Sled Sports Injuries

 

 

 

The various styles and forms of recreational and competitive sledding are popular winter activities in the United States for people of all ages and sexes.

 

In the U.S., bobsledding, luge, and skeleton are the three main sledding sports: 


* Luge involves a one-person or two-person sled racing against a timer. The sled, which can reach speeds of over 90 mph, is steered by the luger exerting pressure to the sled with their shoulders or the riders with their feet. The luger rides the sled in a feet-first, supine position.

* Skeleton also involves a time trial and fast speeds. This sport uses a one-person sled that’s rode in the head-first, supine position. The athlete steers the sled with their feet and by shifting their body weight.

* Bobsledding is the most different of the three sledding sports. It involves a larger sleigh with a two-person or four-person crew. The crew’s pilot steers the sleigh with steering rings. The crew’s brakeman will pull the brake lever at the end of the race. In four-person bobsledding, there will also be two pushers that physically push the sleigh to gather speed at the start of each heat.

Each of these Olympic sports can be slightly different when it comes to tracks, number of potential riders, speeds, sled style, and so forth. However, they’re all considered dangerous sports and carry the risk of mild injuries, such as an abrasion, to more serious injuries, such as a concussion.

What Are Some Common Sledding Injuries?

Contusions

A study by the U.S. Training Center Sports Medicine Clinic in New York found that 51% of all injuries in luge are contusions. Similar studies on the various other sledding sports echo this predominance of contusions.

A contusion is another name for a bruise. It’s the result of the body suffering a direct impact, such as from an athlete's hand being struck on the sledding track. Many contusions are superficial, meaning only the subcutaneous layer is injured during the impact. However, more severe contusions can involve damage to the deeper muscle, bone, and even internal organs. The force of the impact crushes the affected tissue and damages blood vessels in the area. The leaking blood from the damaged blood vessels begins to pool in nearby tissue. This may cause a black-and-blue area, a hematoma (lump), warmth, and swelling. Pain and tenderness may be present as the nerve endings in the area sense the extra blood accumulating. Severe contusions may be accompanied by a sprain, strain, fracture, or dislocation.

Pulled Muscles

A pulled muscle is also known as a muscle strain. Neck strains are common in both luge and skeleton. On the other hand, bobsledding is more likely to produce strains in the shoulders, calves, and groin. A muscle strain is the abnormal stretching or tearing of a muscle and/or tendon. Strains can occur a number of ways, such as from poor, tense posture during sledding; overexertion; sudden, forceful movements; and so forth. Strains are graded based on the degree of injury the muscle and/or tendon suffers:

Grade 1 - stretching or microscopic tearing of the muscle/tendon fibers.
Grade 2 - moderate tearing of the muscle/tendon fibers.
Grade 3 - significant tearing of the muscle/tendon fibers.

The general symptoms of a pulled muscle include:

* muscle stiffness
* decreased range of motion to complete immobility
* swelling
* heat
* tenderness
* pain
* bruising
* muscle spasms

Fractures

Collisions, falls, and ejections at such high speeds are likely to produce bone fractures. A fracture occurs when the bone looses its natural continuity. There are several different ways a bone can fracture. For example, a fractured bone could suffer a hairline crack and remain intact, break into one or two large pieces, or shatter into multiple smaller pieces; remain well aligned or displace and produce an obvious deformity; and/or stay under fully-intact skin or puncture through the skin’s surface.

 

The symptoms of a fractured bone may include:

* swelling
* warmth
* bruising
* immobility
* pain
* tenderness
* possible obvious deformity

Products

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Acute Sinew Liniment

Acute Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

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Chronic Sinew Liniment

Chronic Stage Treatment: Rub on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

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Sinew Herbal Ice

Acute Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and/or inflammation are present.

This first-aid ice alternative poultice (balm) is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the recovery and healing process. Reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the injured area. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain normal range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Injury Poultice

Chronic Stage Treatment: Apply on the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather.

This poultice (balm) is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful in cold and damp weather. It significantly stimulates circulation to damaged tissues and further promotes the healing of overstretched tendons, ligaments and muscles. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Relaxing Soak and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Relaxing Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your injured area. It is used to relax muscles, tendons and ligaments that are in spasm to reduce pain and stiffness and improve range of motion. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.
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Sinew Sports Massage Oil

This specially formulated massage oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It penetrates deep into muscle layers to warm and stimulate muscles, increase circulation and relieve tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.
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Sinew Warming Soak

Chronic Stage Treatment: Used to soak the injured area when swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If the injured area is too large or in an area that can’t be submerged in a pot of water, you can also saturate a towel in the liquid and apply it to the injured area.

This soak is particularly useful if your injured area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. It is used to bring warmth into the injured area to drive coldness out of damaged tissues and increase local circulation, thereby relieving pain and stiffness in cold weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment, Sinew Injury Poultice and the Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.
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