Brent Chapman's Tactics for Pain-Free Fishing
December 28, 2019
Throughout the inaugural year of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour season, Brent Chapman of Lake Quiver, Kansas, was beleaguered with chronic and severe pain around his left shoulder.
Ultimately, he conquered that pain by using non-traditional-therapy procedures. Here is how it unfolded:
His shoulder woes erupted during the latter part of the Bassmaster and Major League Fishing circuits in 2018. Throughout the fall and early weeks of the winter of 2018-19, he was hoping that the pain would subside by the beginning of the Bass Pro Tour’s inaugural season on Jan. 29 at Lake Kissimmee, Florida.
But to his chagrin, the pain failed to diminish. So, a few weeks before he made the long drive to Florida to compete in the first Bass Pro Tour event, Chapman had an appointment with his primary-care physician, who initially thought that Chapman’s woes stemmed from tendinitis around the rotator-cuff.
In March, an orthopedic physician’s magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed that Chapman’s shoulder was afflicted with arthritis rather than tendinitis.
To help Chapman, who turned 47 on July 6, diminish some of the pain during the arduous tournament season, the doctor gave him an anti-inflammatory drug and a potent pain medication. During the first weeks of January, he occasionally used the pain-killing medication, but he was totally cognizant of the dastardly effects that pain-killing pills would have on this body and mind. Therefore, he decided not to take them. Instead, he used the anti-inflammatory medication.
In addition to the pharmaceutical prescriptions, it was suggested by the doctors that he should have either surgery or Platelet Infusion Therapy once the tournament season was over.
Chapman, however, had been working off and on with Travis Perret of Overland Park, Kansas, since 2011. He was also aware of the problems that arise with joint surgeries and the other medical procedures that physicians administer to their patients who are plagued with joint pains. Many times these procedures and surgeries are just temporary solutions, and often the pain comes back. When the pain returns, it is sometimes even more severe than it was before the surgery and other medical procedures were performed, and that is because the surgery and other procedures can cause more severe inflammation and arthritis to erupt. So, instead of opting for surgery or Platelet Infusion Therapy or cortisone shots, he began working intensely with Perret on Aug. 15.
Perret is the proprietor of Exercise Therapy of Kansas City. And he specializes in eliminating chronic pain by focusing on postural alignment and muscle balance. He accomplishes this task by creating a series of low-demand exercises and corrective-posture positions. He describes it as a non-chiropractic and holistic method to help clients do what they love to do, such as fishing, hunting, golf, tennis, or even walking around the block on an evening stroll.
Unlike the tactics of typical physical therapists, who use rehabilitation techniques on chronic pain, Perret helps his clients fix the root cause of the pain rather than focusing on the symptom or place or point of the pain. Thus, he examines the client’s whole body to determine what is causing the pain.
For more than 20 years, Perret has worked with scores of pain-ridden clients who have been unable to become pain free by the hands and methods of physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, and the pharmaceutical industry. He opened his first clinic in metropolitan Kansas City in 2005.
After Chapman’s indoctrination period with Perret in 2011 and 2012, he never was afflicted with chronic and severe pain issues. And whenever a minor injury or issues with pain erupted, he would contact Perret, who would create a series of therapy exercises that would address and fix those problems. And he could do most of these relatively simple routines during his extensive and rigorous tournament endeavors.
Perret notes that the life of a professional tournament fisherman can adversely affect an angler’s posture alignment and muscle balance, and it had adversely affected Chapman. To deal with Chapman’s intense shoulder pain after his 2019 tournament season came to an end, Perret created a series of six therapy exercise routines that addressed Chapman’s postural alignment and muscle balance. Each series takes Chapman from 30 to 40 minutes to complete. On Monday, he does exercise number one, number two is done on Tuesday, number three on Wednesday, number four on Thursday, number five on Friday, number six on Saturday, and on Sunday, he does number one again. For days, weeks, and months on end, Chapman executed that daily routine. And one day a week, Chapman arrived at Perret’s office, where he does a series of warm-up exercises and work-out exercises for an hour, which addresses postural alignment and physical fitness. (See the photographs in endnote number eight of Chapman performing several of the routines that Perret formulated to address the shoulder pain.)
By Dec. 10, Chapman and Perret had worked 117 days, and to their delight, the pain had vanished. He was able to do scores of things that he was unable to do when he was waylaid by the shoulder pain, such as raking his yard and pulling the string on his bow. His body also felt younger, and he was ready for the 2020 Major League Fishing Pro Bass Tour to commence at Lake Eufaula, Alabama, on Feb. 7.
What’s more, Chapman wants to tell his primary physician and the orthopedist that Perret conquered the arthritic pain in his left shoulder. Besides becoming pain-free, Chapman discovered that his improved posture seemed to create less psychological stress, which he says will facilitate his ability to concentrate more acutely on the many tasks that a professional tournament angler must execute during the hours he is preparing to fish and during the hours that he is fishing a tournament.
When Chapman is competing in the eight Pro Bass Tour events from early February to late July, he will drive to Alabama, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, New York, and Vermont. He suspects that it will encompass about 30,000 miles and many hours of sitting with his hands on a steering wheel. There is also a likelihood that Chapman might compete at the Pro Bass Tour’s Heavy Hitters event, Major League Fishing Cup Events, and Redcrest tourney.
Perret notes that the many hours and miles that anglers spend driving to and from the waterways that they fish can provoke posture woes, which can create a variety of pains.
He says there is a mistaken notion in the angling world that lumbar supports and state-of-the-art seats in the modern-day vehicles that anglers use to tow their boats will keep their body flexible and in alignment. In fact, Perret categorically asserts that those modern-day amenities do not keep an angler’s posture woes at bay.
He says, “Anglers who drive three or more hours before they start to fish need to establish a posture bridge from the long drive before hopping into their boat and spending the day afloat and wielding untold numbers of casts. Not to create that posture bridge is a step to dysfunction, which leads to chronic pain. And when anglers are in pain, they cannot fish contently and efficiently.
“Most anglers do not think of their endeavors as athletic in nature, and that is one reason why so many of them are walloped with chronic pain, such as knee pain, hip pain, elbow pain, and back pain.”
He explained that “most anglers are sitting incorrectly while they are driving. Their backs are curved like the letter C. Their shoulders rounded forward and their butts are curved under their upper torso. Instead, their pelvis needs to be untucked. Their shoulders need to be rolled back and down. Their spines need to be elongated.” And some drivers can improve their posture by placing a six-inch-wide foam pillow between their knees.
The muscles in their chest and back need to be relaxed. All of their muscles need to be relaxed and flexible. When their spines become elongated and in a straight line, their quadriceps will become relaxed. An elongated spine will also stretch the hamstrings.
Anglers need to treat themselves as athletes. Thus, they need to take care of their bodies by establishing a maintenance routine. For example, when they are getting gasoline or stopping to eat, they need to do a couple of the following types of stretches: arm circles, counter stretches, elbow curls, standing overhead stretches, and quad stretches. (See the two photographs in endnote number seven of Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark, Missouri, doing the arm circle exercise and standing overhead stretch.)
After the long drive has come to an end, Perret recommends that an angler should rest and sleep. Then in the morning before the angler is afloat, he should do a series of maintenance exercises, such as arm circles, elbow curls, foot circles and flexes, sitting floor twists, cats and dogs, kneeling groin stretch, downward dog, and air bench.
He concluded by saying that “fishermen need to understand that movement is the key. Muscles move bones, and if the muscles don’t move properly, anglers need to address that first. They also need to understand that correct movement doesn’t just happen during exercises. Some exercises can actually create bigger imbalances and bigger problems. It has to be the correct movement for their specific imbalances. I get clients who think that because they work out they can address any movement problems. That is incorrect! Muscular imbalance and posture misalignment have to be specifically addressed with therapy-type movements.”
Chapman hopes that he can remain pain free throughout the 2020 Bass Pro Tour by following Perret’s driving prescriptions and exercise routines. He also thinks other anglers should follow suit, and if they are plagued by pain-ridden feet, knees, hips, backs, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, and necks, they should contact Perret.
1. Anglers can contact Perret at (913) 549-4343. During that initial telephone conversation, Chapman says that Perret will honestly discuss how he can help anglers to become free from chronic pain.
Anglers can also get a free PDF copy of Perret’s Amazon number-one best-selling book, which is entitled “Pain Free Life. “ This book contains therapy exercises that will correct anglers’ pain-ridden feet, knees, hips, backs, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, and necks. They should also contact Perret. Here is the link to this PDF-rendition of his book: www.painfreelifebook.com.
If anglers reside in the Kansas City area or nearby, they can take advantage of Perret’s free “one-hour in-clinic discovery session.” During this session, anglers will get a firsthand look at how he will help them conquer their chronic pain.
Here is a link to Perret’s to website: https://exercisetherapykc.com/
Perret is also an ardent angler and the creator of the Finesse News Network’s Facebook. Here is the link to that Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1790450444537568/
2. Here are links to Midwest Finesse columns from 2012 about Perret’s work with Chapman: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/brent-chapman-and-travis-perret-team-up/156514. https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/more-on-brent-chapman-and-travis-perret/156350.
3. Here is a link to Dan O’Sullivan’s Oct. 18, 2011, story about Perret and Chapman: https://advancedangler.com/features/fishing-fitness-with-brent-chapman/.
4. Here is a link to a video that features Chapman and Perret: https://www.facebook.com/BrentChapmanFishing/videos/492260904718328/UzpfSTEwMzU0MDc3MzUxMTk5NDo2NTEyMTkyNDg3NDQxNDE/?fref=mentions.
5. Here is a link to Chapman’s YouTube about his 2019 Bass Pro Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp2M2qtn1jk.
6. It is necessary to state that Travis Perret has been working to keep my wife, Pat Kehde, and me pain free since Feb. 14, 2006, which was when we were 65 years old. Now we are 79 years old. And Patty has not taken an aspirin or any kind of pain medication since then. I took two Advil in May of 2009, when I was waylaid by a very harsh temporomandibular disorder, but Perret provided me with a series of exercises that quickly fixed those woes. Then I fell at a boat ramp on November 6, 2012, and severely broke my wrist. An orthopedic surgeon operated on my wrist, adding a stainless-steel plate and a series of screws to the array of broken bones, and during the night after the operation, I took two pain pills that the surgeon prescribed. Then, the day after the surgery, I consumed four Advil. Those eight pain pills are the only ones that I have taken since we began working with Perret. As my broken wrist slowly healed, Perret created a series of simple exercises for me that kept my postural alignment and muscle balance from becoming askew. Patty often plays tennis two to three times a week, and I try to fish two to three times a week. Like Chapman has experienced, Perret’s exercises have made our bodies feel younger. We also recommend that anglers, tennis players, and others who are plagued with pain should give Perret a telephone call.
7. Here are two photographs of Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark, Missouri, doing the counter stretch and standing overhead stretch that anglers should do when they have to drive many miles to fish.
8. Here are three photographs of Chapman performing several of the routines that Perret formulated to address his shoulder pain.