Bay Area Orthopedic Surgery Expert Discusses Being Ready for Popular Winter Activity
As a recreational sport, snowboarding has dramatically increased in popularity among teens and adults within the last decade. Along with that, visits to many a snowboarding doctor have grown at a similar rate. Amateur snowboarders are prone to more injury and visits to the emergency room due to their lack of balance, improper technique, and experience. Snowboarding injuries may vary from complex fractures and strains to minor abrasions.
Falling is almost expected as newer snowboarders learn to navigate the sport, but can lead to injury of the rotator cuffs, other parts of the shoulder, and especially the wrist. These generally take place when a snowboarder is attempting to gain or maintain lost balance and he/she grabs hold of a hazardous edge or nearby prop to try to resist a fall. Depending on the nature or severity of the injury, snowboarders may need to visit a wrist or torn rotator cuff doctor for treatment. Ankle fractures and ankle sprains are also common since snowboarders often experience excessive movement of the ankles in their boots. A CT scan is usually needed to determine whether or not someone has sustained an ankle fracture because X-rays are not able to decipher fractures in the ankle.
While no guaranteed method or precaution will completely guard snowboarders from injury, stretching beforehand will reduce the chance of bodily harm. Stretch out the quads, hamstring, and calves for 60 seconds three times to properly prepare your body for activity. Being in good physical shape is also of paramount importance when you snowboard. Since snowboarding is a seasonal sport, engaging in regular exercise like cross-training, weightlifting, and aerobic activities during the off-season will keep your body ready and conditioned. Exercises you can to stay in shape during the off-season include:
- Aerobic Training (running, jogging, bicycling, elliptical, jump rope)
- Leg Press
- Hamstring Curls
- Lateral Leg Raises
- Wall Squats
- Toe Raises (build calf strength)
- Ankle Exercise with Elastic Bands
Keeping your body well-conditioned and stretching beforehand can greatly diminish the chance of inflicting serious harm on your body. If you do find that you have injured yourself, getting the right diagnosis and proper treatment early on is necessary. An untreated fracture has the possibility to lead to significant disability and might impede your ability to snowboard in the future.