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Old 27-05-2015, 00:57   #1
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Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

"Go cruising now before you are told old!". We have all heard it, right?

I am young, but I have chronic health issues that often keep me in a good deal of pain, daily. Therefore, I'm concerned if I will ever be able to "go".

That being said. If you have chronic pain, what do you do for it while cruising? What tools do you use? What mods to the boat? Did you buy a different boat to meet these needs? From a mono to a cat, or heaven forbid, a trawler?!

Cheers!
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Old 27-05-2015, 03:13   #2
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

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Originally Posted by Cherise View Post
"Go cruising now before you are told old!". We have all heard it, right?

I am young, but I have chronic health issues that often keep me in a good deal of pain, daily. Therefore, I'm concerned if I will ever be able to "go". When you are in this situation, you have to decide how much pain you are willing to bear. I suggest consulting with pain management folks, and also masseuses, or masseurs.

That being said. If you have chronic pain, what do you do for it while cruising?
In efforts to deal with it, I have had physical therapy, surgery, massage, both deep tissue and Reiki. I also take timed release acetomeniphen. I am careful to not take it unless I have pain (and yes, I know it is easier to keep pain away than to make it go away after it has come, big time). I am trying to keep my liver from getting too good at metabolizing it, and to save the stronger pain meds for later, when, most likely, I will need them more.

What tools do you use?
We have a Milwaukee right angle drill tool that allows one to crank the winches without trashing one's shoulders. I also have Jim do "groveling" for me.

What mods to the boat?
So far, no mods to the boat. Mods to my behaviour include being extremely careful about when and how I go forward.

Did you buy a different boat to meet these needs?
Not, so far. Events will make the future decision clearer. We are on a (to us) largish, at 46', mono.


From a mono to a cat, or heaven forbid, a trawler?!
Could happen, most likely, the motorboat.


Cheers!
None of us knows what the future holds for us. Youth isn't the sole criteria, for some of us age faster than others. What I think may happen is that one's body lets one know what it is incapable of, and then one adjusts.


Seek out good helpers, and take your time with it. You'll be surprised what you can do when others may have given up on you or just given up.

Be well,

Ann
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Old 27-05-2015, 04:16   #3
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

More sailing, I find it hurts more when I stop

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Old 27-05-2015, 04:47   #4
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

I hate to be the messenger for this info, but generally... the cruising/sailing lifestyle isn't a handicap accessible endeavor. There will be obstacles everywhere along the way. Even if you can solve the mobility issues on the boat, unless you have very deep pockets, you're going to need to be relatively self-sufficient regarding the repairs and maintenance.

The few people I know that have chronic pain and mobility issues who choose to live on a boat, generally do so in a marina. So basically, they live on a houseboat even though it's a sail or powerboat, and boat rarely if ever leaves the dock.

Try to be realistic and make the most of your situation... we're all going to be there someday.
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Old 27-05-2015, 05:12   #5
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

My late wife spent most of her life in chronic pain due to injuries. She truely felt that our life on the boat helped alleviate some of the discomfort, partly due to the constant and quite often subtle motion of the boat, sort of like natural physical therapy. Later on, after not being able to get back on the boat as often as would have been liked, she would lay and imagine the sounds of the water flowing past the boat, and could feel the motion. Good luck, and good health.
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Old 27-05-2015, 05:22   #6
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

Voltaren Gel is used to treat inflammatory pain caused by arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, in joints amenable to topical treatment*, such as the knees and those of the hands.

* A pain-killing gel is useful only for joints that aren’t covered by a thick layer of muscle (like the shoulder). The medication can only get into joints if the joint is just under the surface of the skin.
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Old 27-05-2015, 06:32   #7
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

Depending on what is causing your pain you may be able to find significant relief from something as simple as changing your diet. Obviously this would not be the answer if your pain is the result of injury or damage to your joints, but if the cause is primarily inflammatory in nature there is probably a lot you can do to either arrest, or in some cases even reverse it.

Almost 2 years ago my husband and I changed to a whole food plant based diet in an effort to control my early stage MS. It has worked for that. I have not had a relapse since we started the diet. But it has had a whole lot of other positive health effects as well and one of them is the reduction in arthritis pain for my husband. We both have degenerative disc disease in our spines, but he has a lot of arthritis in his which has caused him a significant amount of pain in recent years. He had been living for a few years on a steady diet of daily Ibuprofen. Since changing our diet he reports his pain is all but gone and I rarely ever see him take an Ibuprofen anymore, maybe only when he has put in a day of especially hard physical work.

Here are a couple of articles on the subject.

How I Overcame Crippling Arthritis with a Plant-Based Diet

https://www.drfuhrman.com/success/Su...y.aspx?id=1236

I wish you the very best. I understand the mental questioning that goes on when considering sailing with health issues. There was a time I had become convinced that my sailing days were over because of my health issues. I was ready to give up and throw in the towel. I am so glad I didn't. Today I am in excellent health and am experiencing negligible effects from MS (without drugs). I believe the diet has a tremendous amount to do with it. I hope you can find a solution to your situation as well. And, a power boat isn't the worst thing that could happen. You'd still be on the water. A power boat is already in our plan for when the sailing becomes too physically demanding for us. It sure beats giving up the opportunity to be on the water.
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Old 27-05-2015, 06:54   #8
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

35 years ago, when I was 19, I had a complete meniscectomy on my left knee. There were no repairs in those days. Of course, I have severe arthritis now. It limits my range of motion greatly, but I have learned how to deal with the pain, and the answer is that you have to stop it before it starts. In the morning before I set off, I take 5 x 200mg ibuprofen (this sounds like a high dose, but it really isn't, a standard prescription anti-inflammatory dose would be 4 x 200mg, 3 times per day). For a long day on my feet, I will probably take another 3 x 200mg mid-afternoon. As long as I do this, I am fine (except for the limited range of motion). I've been doing this for many years. Fortunately, I guess my stomach is pretty tough, I know that some people would have trouble with this regime. But whatever you do, the main point is to not let the pain (inflammation) flare up. Liberal use of ice also works, but is somewhat less convenient. Pete
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Old 27-05-2015, 07:08   #9
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

Aleve (naproxen sodium) 1x/d keeps inflammation and pain manageable. PT/stretching. Weight training helps also, strengthening the joint supports. Bad days, the knee gets iced.
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Old 27-05-2015, 07:41   #10
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

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Originally Posted by ben373 View Post
More sailing, I find it hurts more when I stop

Sent from my G630-U251 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
My doctors and PT's all told me sailing is the best activity for restoring muscle tone for me after I broke my leg skiing in 2009.

They were right.

My boat has much better handholds than my house!

As I age, more and more new pains crop up, but most of them become actually more tolerable when I'm sailing.

I have to be more careful about hopping on that winch to trim the jib and I don't throw myself at tasks that I used to, I just ease into them.

I find I have to plan ahead more, but I've been doing that for years anyway singlehanding much of the time.

I stopped "jumping off the boat to dock" 35 years ago - midships springlines can save lots of unnecessary aches & pains.
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Old 27-05-2015, 07:47   #11
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

i have reynauds disease. no, not phenomenon.
systemic disease. not able to take many medications, a sall are contraindicated for my particulat condition. cause of pain for me is ischemia and inflammation resulting from ischemia.
i have enjoyed all the arthritis an 80+ yr old gets since i was 7 yrs old.
how do i get rid of pain???

i S A I L. is comfort. is heaven and i have no ischemia when i am sailing.
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Old 27-05-2015, 07:51   #12
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

As you know, chronic pain is a very personal thing. How each of us manages it depends on the type of pain, the amount, our age, and perhaps most importantly, who we are. I've lived with chronic pain for more than 1/2 my life now, due to an rather spectacular plunge down an elevator shaft. I find pain to be a fascinating subject. The responses to chronic pain (acute is completely different) seems mostly to do with the individual. So, how you manage will be more dependent on you than on what other people do.

I find boat life to be better for me than my land life. This is largely b/c life on our boat is a more active life compared to life on land. We're seasonal sailors so far. At the beginning of each season I suffer royally (my spouse would say she suffers from all my whining ), but after a few weeks I get back into the rhythm of the life. Our smallish boat force me to be more flexible, to be stronger, and perhaps to be wiser.

So far, I avoid most drugs most of the time. Anti-inflammatories are my first line of pharmaceutical defence. On rarer occasions I use mild narcotics (Tylonol 3). Mostly, beer seems to do the trick .

Only you can know if you are able/ready to go now. From my perspective "going now" is the right choice.
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Old 27-05-2015, 08:07   #13
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

cherise--i have fond that i am better able to sail when i keep on keeping on and i am better able to move my extremities when i keep on keeping on. i am glad i went before fixing boat, as i was able to get some miles in before complete disability strikes. i am still keeping on.
i noticed itis a lot harder when i am stuck in port than when i am able to move the boat around.
what i recommend, cherry--- run like hell--sail out the bay and do not look back.
if you are on west coast usa i know where some nonnarcotic non pharma holistic stuff is in mexico. works well. is a tea taken for 15 days twice a day then stopped. for my situation, it worked well for 4 1/2 mponths.. my friend who turned me on to it was a traumatic injury arthritis sufferer until he found this..is magic, i swarez, and it actually WORKS. does not affect mentation and is not a drug.
red elephant tree tea. awesomest stuff. is native to baja, mid peninsula.
i forgot the alternative name for purchasing--i harvested mine from the local trees, as i was in baja.. was 2004 or so i learned of this magic.
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Old 27-05-2015, 08:37   #14
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

Just being on the boat helps with my pain - maybe I just don't mind the pain so much on the boat... or maybe my body is trying to tell me something about continuing to work in an office.
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Old 27-05-2015, 08:46   #15
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Re: Sailing with aches n pains, what helps you?

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More sailing, I find it hurts more when I stop
I have to agree. When I'm sailing, yes, its hard, but overall I feel better the longer I am out. I come back healthier and stronger than I started. Even my eyes feel better...focusing on the horizon is so much better than staring at a screen.

To me, sailing is the solution to all my physical woes. Pretty cleansing for the mind and soul as well. Also, ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

I once had a hunter legend 35.5. What luxury. It was no more difficult to sail than to sit around my house on land. Walk thu transom, single line reefing, there was hardly anything to do. There are boats and there are boats.
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