Numb legs


After I kayak for about 1/2 hour my right leg goes numb.I have tried adjusting my foot braces and back band.

I have a 17lt with a happy bottom seat and back band. I am 6'4" 200#

Have tried stretching before I go out also.

Any help would be appreciated.

9 replies:

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RE: Numb legs

I had the same problem.  I bought a 4" thick piece of clossed cell foam and carved a new seat.  Also, perhaps more helpful, I made a foot rest in the center of the cockpit that rests against the forward bulkhead.  I now paddle with my knees together rather than spread apart.  Obviously, your knees have to have room to be vertical.  Made a hugh difference with these two changes.  I can now do 1 1/2 hr daily paddel without the butt and legs numbness.  Good luck

RE: Numb legs

I also had the same problem. It may be caused by Sciatica.

What is it? Sciatica is a general term that refers to pain caused by compression or irritation of one or more nerves exiting the lower spine that make up the sciatic nerve. One of the many symptoms is numbness of the leg.

One possibility is to put extra padding underneath your upper thigh to provide you with greater support. Not just the seat, but the upper thigh is most important.

Two options on the extra padding. 1. Use a piece of closed cell foam and shape it to what is most comfortable for you. 2. CLC sells a "thigh pad"  is one piece, inflatible and supports both thighs.

Finally, when you get in your boat, take the extra time to be sure that you are in "straight." I used to be less conscious of whether I was in a stable, balanced and comfortable position. I now take the extra time to get seated "just right" and I haven't had problems in weeks.

Hope this helps.

Tim Clark

RE: Numb legs

The Creature Comfort seat  sold here works well, too. I've been in my boats for 8 hours at a time without numbness or pain on one of those seats. It's a bit pricey, but still cheaper than a doctor or physical therapist.



RE: Numb legs

Unfortunately I am very experienced with back problems. A little inflammation/swelling of a disc will put pressure on the nerves, resulitng in pain or numbness. Be happy it is the numbness and not the pain. Sitting is the WORST position for this problem.

I have spent 1/2 of my adult lifetime, post surgery, in pursuit of a body that does not ache 24/7.

To have a back in shape, you need a stomach that is in shape. Stretching the legs is something to do, strengthening the abdominal muscles is a must to having a good back. The lower back muscles must also be stretched and strengthened.

I have been everywhere over the years from gyms to martial arts to yoga, to hanging upside to trying anything that even remotely might help a troubled back. The single most beneficial exercise I have done and do 5 to 7 times a week is sliding seat rowing. I also do some light weight training all around, nothing crazy, just steadily and routinely.

A person CAN spend too much time paddling a kayak. Mix it up. Ask your body to do different things, work all of the muscles in different ways.

I highly recommend supplementing kayaking and light resistance training with sliding seat rowing. The rowing beats jogging and everything else because you use 85% of your muscle mass, getting more for your time in fitness and calorie burning. Jogging would aggravate the situation with every step. Honestly though, be ready for a real workout, 15 minutes of rowing at 30 strokes per minute is not something you will likely be able to do daily the first week or so or three, depending. On the other side...gains will come fast if you put in your time.

I am lucky enough to have a rowing shell and a sliding seat rowing machine in my basement (Bodycraft VR100). The machine is for after work and I get out on the water with the boat at least once a week, many times twice. When the weather cools again, I will alternate time on the water between my shearwater and the rowing shell.

It takes a little time to row properly and call upon the muscles needed at the right time, there is a right way to do it. Start off easy until you perfect your form and gain some ability in endurance. Sliding seat rowing will help in many ways.

With pain or numbness in a leg, this indicates inflammation. Waiting for it to fully subside will not work. Slowly get into shape, slower than you normally would want to, giving your back a chance to heal, realign and support itself through muscle tone and flexibility.

The Oxford Shell would be a great compliment to paddling the kayak. In the meantime, a usable sliding seat rowing machine is a click away or just down the road at your neighborhood gym.

I hope this post helps someone out.

RE: Numb legs

I've had some of the same problems Glenn noted.  I bought the square looking seat blank and carved it out untill it was comfortable.  this did not completly eliminate the pain.  It seemed as though my heels kept sliding forward as if they were going to cause my ankles to fold.  I shoe gooped a couple 1/2 x1/2 in. heel blocks under my foot braces.  These have helped a lot.  I guess you just have to keep trying new modifications until you hit the right combo.  Good luck and keep us posted. Rod

RE: Numb legs

Thanks for all the input.

Have ordered mini cell foam for custom seat.

I will keep you posted.

RE: Numb legs

After recieving my foam i spent about 2 hours carving out a seat.

I went out for about 1 1/2 hours and never had any numbness in my legs. . What a differance, If feel more connected with the boat. Thanks for all your help.

RE: Numb legs

Wonderful news!  The CLC forum strikes again.

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