Keeping the Spine Healthy During Fishing Fun!

Written by Dr. Jared Hoffman. Shared with permission from our friends at Williamsburg Chiropractic in Williamsburg, NY.

It may be the fish that is jumping and twisting, but if you are spending hours out on the water, your actions can still have an impact on your health. Most would think that injuries sustained from fishing would come from a sharp hook or tools from the tackle box gone awry, but focusing on your spinal health while fishing is important to your overall well-being. Here are our tips to help maintain a healthy spine while reeling in the big ones!


Being around the water means the surface you’re on is bound to get a little slippery. Whether it is a wet dock or a wet boat, slipping and falling can result in some pretty serious injuries including fractures, sprains, strains, and more.


When it comes to battling it out with big fish, sprains and strains are a common result if you aren’t in proper alignment. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or town, where a strain is the tearing or stretching of a muscle. Regular chiropractic care and stretching before casting out combined with including strengthening exercises in your exercise routine can help prevent these injuries.


We frequently treat patients experiencing overuse injuries, which are often thought to be restricted to athletes or those jobs requiring them to do repetitive physical actions. However, overuse injuries are common among those who fish both as a profession and for fun.

Think about it: a day on the water means continually rehooking bait, casing out, and reeling in your line (hopefully with a huge catch!). An avid fisherman or woman can develop a number of overuse injuries including:

  • Torn rotator cuff

  • Tendinitis

  • Bursitis

  • Tennis elbow

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome


As your chiropractor, we want to help keep your body in the best health possible so you can continue enjoying the activities you love, like fishing! Routine adjustments will keep your spine in proper alignment, which will allow you to maintain the best form possible while casting. Here are some tips to maintain proper fishing form.

  • Go With The Flow: When you’re out on the water, it isn’t always the perfect calm day you hope for. When you’ve hooked a keeper, wait for the boat to go up on a wave. Then when you’re at the top, quickly wind in. As the boat comes back down on the wave, it will bring your rod up, which will save your arms and back the trouble of pulling up a fighting fish against the swells.

  • Keep Your Legs and Feet in Mind: The weight of a fishing pole will pull your center of gravity forward. Keep your feet staggered to maintain a more upward position as you hook a fish. You will also want to use the strength of your legs. Instead of pulling on the rod with your arms and back, bend your knees, then reel the fish in as you straighten them. If you can’t use the waves to your advantage, sit back to counter the forward pulling force of the fish.

  • Maintain A Straight Back: When the fish is pulling, you will bend forward on instinct. Try to keep your core engaged and your back straight to support your back and prevent pain the next day.

  • Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: It’s common for a hooked fish to zig and zag around the boat. Instead of standing still and rotating your hips to follow it, walk with the fish. This will give you more leverage and reduce your chances of suffering from a strain or sprain.

Before you head out for your next fishing trip, keep these tips in mind.

Original post here.