and must work with their wrists bent repetitively are more likely to contract ITB than people who don’t have this job.

Tennis elbow is becoming more common due to the increase in technology. It is becoming more difficult for people to keep a good, healthy grip while typing, texting, or scrolling through their phone. Many individuals may not even realize they are developing tennis elbow by using their cell phones all day long. The increased use of smartphones and tablets has added stress on the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB), which causes tennis elbow. Other types of repetitive motions such as vacuuming, mopping floors or even playing racket sports can also cause tennis elbow.

Tennis Elbow Causes and Risk Factors

Tennis Elbow is an injury that happens to the tendons that attach to the outside of the elbow. This type of injury is common in sports such as tennis, but it can also happen in other activities such as golf and other racquet sports. The symptoms of this condition are pain and a limp, but the first symptom to appear is swelling around the elbow joint which will suddenly appear. This swelling can be quite painful when it happens to the joint on the outer side of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow is caused by repetitive forces placed on the elbow’s tendons as you move your arm in a certain way, over time these forces cause damage to the connective tissue which causes inflammation within this tissue. Inflammation leads to more damage, inflammation makes it worse, and when it gets too bad part of your tendon has died off. This tissue is called a tendon sheath and it allows the tendons to be attached to bones in your elbow.

Risk Factors Of Tennis Elbow

This condition can happen to anyone, as said before this type of injury can happen from repetitive movement, but there are too particular risk factors associated with this injury. Some of these risk factors are:

  • Frequent or repetitive arm movements which cause forceful contraction or extension.
  • Repetitive Prolonged wrist flexion.
  • Repetitive Muscle Strain or compression at the elbow level.
  • Weak muscles around the forearm and elbow area.
  • Some medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and thyroid disorders.

How to Stop Elbow Pain when Kayaking

Elbow pain is one of the most common and potentially damaging sources of knee pain in the world. If you kayak frequently, especially with your arms extended above your head, you can seriously injure not only your elbow but also your knee. Sometimes, both knees will be injured too. I was kayaking a few years ago when I noticed a sudden flare-up of pain in my left elbow. It was tough to reach my paddle and it felt like the injury had changed shape. I couldn’t flex my wrist or rotate it to any degree without experiencing intense pain and discomfort that stopped me dead in my tracks. I knew I was in trouble.


These exercises and treatments should not be used as a substitute for medical attention. If you are experiencing discomfort, pain or injury, please consult your doctor. The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare provider. Always check with your physician before performing any new exercise or treatment.