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5 Common Injuries Found in Fishermen and How to Avoid Them

28 / 08 / 20

Fishing may come across as an easy sport to take part in, however, there are so many technical skills to develop before you fish. You have also got to watch out for any potential injuries you may occur.

Hand and Wrist Overuse

Like with any sport, the more you over do it then the higher chance you will end up getting an injury. When it comes to fishing, when you are repeatedly casting your fishing line you’re doing this in the same angle constantly so it’s important to be aware of the injuries casting can cause.

Furthermore, if you’re lucky and you do manage to catch a fish then next you reel it in, however, you can also get an injury from reeling too and this can damage the joints and tendons in the wrist. Other symptoms you may experience if you get an injury will be numbness, pain and swelling all of which can be avoided by doing simple exercises before you begin to fish.

Always, before you start to fish you slowly rotate your wrists in a circular motion for a few seconds so by the time you start casting and reeling, your tendons will be used to the exercise you’re about to perform, thus, less chance of getting an injury.

Man holding a fishing rod


Tennis Elbow

Fishermen often feel it is directly caused by vigorous fishing activity, however, most of the time it tends to be more of an aggravation. When anglers are afflicted, the particular activity does greatly aggravate the pain and may hinder conservative recovery, so we’d highly recommend you do some stretching before you decide to get back into fishing.

A cause of the medial elbow pain in fishermen is a sprain or even a tear of the elbows ‘medial collateral ligament’. A complete rupture of this ligament often occurs when fishermen are casting or when they are reeling the fish/bait in.

Tennis elbow is an irritation of the tendons of the forearm that cock’s back the wrist or extend the fingers. To treat the condition, the irritating activity must be avoided completely so you can make a quick and full recovery. If you rush back into it then there will be an increased chance that you suffer with a tennis elbow.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is where pressure on one of the main nerves to the hand and this leads to constant pins and needles sensations in the hand. In more severe cases an increase in numbness will lead to muscle wasting in the hand and cause it to become more weaker.

Continuous use of the hand and wrist when fishing can potentially lead to having carpal tunnel syndrome so making sure you’re aware of the causes and also the symptoms will really help massively. 

There are treatments available too if you do suffer with the syndrome, however, it is good to bear in mind that it is a gradual process. In most cases carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen over time without the right treatment. If you have been diagnosed early on with the condition, then you will not have to go straight to surgery to repair the damage.

The doctor could recommend wearing a bracing or splinting so when you go to sleep at night you will not accidentally bend your wrist whilst you sleep. If you can constantly keep your wrist in a neutral position this will massively reduce the pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel.

Shoulder Injury

Preventing shoulder injuries can be an easy thing to do without realising and nine cases out of ten then tend to be centred around the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tears are very common shoulder injuries and it’s mainly caused by repeatedly overusing your hand motions, so when it comes to fishing, you primarily cause an injury by casting.

 It is not uncommon for fishermen to make over a thousand casts in one day of fishing but when they continue to add heavy weight onto the bait this will put a lot of stress on the shoulders.

 So to prevent a shoulder injury, we strongly advise to learn the fishing techniques properly and utilize both dominant and non-dominant arms as this will be so beneficial for your shoulders. When you learn to use both arms to fish not only will it improve your skills as a fisherman but all that pressure on one shoulder would’ve been lifted. Then there will be less of a chance of picking up an injury. 


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Feeling shoulder pain after that tackle in practice? Or maybe you spent all weekend repainting your kitchen that farmhouse gray and are feeling a little stiff? Or perhaps you’ve got pain in your shoulder and have no idea why? General shoulder pain is common, and the top causes include shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, tendinitis, and fracture. Read our blog to learn more about the top causes of shoulder pain, symptoms, and treatment, link in bio!

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Bicep Tendonitis

Bicep tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the bicep muscle, at the front of your arm, to the shoulder and the elbow. Bicep tendonitis is usually caused by repeatedly overusing your bicep in an over the head motion, for example when you are fishing a technique that is used all the time is casting.

When you cast, you are constantly throwing the rod and throughout the day you could catch hundreds of fish, so all that constant throwing and reeling will have a big impact on the bicep long term. In worst cases severe overuse of the bicep will lead to a massive tear in the muscle and the only way to get this repaired is by surgery, to repair the torn bicep.

 There are certain symptoms to watch out for if you think you do potentially have bicep tendonitis. Firstly, if you are experiencing constant pain when you’re moving the upper part of the arm, either the shoulder or elbow, a doctor would connote that you are quite weak and very tender in that area, so they will be checking your muscle very carefully.

If the doctor suspects a tear and confirms it, they will provide a great treatment plan to give you the best possible treatment that will suit your needs. The treatment can range depending how bad they deem it so if it is not as bad as first feared, then simply just resting your muscle and not participating in any fishing activities will greatly benefit your health. In other cases, the treatment you may need could be physical therapy and exercises to help repair the damaged bicep.


If you have found our list of the common injuries found in fishermen informative or if there is anything we may have missed off then please get in touch today!

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