All healing hands on deck: Boat crews can benefit from chiropractic care to alleviate pain

Yatch Crew Cleaning Yacht

A deckhand on a yacht crew faces long hours of near-constant cleaning, scrubbing and polishing to remove every bit of dirt, every bead of condensation. It can be gratifying work. It can also be painful work.  Boat crews can benefit from chiropractic care to alleviate pain

At the end of the day, backs hurt, necks hurt, arms hurt and wrists hurt from the constant and repetitive motion. But that is not all. Choppy seas and rough waters can constantly force the body to adapt to the movement of the surroundings. This means that the spine, ligaments and muscles are always re-adjusting to the sway or pitch of the boat. This knack for ably adjusting, from calm seas to choppy waters, makes the deckhand worthy of his/her place as a crew member, but it also becomes a major problem if they already have a misalignment from previous normal wear and tear.

Liken the situation to a wheel alignment. If you rotate tires as recommended, the wheels and axel last longer. If you continue to drive in a car with poor alignment, it pulls to whichever direction it wants to go in, and that causes faster wear and tear, leading to more expensive issues to fix.

Working on the water with misalignments will cause more pain and problems. What can you do in the short term?

Whenever you have the time, stretch those muscles and ligaments. This slide show from the Mayo Clinic can help with exercise positions:

Chiropractor doing back adjustment on female patient.

But if stretching or resting is not enough to end pain – in particular back pain – it’s time to visit a chiropractor. Acute or chronic back pain, the result of a sudden injury, can last for a long time. Tackling the problem, whether acute or chronic, takes expert knowledge of the body’s musculoskeletal structure. A chiropractor will manipulate this structure, particularly the spine, to enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.

To help restore flexibility and freedom of movement, a chiropractor will perform manual adjustments, including manipulation of joints, using a controlled, sudden force to improve range and quality of motion.

The work of a boat crew member is strenuous – equally important is quality of life. Seek relief when pain strikes, for a speedy return to work … and play.

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