What Are The Most Common Snowboarding Injuries?
The winter sports season is well underway with only a few more days to wait until one of the biggest tournaments in the calendar. The athletes have been training hard since Vancouver, with many new athletes coming onto the scene and looking to prove themselves on the world stage.
Professional snowboarders and skiers have been training hard in anticipation of one of the biggest tournaments in their careers and a chance to compete at the highest level for the biggest prizes.
Extreme sports are designed to be an adrenaline rush for both participants and spectators but can equally be high risk in the event of a fall or crash. There have been some high profile athletes succumb to serious knee injuries in recent months and as a result with not be able to compete for glory next month.
Each sport has its own set of common injuries and skiing and snowboarding are no different covering ankle injuries, knee injuries and wrist injuries. This article looks at some of the most common forms of injuries sustained on the slopes by both professionals and amateurs alike.
Typically referred to as Snowboarders Ankle this form of injury is where a fracture occurs on the outside of the Talus bone of the ankle. The fracture occurs following a high energy ankle sprain and whilst painful it can sometimes be very difficult to diagnose due to it failing to show up on x-rays.
If you continue to feel pain following a bad sprain of the ankle then you should speak with a clinical professional as a CT scan may be required in order to detect the damage and offer a diagnosis to the problem. The treatment for any injury is determined by its severity, with ankle breaks sometimes being treated through bracing and immobilisation and surgery..
The most common knee injuries sustained on the slopes refer to the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) which is one of four ligaments responsible for stabilising the knee joint. The ACL is located at the front of the knee and is the main ligament within the joint helping to manage stabilisation, without which an athlete may find it difficult to walk, run and jump let alone being able to pull off a few tricks on the slopes.
The severity of the ACL injury will ultimately dictate your course of treatment and the length of time you would expect to sit on the sidelines recuperating. Mild knee injuries of this nature can heal naturally with rest, using ice to help manage any inflammation and a soft knee support to apply compression and stability to the joint during movement.
Where the ACL has ruptured or torn, and one of the most serious knee injuries who can encounter, there are two options available to patient. The first is to remain ACL deficient and build up your quad muscles which can work to counteract the instability of the knee joint. This is not always practical for someone who wants to continue with skiing or snowboarding but can be quite normal for some sports stars to continue without surgery. Surgery is of course the alternative and typically involves replacing the ligament with a graft taken from either the patella or hamstring, from which intensive physiotherapy is required in order to rebuild strength in the joint. A knee support can also be worn from a preventative measure to protect the joint from injury as a well as post injury to preserve the joint from subsequent damage in the future.
Wrist injuries typically occur as a result of impact damage as we will all naturally put our hands out to cushion a fall, which are more common in snowboarding than in skiing. The main fractures experienced are Scaphoid and Colles fractures and account for over 100,000 wrist injuries worldwide each year.
You will invariably know you have done something serious to your wrist as the swelling of the joint will happen pretty quickly, as well as being quite painful. A doctor or clinician will be able to determine the extent of the break and the necessary treatment required..
Regardless of your chosen sport it is important to have the right gear to maximise your enjoyment of the sport as well as protecting you from injury. Ski equipment can be expensive when factoring in the need for clothing, accessories and safety gear before you even start looking at buying a set of ski's or a snowboard.
Choosing the right ski equipment is important as with any other item of clothing as the wrong sizes or poor quality can have an adverse effect on your experience or your personal safety. From a safety perspective there are a variety of products available on the market to help protect against injuries from falling or hitting obstacles.
A knee support is an injury prevention tool worn by many a professional on the slopes.. Specially designed supports are built to withstand impact damage to help prevent knee injuries such as ACL ruptures and tears. Typically manufactured from lightweight materials such as Carbon Fibre they are light and strong which gives athletes the flexibility to ski or snowboard normally knowing they are protected in a fall.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Regis discusses the use of orthotics for the management of sports injuries reviewing injury rehabilitation through exercise and the use of bracing and supports. He writes articles focussing on different knee injuries sustained and methods of rehabilitation.