Winter Sports And Different Types of Knee Injuries Sustained
Ahead of the impending games athletes will have been training hard to conquer on the world stage, pushing themselves to the limit in the pursuit of glory. Winter sports provide an adrenaline rush for professionals and amateurs like no other sport, though with increased speed and mountain obstacles there is an increased risk of injury.
Winter sports are extreme by their nature and the faster and more extreme a sport is the high the risk of serious injury an athlete can sustain. Professionals know the risks they are taking and even the best can take a knock but by knowing the potential outcomes you are able to look at ways of minimising the risk.
While athletes have been training hard and pushing themselves the risk of injury and having to withdraw will no doubt have been at the forefront on their minds, knowing that one crash or injury can rule them out completely.
Some winter sports injuries are more common than others though there are a number of ways in which an athlete can protect themselves to minimise the risk of injury on the slopes.
The knee joint comprises of four separate ligaments in that of the ACL, LCL, MCL and PCL which are designed to stabilise the knee joint. Ligaments are the tough bands of tissue connecting the bones with a joint and allow a person to walk, run and jump by stabilising the joint during any weight bearing activity. Any damage to a ligament with the knee can severely impact on a person's ability to walk or run and from a winter sports perspective can stop them competing at the highest level.
The main knee ligament responsible for overall stability is the ACL and the most susceptible to injury on the slopes.. Over 40% of ACL injuries occur as a result of extreme or high impact sports with varying levels of severity.
Mild ligament damage is largely self-limiting and you should expect to recover following a period of rest. Ice can help to manage any inflammation whilst strengthening exercises post injury can minimise the risk of further injury in the future. For more serious injuries surgery may be required to replace the ligament followed by intensive physiotherapy thereafter.
Soft knee supports
Where mild ligament damage has been sustained and a patient simply requires additional stability and support of the joint a soft knee support can be used. Such a design works by compression to the joint to help manage inflammation whilst the external strapping provides additional stability when active.
Soft supports are designed to be worn post injury as they offer compression to help manage inflammation..
Rigid knee supports
A rigid support can be used from both a preventative and post-injury perspective. The main purpose of the knee support is to protect the knee joint and the ligaments from damage, typically as a result of a fall or crash. They are normally manufactured in strong but lightweight materials such as carbon fibre which offers a huge amount of protection without weighing a person down and hindering their mobility.
Knee injuries can be very painful and very severe especially where winter sports injuries are concerned. In the immediate aftermath of any injury it is important to stop what you are doing and rest to avoid any further damage being caused. A knee support can be used both as a preventative measure and post injury though in the latter it should be worn in conjunction with other treatment such as physiotherapy to ensure the ligament is strengthened as well as protected.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Regis discusses sports injuries and the treatment options available including orthotics and physiotherapy. The use of knee support forms part of this discussion and how this can impact on the patient during recovery.